This is an ultimate guide to immigration in Cambodia.
When a foreigner wishes to enter Cambodia, whether it is for tourism, study or business, it is a requirement that valid visas must be secured.
Let’s take a look at the different types of visas in Cambodia.
Types of visas in Cambodia
There are five types of visas foreigners can obtain in Cambodia, which include:
- Tourist visa (T-class)
- Ordinary visa (E-class)
- Khmer visa (K-class)
- Official visa (B-class)
- Courtesy visa (C-class)
Tourist visa (T-class)
The tourist visa (T-class) is issued to foreigners who will be staying in Cambodia for 30 days or less.
The tourist visa can be obtained in advance or on arrival which you get at the airport. The visa is only available for single-entries but can be renewed for an additional 30 days. After the extended 30 days, the visa holder will have to leave Cambodia and obtain a new visa to revisit.
Ordinary visa (E-class)
Foreigners who are staying in Cambodia for an extended period of time may consider applying for the ordinary visa (E-class).
Ordinary visas are also valid for 30 days. However, the ordinary can be extended endlessly for one month, three months, six months or one year. If you hold the 1- and 3-month visa and leave Cambodia, your visa will be invalid, and you have to apply for a new visa to re-enter, but with the 6-month and 1-year visa, you are allowed multiple entries into Cambodia.
There are four types of extensions for the E-class visa, which are:
- EB (business visa extension)
- EG (general visa extension)
- ER (retirement visa extension)
- ES (student visa extension)
EB (business visa extension)
The EB visa extension is issued to foreigners who plan to work in Cambodia.
The visa covers:
- Foreigners who are working in Cambodia
- Foreigners who want to start a business
- Foreigners’ spouse and children
Even though the foreigner has obtained the EB visa extension, it does not guarantee that the foreigner can work in Cambodia. Work permits and foreign employment cards must also be secured to work in Cambodia legally.
Spouses and children of the EB visa holders can submit the visa holder’s employment letter stating that the company supports the spouse’s EB application as a non-working dependent.
Self-employed foreigners and those who have a registered business in Cambodia can write a letter confirming their employment which must be stamped with a business stamp.
Documents needed to apply for an EB visa extension are:
- Passport photo
- Address in Cambodia
- Employment contract or proof of business
- Work permit
- Health insurance
During the first six months or one year, you can apply for the EB visa without a work permit, in case you are still looking for work. However, you will need to submit your work permit or proof of business when it is the second six months or one year.
Work permit and employment card application
The work permit is issued by the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training (MOLVT). The permit is valid for one year; however, it is only valid until 31 December of the year it was issued.
Work permits must be renewed within 1 January and 31 March, and late renewals are subject to penalties which start on 1 April.
The employment card contains the employment history of the foreigner in Cambodia. The card is valid for one year and must be renewed before 31 March.
Applications can be made online through the MOLVT Foreign Workers Centralised Management System. Individuals who need help with the application may engage with the services of Acclime.
EG (general visa extension)
The EG extension is issued to foreigners who are seeking jobs in Cambodia and is valid for 1, 3 or 6 months.
ER (retirement visa extension)
The retirement extension is issued to foreigners of retirement age who have proof of retirement in their home country, such as pensions or social security. The retirement extension is only available to foreigners aged 55 or above who can financially support themselves.
The ER retirement visa extension can be issued for 1, 3, 6 or 12 months.
ES (student visa extension)
The ES student visa extension is issued to students who intend to study in Cambodia. Students who are applying for this visa extension must provide a letter from the Cambodian school and have evidence of funds to support themselves.
The ES student visa can be issued for 1, 3, 6 or 12 months.
The Khmer (K-class) visas are issued to Cambodian descendants that enter Cambodia with a foreign passport. Valid documents to prove that their parents are Cambodian citizens, such as a birth certificate, marriage certificate, family book or Cambodian ID card are required.
This visa gives the applicant unlimited entrance into Cambodia.
Official visa (B-class)
The official visa or B-class visa is issued to foreign employees of organisations, such as the United Nations or World Health Organisation, who enter Cambodia with the government’s invitation.
Courtesy visa (C-class)
The courtesy visa is issued for free for employees of international NGOs that have a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The international NGO will have to apply for the visa in advance and have a representative meet the applicant at the airport with a letter of attestation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. However, if you enter Cambodia with another type of visa, you will have to leave and re-enter to get a C-class visa.
What are the basic requirements for applying for a visa in Cambodia?
To apply for visas in Cambodia, you will need:
- An international passport issued by your home country and valid for at least six months
- Passport-sized photos
- Documents required by the immigration office, such as a cover letter or invitation letter
- Accommodation proof (visa on arrival)
- Visa application form (visa on arrival)
Where can Cambodian visas be obtained?
To get a Cambodian visa, you can apply for one on arrival, at the Cambodian embassy or online.
Visa on arrival
The visa on arrival is only issued to foreigners who enter Cambodia for tourism or business purposes, the T-class visa and EB visa.
Visas on arrival are available at the following entry points:
- Phnom Penh International Airport
- Siem Reap International Airport
The ability to obtain a visa on arrival has been suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Prior to boarding a flight to Cambodia, all foreigners must have obtained a visa from the Cambodian Embassy in their country. There are also rules, which are changing frequently, on Covid testing before getting on a plane and quarantine on arrival in Cambodia. In this respect, you need to check with the Cambodian Embassy in your country as to the rules in place at the time of your intended travel.
The Cambodian embassy
If preferred, visas can be applied in advance at the Cambodian embassy or consulate in your home country.
In non-Covid times, nationalities that are required to get a visa in advance at the Cambodian embassy are:
- Saudi Arabia
- Sri Lanka
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation established an online system to process visas for Cambodia called the e-visa. However, only the tourist visa (T-class) can be processed online. Again, the granting of visas online has been suspended due to Covid-19.
Cambodia has increasingly supported foreign investment, and more foreigners are entering Cambodia for reasons such as tourism, work, study or retirement.
Before you enter Cambodia, you will need to know which type of visa you need and can always contact Acclime if you need any guidance or help to secure a visa in Cambodia.
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