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Lao, Mexican diplomats dispense with visas
Publication Date : 11-12-2013
Visa exemptions for Lao and Mexican diplomats traveling to each others' countries on official duties will come into effect on January 27, the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced.
The change will allow Lao diplomatic and official passport holders to stay in Mexico for up to 90 days without a visa.
Lao Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bounkeuth Sangsomsak, and the Mexican ambassador to Laos, Jorge Chen Charpentier, signed the agreement in Vientiane on November 28.
The agreement with Mexico brought the total number of countries that Laos has these agreements with to 24.
The others include nine Asean member countries and Timor-Leste, along with Mongolia, Cuba, China, North Korea, Russia, Poland, Hungary, India, Japan, South Korea, Peru, Brazil and Bangladesh.
The ministry, however, is currently reviewing information about those existing agreements and might make some changes.
The agreement with Mexico will streamline the paperwork previously required to arrange visas for diplomatic trips between the two countries.
On October 1, the Lao government agreed to waive exit visas for Lao diplomats and official passport holders. Lao delegates no longer need to seek exit visas from the foreign ministry before making official visits to the nations with which Laos has visa exemption arrangements.
Under the new regulations state organisations, including provincial bodies, can authorise overseas trips for personnel holding official or diplomatic passports without obtaining an exit visa from the ministry.
Holders of these official passports are not allowed to use them for personal trips.
Although exit visas are no longer needed diplomatic passport holders will still need to acquire documents from relevant organisations to prove they are traveling for work.
For visits to countries with which Laos does not yet have a visa exemption agreement diplomats must still obtain an official letter from the foreign ministry, so a visa from the embassy of the relevant country can then be acquired.