Jump to content

Asia Hotels

Getting a Marrige License in Laos


  • Please log in to reply
47 replies to this topic

#1 canuck2233

Posted 12 September 2010 - 04:46 PM

Sabai dee, I am a canadian citizen and have had a Laos girlfriend for three year's, me and my girlfriend now wish to get married next January(2011) in Vientiene.


I realise that in order to get a Marriage Licence in the Lao PDR i have to endure alot of paperwork , I have already enlisted a friend in Laos to act on my behalf while i am in Canada to do this paperwork for me.

He has completed some of my girlfriend's paper work and now is going to use a local company called T.D.S. ltd to do the rest of our Marrige License.

I have given him:
  • completed (in Lao & English) request to marry form
  • biographical detail's
  • copy of my passport
  • proof of "single" status document
  • letter to agree to return my Laos wife in case of divorce
  • 4 passport sise photo's
  • Character reference
  • financial document's from my bank
  • Health certificate from doctor

My question to the forum is: Has anyone out there been through this process and how long does it take? Will I be able to get the marrige licence by January 1st 2011?

khop chai lai deu for all response.....

#2 Vientianeboy

Posted 13 September 2010 - 12:32 AM

I have been through this process as have a number of friends. The answer to your question abut Jan 1st is "No" unless you are prepared to be a LOT of money. The process generally takes 6 months to a year depending on how much you pay.
I don't know this company you are using and how well they are connected. Personally I would have used a well connected lawyer. PM me if you like.
There are other ways and means of doing this as well.

#3 stumpy

Posted 19 October 2010 - 09:05 PM

I have been through the marriage paperwork marathon. Mine took 12 months and that was with the Champasak governor assisting me. Good luck.

#4 T-Lao

Posted 29 October 2010 - 12:17 PM

I also used T.D.S. and I was very satisfied. I took the long route and got my license in about 14 months. this was due to only traveling on my work holidays as I worked out of the country at the time. I agree with the above completely. January is not doable unless you have a butt load of cash and the right connections to make it happen. If then. The agency is the best because they deal with this all the time. The best connection sometimes is the secretary or counter worker. We just don't know for sure. What would take an hour will sit on a desk for two or three weeks purposely to see if an administration fee will be offered to push it to the next level. And each level needs a little administration fee. My total cost was $1500 dollars U.S. but well worth it. I think if you take the advice of those of us that have been through it don't hassel it and just do the adventure. She is the prise at the end of this journey. Once you are married many of the hassels to be in Lao will disappear. My residency actually took me 5 months but can take as long as a year. Plus, some of us now have homes and businesses all without many of the obsticals experienced by others. Don't get me wrong here, there will always be something but it will be easy to deal with the longer you are there and the people get to know you. Good luck, my experience with the Lao has been exceptional.

#5 Vientianeboy

Posted 30 October 2010 - 12:49 AM

T-Lao, there is a FAR easier way of doing all this. My approval cost $1500 also and took one week.

#6 Hardenberg

Posted 05 November 2010 - 01:35 AM

As a fellow Canuck I could  advise you a little bit more - are you still interested ? It is NOT as dramatic or complicated as some people believe it is. It took us  just shy of 4 months and approx. $600.00 doing it by ourselves in Vientiane. Emphasis on "our". Well, my wife did all of the legwork. No agent, no problems, no "connections"needed..

A fellow Canuck took 2 years, using 2 agencies at over $2,100.00 all told. Don't be suckered in by these "facilitators".

My conclusion of the process:
Sometimes slow, sometimes comical, sometimes easy - but perfectly doable for a Falang with an average intelligence and a wife  with a slightly above average intelligence,  a decent education and knowledge of the written Lao language. The hapless Canadian Falang mentioned above just gave me the Gallic shrug when we talked and said: Oh, my wife, she is lazy and . delete delete....

#7 canuck2233

Posted 14 November 2010 - 03:27 AM

Thanks for all of the feedback from everybody - it is appreciated .

