Working in Vientiane?

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Working in Vientiane

As the social and economic capital of Laos, Vientiane is home to an abundance of job opportunities for expatriates, with a plethora of large financial institutions, government agencies and international businesses holding offices within the confines of the central districts.

Vientiane has a number of trade links, and the majority of large businesses with international connections are situated in the main districts of the city, making it a popular choice for those seeking to further their careers.

Work Permits for Vientiane

Work permits in Laos are typically included as part of the visa application process. A working visa can be obtained in advance by making an appointment with any Laos embassy prior to arrival in the country, which typically costs in the region of 40 USD. It is advisable to bring passport photos when attending an embassy for a visa application, although this is not always necessary within Laos, and visas can be reasonably easily obtained upon arrival, save for some time waiting before approval.

Local Economy

The number of different industries in Vientiane reflects the diversity of the city and the area as a whole. Heavy industry (such as steel manufacturing) accounts for the majority of Vientiane’s economy, closely followed by the textiles and service industries. During the monsoon season, agriculture (mostly in the form of rice growing) can account for up to 20% of the GDP in the area. 

As a rapidly expanding city, progressive opportunities for internationals are becoming more and more commonplace. At any given time there are usually a large number of teaching vacancies in the city, particularly in languages.

Consulates and embassies also typically employ large numbers of expats looking to start working in Vientiane as part of the civil service, along with NGO agencies and the United Nations. The National University of Laos also offers employment opportunities for academic expatriates considering a move to Vientiane.

Job Hunting in Vientiane

The local and national newspapers, including the Vientiane Times, regularly advertise vacancies at all levels and in all professions, and there are a number of online resources dedicated to advertising open vacancies across the city, including websites and online forums designed to help newcomers to find employment.

Economically, Vientiane continues to witness growth and create international trade links, which in turn allows many city-based companies to offer positions with competitive international pay scales in order to attract the right caliber of prospective expat employee.

Giovanni Gallo

"I have been able to use the InterNations network to find other soccer enthusiasts in Vientiane. "

Suzanne Payne

"The network of InterNations expats in Vientiane has created an environment where meeting other nationals is easy and enjoyable."

Global Expat Guide