VIENTIANE, June 22 (Xinhua) -- The Consular Department under Lao Ministry for Foreign Affairs has issued an official notice to inform the general public that the U.S. government has suspended the issuance of visas to Lao citizens, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Monday.
The Consular Department had received an official notification from the U.S. embassy, saying that starting from April 1, the U.S. government discontinued issuance of all immigrant and nonimmigrant visas for Lao citizens and nationals applying in Laos, except for certain types.
Officials who want to travel to the United States for work under the multilateral framework, the United Nations system and Lao diplomatic mission in the United States would still be able to apply for a visa, according to the department.
The visa suspension will affect those planning to travel to the United States for leisure, family visits, training, study, work, and exchange programmes. Lao citizens wanting to meet up with their fiance or spouse are also unable to obtain a U.S. visa, according to the department.
"The Consular Department said the reasons underpinning the U.S. government's decision to discontinue the issuance of visas for Lao citizens was due to the inability of the Lao government to respond to the demand of the U.S. government to accept the return of criminals, who claimed to be Lao nationals," said the Lao daily on Monday. Enditem