I was wondering if anyone has heard about the new "Foreigner law" that is supposed to be going through very soon in Laos PDR  - apparently it is supposed to make business affair's & marriage to Laos citizen's much easier. The idea is to become more like Thailand to attract more foreign investment.

   I will be going to Laos at end of December for 8 week's and will try to get my marriage licence during that time.

Thank's again for all of the response's !  :whistling:

#8 Hardenberg

Posted 14 November 2010 - 04:48 AM

There is talk about making "things" more easy for exiled Lao living mainly in the U.S. - similar to what India did for ethnic Indians living overseas.

#9 chuck86

Posted 12 February 2011 - 08:11 PM

Hi Guys, Im planning to marry my girlfriend from Laos. Looks like there are a lot of paperwork that I have to go through  :sweatingbullets:

Do I really have to provide :

    * completed (in Lao & English) request to marry form
    * biographical detail's
    * copy of my passport
    * proof of "single" status document
    * letter to agree to return my Laos wife in case of divorce
    * 4 passport sise photo's
    * Character reference
    * financial document's from my bank
    * Health certificate from doctor

Im from malaysia, I heard from my friend that there are agencies in malaysia to help out with the paperwork though and it takes like a week for the marriage certificate to be ready.
I wonder why a few of you said it takes like a year or more? Well, I have yet to find out on my own what I have to do to get things done fast and easy.

#10 Vientianeboy

Posted 13 February 2011 - 01:03 AM

Yes you do need to provide all that. It can take up to a year depending on how much you are willing to pay.

#11 chuck86

Posted 13 February 2011 - 03:19 AM

I am willing to pay $1500 if the marriage cert can come out in a week time. I am working in Malaysia I dont have much time stay in Laos although I would like to spend more time to explore Laos.

Well I really heard from a friend of mine that he's got a friend who married a Laos girl and the fee wasnt much plus it took about 5 days to get the cert. >_>

Btw, is it easy to get a translator for the documents needed? from Laos to English? How is the fee like? I guess there must be a number of translators making a living out of this in Vientiane?

Edited by chuck86, 13 February 2011 - 03:27 AM.


#12 Vientianeboy

Posted 13 February 2011 - 09:57 AM

View Postchuck86, on 13 February 2011 - 03:19 AM, said:

I am willing to pay $1500 if the marriage cert can come out in a week time.
:sweatingbullets: . It will NEVER happen in one week. You don't need to be there, by the way.

View Postchuck86, on 13 February 2011 - 03:19 AM, said:

Well I really heard from a friend of mine that he's got a friend who married a Laos girl and the fee wasnt much plus it took about 5 days to get the cert. >_>

Did you indeed? A friend of a friend of a friend of mine has a bridge for sale in NY. I can let you have it cheap. Read the above posts as it really appears you have little idea of what is required.

Edited by Mandrunk, 13 February 2011 - 09:58 AM.
Set up quotes and fixed broken emoticon.


#13 stumpy

Posted 13 February 2011 - 11:47 AM

Speaking from experience, it will definitely take more than a week. Mine took near a year even with the help of the Champassak Governor. The papers arrived on the day of the ceremony.

It was time consuming going through all the right people and getting signatures on the papers.Having said that, this was in 1999 so things may have improved time wise by now, but remember, TIL  this is Laos. :sweatingbullets:

#14 chuck86

Posted 14 February 2011 - 02:11 PM

View PostVientianeboy, on 13 February 2011 - 09:57 AM, said:

:sweatingbullets: . It will NEVER happen in one week. You don't need to be there, by the way.



Did you indeed? A friend of a friend of a friend of mine has a bridge for sale in NY. I can let you have it cheap. Read the above posts as it really appears you have little idea of what is required.


