2015-10-19 13:28:25

To work in Cambodia, you will have to obtain a work visa. You are also advised to inquire on the labor market's requirements and working conditions.

If you are going to work in Cambodia, here is some useful information to guide you with procedures and help you find a job.

Cambodia is very open towards foreign expertise, as well as foreign investment. In fact, the country has been attracting expatriates in large numbers since many years thanks to its diversified economy and numerous opportunities that are available there. However, finding a job there may not be as easy as it seems. In fact, you will need some perseverance, and patience above all. You are also advised to inquire on its labor market's requirements and on employment conditions beforehand.

 Good to know:

Cambodia is deemed to be one of Asia's least developed countries with a population consisting of 50% of less than 21 years old people. Moreover, the local workforce suffers from lack of education and training.


The Cambodian economy relies on the following pillars: agriculture (rice, tobacco, soyabean and rubber), fishing, textiles, construction and tourism. These altogether make a 20% contribution to its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Note that the country's economy also relies on international aid at a rate of 12% of its GDP. Thus, there is much to do before it can export to European and American countries.

Moreover, agriculture is highly dependent on climate changes that affect the region. Internal authorities are conscious about the export and finance sectors' weaknesses while the European Commission has pinpointed the fisheries sector for illegal activity in 2013.

Promising sectors

Despite those uncertainties, the Cambodian labor market is still open towards foreign expertise. Most professional opportunities are available in its major cities, namely Siem Reap in the South and in Phnom Penh, the capital city in the South. However, it all depends on the type of job you are looking for. If you are looking for a small job like in guest houses, bar and restaurants, for instance, you can easily be hired.

Otherwise, you can turn to the CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) for private tutoring or teaching opportunities in international schools. You may be eligible for attractive salaries. Feel free to call at these institutions personally to leave your resume, and why not seek an appointment with the director.

Find a job

In most cases, foreigners going to work in Cambodia are transferred by their company. Thus, they are entitled to many facilities such as accommodation, schooling if they have children, etc. But if you are looking for a job there on your own, you can explore various avenues, especially if you have qualifications and skills which are not available locally. In fact, many local firms are constantly looking for specific technical expertise so as to better develop and expand their activities. Your professional experience will be much appreciated.

 Good to know:

Being a foreigner in Cambodia does not qualify you straightaway for employment. In fact, you must be fluent in oral and written English and be able to prove that you have qualifications and skills which are not available locally. Moreover, some knowledge of the Khmer language and a minimum of understanding of some local phrases will be a considerable asset.


You have to obtain a work visa and a work permit to be authorized to work in Cambodia. To apply for these, you have to produce the following documents:

  • 3 copies of the application form available at the Ministry of Internal Affairs
  • a passport with valid visa
  • 3 passport-size (4 × 6) identity photographs taken bareheaded
  • a health certificate issued by a licensed doctor in Cambodia
  • a written employment contract
  • a health insurance offered provided by your employer or an insurance company.

Application for the work permit has to be made at the local Sangkat office if you are already on the spot. Otherwise, your employer will take care of related formalities on your behalf.

Working conditions


Employment conditions in Cambodia are almost similar to those applied at the international level. Hence, you are more likely to earn more than a local employee as a barang or foreigner.

As regards public holidays, these are paid at a rate of 200% of the daily wage.

Overtime is paid at a rate of 150% of the daily wage during the day and at 200%% when it is performed at night or on a rest day.

In case of illness, conditions and benefits should be subject to an agreement between the employer and his employee. In case the employee has not resumed work after 6 months, his employment contract can be terminated.

Working hours

A legal working week in Cambodia consists of 48 hours and a full rest day per week. A less than 48 hours working week is considered as a part-time working week. Moreover, whereby an employee has to perform overtime, he should not have worked for more than 10 hours a day or 54 hours a week.


A full-time employee is entitled to 18 days paid leave per year. An extra day is added for each three years completed within the same company.

As regards part-time employees, their paid leaves are calculated according to the number of months or years they have been working in the company.

In Cambodia, employees are also entitled to special leaves in cases of birth, marriage, death, illness of a child, parent or spouse. However, these leaves are deducted from the number of accumulated annual leaves, or the next vacation. But employees can even catch up by doing overtime.


In the case of a fixed-term contract, it will have a two years duration and be renewable. However, the employer does not have to justify his decision if he does not wish to renew the contract after two years. Note that the contract should clearly mention the starting and ending dates. Otherwise, it will be considered as a permanent contract.

In the case of a permanent contract, the employer has to justify his decision of terminating the employee's contract. He also has to pay the employees remaining leaves on the latter's departure.

Social security

The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) is responsible for workers' protection and social security in Cambodia. The employer is responsible for the affiliation of any new worker, including foreigners, to the NSSF. A monthly contribution of 0.8% before income tax is deducted from the employee's salary. The employer, for his part, is responsible for providing coverage to his employees in the case of work injuries, including payment payment of medical expenses and transportation costs to the hospital, as well as in the case of permanent disability by paying a life pension calculated on the basis of financial loss caused by the accident.

Hiring quotas

The hiring of foreigners in Cambodia is regulated by a quota system. Thus, the number of foreign employees should not exceed 10% of the total number of employees. More precisely, a Cambodian company is allowed to recruit 1% of manual workers, 3% of office staff and 6% of experts. However, some companies can exceed this quota under certain conditions.

 Useful links:

Expat.com Jobs in Cambodia 
Expat.com – Work in Cambodia Forum 
Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training www.mlvt.gov.kh
National Employment Agency www.nea.gov.kh
Cambodia Recruitment Agency www.cra.com.kh
HRInc Cambodia www.hrinc.com.kh
CAMHR www.camhr.com
Bong Thom bongthom.com
HR Cambodia www.hrcambodia.com
Eslbase www.eslbase.com

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.