Do you need a visa to travel to Cambodia? What is the most appropriate visa according to your situation? Find out in this article.
On traveling to Cambodia, it is best to inquire with the Cambodian embassy or consulate in your home country whether or not you need a visa. In general, you will need a visa, regardless of your nationality and the purpose of your stay. In some cases, the visa can be requested on the spot while in others, the application has to be made at Cambodian authorities in your home country. Make sure to inquire on related conditions before moving.
Visa on arrival
In general, most foreigners traveling to Cambodia can apply for a visa on arrival at any Cambodian international airport or at border posts. However, those coming from the following countries are required to apply for a visa in their home country prior to their departure: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka and Sudan.
On the other hand, foreigners coming from the following countries are exempted from the visa requirement for stays of 21 to 30 days: Brunei (less than 14 days), Indonesia (less than 30 days), Laos (less than 30 days), Malaysia (less than 30 days), Myanmar (less than 14 days), Philippines (less than 21 days), Singapore (less than 30 days), Seychelles (less than 15 days), Thailand (less than 14 days) and Vietnam (less than 30 days).
Types of visa
The tourist visa (T), applies to those who wish to make a short trip in the country, whether to discover it or to visit their family. The tourist visa is a single-entry visa which is valid for a maximum period of one month. Note that it does not allow you to work or take part in any economic or business activity. It is issued within 48 hours following the application date.
The business visa (E) allows you to perform business activities, visit your associates, attend scientific seminars, take part in a professional activity with a university, attend conferences, negotiate succession or conclude a contract with a Cambodian organization. The business visa is single-entry visa, usually issued to businessmen, journalists and workers, allowing them to make a maximum of 30 days stay in the country.
Note that you are required to produce evidence regarding the purpose of your stay or mission in Cambodia. However, it can be extended on the spot following a request to the Ministry of Internal Affairs' Foreigners Department which is found opposite the Phnom Penh International Airport. The visa is generally issued within 48 hours following the application date.
Diplomatic or service visa
The diplomatic or service visa applies to holders of diplomatic and service passports. It can be requested only upon presentation of a diplomatic note or formal engagement letter issued by a competent organization. It is issued free of charge and authorizes its holder to make a maximum of 90 days stay on an official mission in Cambodia. Beyond this period, the visa can be renewed following a written request to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Phnom Penh. This visa is generally issued within a week following the application date.
If you are required to transit through Cambodia during your trip to another country and you wish to pass through the Cambodian Immigration Department, you will need a transit visa. In case it is a direct transit, you do not need a visa. You can simply produce a valid passport and your return tickets. However, you will have to remain within the airport area until your next flight.
There are two types of work visas in Cambodia: the temporary work visa and the permanent work visa. The temporary work visa is intended for expatriates who regularly work in Cambodia. The permanent work visa, for its part, is restricted to major investors and friends of high officials. The work visa has to be requested from the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Whereby the employer considers that a work permit is not required, the applicant has to produce the following documents:
- 3 copies of a duly filled and signed application form from the Ministry of Internal Affairs
- a passport with a valid visa
- 3 passport-size (4 × 6) photographs taken bareheaded
- a health certificate issued by a doctor in Cambodia
- a written work contract
- an expatriate insurance policy issued by the employer or an insurance company.
Fees of some US$ 100 are to be paid by the applicant. However, this amount is subject to changes. Hence, it is best to inquire with related authorities.
Good to know:
Since a few years, Cambodian authorities have been trying to strengthen immigration laws. Thus, you may have to pay fees of US$ 100 per year for the number of years you have spent in Cambodia. Note that these fees are retroactive.
The courtesy visa applies to important public figures (VIP) or persons who are actively involved in bilateral cooperation. It is issued on express request to the competent authorities for a special mission not exceeding 90 days.
The K visa applies to Cambodian nationals who are traveling back to Cambodia but with a valid foreign passport. Note, however, that they are required to produce evidence as to their Cambodian citizenship or nationality.
Good to know:
In case there is no Cambodian embassy or consulate in your home country, you can apply for an E-visa on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation website.
Expat.com – Visas in Cambodia Forum
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation – E-visa www.evisa.gov.kh
Embassy of Cambodia in the UK www.cambodianembassy.org.uk
Embassy of Cambodia in the UK – Visa application form www.cambodianembassy.org.uk/downloads
Embassy of Cambodia in the US www.embassyofcambodia.org