I don't need to be there? >_> well my girlfriend will be coming to Malaysia and stay with me on a tourist visa, so it's going to be troublesome to go to Thailand and have her passport stamped. I was told she will have to stay a few days in Thailand before she can come into Malaysia again. Anyone knows how it works? Probably different rules for other countries.

#15 Vientianeboy

Posted 15 February 2011 - 12:00 AM

Excuse me for being thick, but what does Thailand have to do with a Lao marriage visa? The two seem totally unrelated to me.

#16 chuck86

Posted 15 February 2011 - 05:20 PM

Oh that, because my girl will be on tourist visa to stay with me and she will have to get out of Malaysia while we wait for our marriage license's approval? before coming back into Malaysia again with tourist visa.

that is why I wanna get things done fast so that I can get her a special pass for foreign spouse to a Malaysian and save the trouble going to the nearest border to get her passport stamped.

Edited by Mandrunk, 15 February 2011 - 06:51 PM.
Did you really need to use that button?


#17 canuck2233

Posted 20 February 2011 - 08:34 PM

Well...  this is Canuck2233  and I have just returned to Canada, when I first arrived in Vientiane last December I proceeded to do all of the paperwork for Lao marriage on my own which was VERY time consuming and starting to get EXPENSIVE !  

So on the advice from the Australian Embassy and five other independant sources (including Vientiane boy's Lawyer)I decided to go with the T.D.S. company to finish my marriage licence paperwork.

They seem to be the most efficient and reliable company to use . Their fee is $2000.00 U.S. from beginning to completion, and require a $500.00 U.S. deposit with the remaining $1500.00 upon completion.

They (T.D.S.) can finish the paper's in two to three month's - but have to tell you that it can possibly take up to 6 month's (just to cover there ass). They also gave me $100.00 off the fee for all of the paperwork and translation's that I had finished by the time I decided to go with them - which was THREE week's worth of running around Vientiane every day ALL day !!

I would have bee better off just going with them to begin with, however I was trying to get the paperwork finished before I had to go back to Canada. I still have to go back to Laos around May 2011 to finalise the paper's through T.D.S. company, which I was hoping not to have to make the extrat trip !

As Vientine boy sais he did it in a week or whatever for $1500.00 through his Lawyer - but I went to visit her and she is a very good and honest person - however he failed to tell me that he already had a legal marriage from  Australia (according to your Lawyer Vientiane boy - you should be a little more specific with your advice next time ?!)

She also recomended that in my case I should go with the T.D.S. company and said that there is no quicker way to do the Marriage Licence procedure (by bribing people, etc. which I was willing to do).

So..... my advice to any foreigner who is going to marry with a Loas citizen is to go with T.D.S. company or if you have the time do it yourself, no matter what you do it require's time and patience - like any thing in the
Loas PDR :D

Chok Dee deur !!!   :)

#18 Vientianeboy

Posted 21 February 2011 - 12:05 AM

"There are other ways and means of doing this as well"
"T-Lao, there is a FAR easier way of doing all this."

See above - I am not pleased that you posted my personal details on the web. Had you asked me I would have told you in a pm.

#19 chuck86

Posted 08 March 2011 - 04:45 PM

Hi there, my girlfriend is a divorcee and I told her that we need to have her divorce decree if either party is a divorce to be able to get married but she doesn't know whether she still has a copy of it. My question now is, does anyone know where to obtain the divorce decree from? I supposed it is issued from a court.

I'm from Malaysia and like every other country the 2 most important documents needed is Single Status Letter and Divorce Decree for (ROM).

I was told that my girlfriend can get her Single Status Letter from the Lao Embassy in Malaysia but I have yet to confirm that with the Lao Embassy. Please do tell me if I am wrong about it, where do I get it from then?

I doubt that there was a black and white (registration of marriage) done in my girlfriend's village when she got married about 6 or 7 years back. If there was no registration of marriage probably my girlfriend's status is still single in the database of the government but this is just what I think.

I think I might have to pay a visit to the Department of Marriage in Vientiane to get the Single Status Letter and maybe the Divorce Decree as well, if so can anyone tell me how to get there?

By the way, how far is the Vientiane Wattay Airport from the city? What is the best way to get to the city from Vientiane and vice versa?

Please help me with this asap, many thanks :whistling:

#20 Vientianeboy

Posted 09 March 2011 - 12:01 AM

I suspect the best way to prove her single status is to get a statement from the Naiban, (village chief), of her local village. This would not be expensive and does carry an official stamp. Check in Malaysia to see if this would be satisfactory. You will probably find that your girlfriend had to register he engagement with the Naiban anyway.

Wattay Airport is about 10 minutes from the centre of town. At the front of the airport just to the left of the main door there is a taxi counter. Get a voucher for a taxi to take you into town - about 60,000Kip from memory.
Alternatively walk to the main street - about 200 metres, and catch a tuk tuk for about 20-30,000 Kip.

#21 chuck86

Posted 09 March 2011 - 10:02 AM

View PostVientianeboy, on 09 March 2011 - 12:01 AM, said:

I suspect the best way to prove her single status is to get a statement from the Naiban, (village chief), of her local village. This would not be expensive and does carry an official stamp. Check in Malaysia to see if this would be satisfactory. You will probably find that your girlfriend had to register he engagement with the Naiban anyway.

Wattay Airport is about 10 minutes from the centre of town. At the front of the airport just to the left of the main door there is a taxi counter. Get a voucher for a taxi to take you into town - about 60,000Kip from memory.
Alternatively walk to the main street - about 200 metres, and catch a tuk tuk for about 20-30,000 Kip.

Hey Vientianeboy, thank you for replying me so fast. Do you know the Lao term for single status letter? Do you know anything about the Divorce Decree? I supposed if the the engagement was done with the Naiban then there must be a copy of divorce decree that I can get from the Naiban when the marriage was dissolved?

Ive been trying to reach the Lao Embassy in Malaysia by phone but for 2 days someone answered and told me to call back next day or in the afternon because "nobody" is inside   :whistling: I would like to visit the Embassy in person if I could but I can hardly get an off day now.

I will be in Laos for probably 2 or 3 days and I have to get back to Malaysia after that I'm afraid it might took more than 2 or 3 days to get the documents from the relevant government office.


I got to know that I dont need a Visa for stay of less than a month in any ASEAN countries except for Myanmar.
Does that mean upon my arrival I just fill in the white card like we do for Thailand?
Regarding the secret law, will I get into trouble for staying in the same hotel room with my girlfriend in Vientiane?

#22 laomalay

Posted 21 March 2011 - 08:42 AM

Hi how do i get in touch with the lao TDS Company? Whats the contact info pls.

Thanks a lot

#23 laos

Posted 14 June 2011 - 12:14 PM

HI guys,

Just want to share my two cents worth of info for anyone intending to marry a LAO lady.

Firstly, just to let you know I'm a Malaysian citizen and that Laotians coming to Malaysia is VISA free. They do not require to apply for visa and they may stay up to 30 days. Should you have a very good reason for extending your stay the immigration dept will extend for another 14 or 30 days. There's always the other route which you could get their tourist visa extended. (I have re-stamped continuously for 10 months no problem).

Okay with that, let's move on to the marrriage part. Do not waste time and money (unless you have lots of it, even if you do, burn the money somewhere else) getting married in LAOS! The easiest thing to do is get your partner to follow you back to Malaysia and get married. Getting married in Malaysia is much much more easier, less time consuming and best of all saves you LOTSSSS of MONEY!!!

Just make an inquiry with our MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS and they'd provide you with all the details. If you should go to the MALAYSIAN EMBASSY in LAOS they will also advise you to do the same.

My Experience trying to get married in LAOS:
The experience is painful, lots of run around, money here and money there. ITs always a long story of whats not able to do then comes the part about the money!!! See they make you believe its a daunting task to get the documentations done. Getting the right officials to sign off on your marriage approval form. Come on, why do we need to get someones approval (other than the parents) to get married. This is absurd.

Anyways, When that's done, (that's gonna like take forever!) you'd probably start to doubt the relationship by then. Agents, they are worst. Trust me, DO NOT ENGAGE THE AGENTS. They are the blood suckers of all suckers. They are the ones whom are responsible for the fictional stories which you fork your money out without even a second thought.

I had patiently waited for 3 months in LAOS, residing with my spouse (girlfriend then) in her village. Be cautious, if you want to do this, be ready to expect the worst. If you are caught then it spells trouble not only for you, but also your future in-laws as well.

I had my ways, not gonna share it here, if interested pls email me.

After the long awaited 3 months, my patience ran out and called it quits. Brought her here in Malaysia with me to reside. Problem is the VISA. We weren't sure at first, so i asked agents in malaysia. RM4000 was the price tag for the LONG TERM PASS application and the marriage. It was not worth spending that kind of money.

So we decided to ask around with the relevant government agencies. Some of the officers from several departments were very kind to assist.

Anyways just to cut it short, we did our registration in putrajaya and got our certificate within the next day. Then we took it to the LAOS embassy in Ampang and they gave us a LAOS marriage certificate on the same day. That was that. I spent in all about RM200 and everything was done. Unlike in LAOS, money is paid even when nothing has been done yet.

Anyways hopew that gave you an idea. I can explain in details but pls send me an email.

#24 laos

Posted 21 June 2011 - 03:54 AM

HI CHUCK86,

Not sure about divorce cases but my wife did not require to get her single status letter from her country but instead we paid RM7 (i think) at the high court to get an affidavit, where she has to solemnly swear that she is single and not married in any country. That solved my problem, don't know if that helps you

#25 bluediamondz

Posted 06 September 2011 - 05:09 AM

Canadian citizen marrying laos citizen in thailand.

does anyone know the next step towards registering this with the laos govt.  

do I go to embassy? consulate?


PM me please.. i could use advice from anyone who might know.

#26 britmaveric

Posted 06 September 2011 - 11:47 AM

Dunno this might be useful to you diamond...

http://www.canadaint...lang=eng&view=d

#27 กำนัน

Posted 06 September 2011 - 07:39 PM

View Postbluediamondz, on 06 September 2011 - 05:09 AM, said:

PM me please.. i could use advice from anyone who might know.
New members/Trial members (i.e. you) cannot send or receive PM's. There are two reasons for this: Firstly, it is to prevent spammers targeting our PM system, which is very difficult to detect, so we just prevent new sign ups from sending PMs... Secondly, this forum encourages productive dialogue and information SHARING...

Think about it, you would never have found this resource had you not found a publically available forum thread here, and arrived at this site, because it was readable by everyone.

#28 bluediamondz

Posted 07 September 2011 - 05:48 AM

View Postbritmaveric, on 06 September 2011 - 11:47 AM, said:

Dunno this might be useful to you diamond...

http://www.canadaint...lang=eng&view=d

Thanks for the link Brit...  but thats for marrying in LAOS...  i want to know what I do to register a marriage that takes place in thailand... so that when we go to laos we wont get arrested, etc

#29 britmaveric

Posted 07 September 2011 - 10:28 AM

^I'd imagine you still need to go through the same hoops. (get permission ect - thing is I don't think the marriage will be recognized unless you do)

#30 กำนัน

Posted 12 September 2011 - 08:08 PM

I just deleted a post by bluediamondz, which was just a cut and paste from another website, as the information is already available, in verbose form, on Orient Expat: Getting married in Thailand
Call the Laos embassy and ask them how to make the marriage legal in Laos if you register the marriage in Thailand. Return to here to share the information with us.


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

Copyright © 2014 Orient Expat™
Contact us/Advertise