How to get a visa for Cambodia

You can’t wait to experience the uniquely jaw-dropping Angkor Wat, spectacular tropical beaches and amazingly friendly people in the completely awesome country of Cambodia.  We hear you!

But before you dash right in, make sure you know how to get the right visa for Cambodia.

Do I need a visa for Cambodia?

Unless you’re a passport holder from one of the ASEN countries that has a visa exemption agreement with Cambodia, you’ll need to get a visa.

Cambodia has tightened up its regulations significantly in 2018, so it’s important that you do follow their procedures. The good news is that, for most nationalities, it’s still a fairly straightforward process to get a visa for Cambodia.

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Tourist visa (T)

If you’re only planning a short stay in Cambodia, the simplest option is a single-entry tourist (T) visa. This is valid for 30 days and can be renewed once for a further 30 days. After that, you’ll have to leave and apply for a new visa if you want to spend more time in Cambodia.

There are three main ways to get a single entry, 30-day tourist visa for Cambodia:

  1. Visa on arrival

If you’re arriving at Phnom Penh, Siem Reap or Sihanoukville international airports you can apply for a tourist visa on arrival. You’ll need:

  • Completed application form (forms are normally handed out on the flights)
  • Passport valid for at least six months from your arrival date
  • Recent passport photo
  • US dollars to pay for your visa application fee (although there are ATMs in the airport, if you forget to get some in advance).
  1. Cambodian Embassy

You can apply for a tourist visa from your closest Cambodian Embassy either in person or by post. You’ll need:

  • A completed application form (available from the Embassy and online)
  • Passport valid for at least six months after your departure date from Cambodia
  • One passport size photo, taken within the last 12 months
  • Application fee.

Your visa will normally take around a week to process and will be valid for 30 days from your entry date.

  1. E-visa

If you’re arriving at one of Cambodia’s main border points, including Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville international airports, you can apply for an e-visa online before you go.

To apply for an e-visa for Cambodia you’ll need:

  • Passport valid for at least six months after your departure date from Cambodia
  • One passport size photo, taken within the last 12 months, in digital format (JPEG or PNG)
  • Credit card to pay the application fee
  • To state your entry point into Cambodia.

The e-visa takes around 3 days to process. You’ll receive an e-visa certificate that you’ll need to show when you enter Cambodia and your visa will be valid for 30 days from your entry date.

Ordinary / business visa (EB)

If you’re planning on a longer stay in Cambodia or want to work while you’re there (teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) for example), you should apply for an ordinary / business (E) visa rather than the tourist (T) visa.

Tip: Don’t confuse this with the online e-visa. “E” / “e”. See – completely different!!

You usually can apply for an E-type visa in advance from your closest Cambodian Embassy or on arrival at Phnom Penh, Siem Reap or Sihanoukville international airports. As with the tourist visa, the ordinary visa will still normally be issued for an initial period of 30 days. However the important difference is that, with the E visa, you can apply for a three-month EB visa extension to make the most of your trip.

If you want to stay longer still (and after all, why wouldn’t you?), it’s possible for apply for a renewable multiple-entry EB visa extension of up to 12 months. However, this is no longer quite the simple process it used to be. When you apply for the extension, you now need to present a work permit, employment letter / contract, business licence or other relevant document showing you’ve got a valid reason for staying in the country longer.

Work permit

To work legally in Cambodia, you need a valid work permit as well as your EB visa. The Cambodian government is currently cracking down hard on ex-pats working without the correct permit – and you can face a fine, deportation or possibly even time in jail if you work without a permit. It’s just not worth it!!

On the plus side, your employer will apply for your work permit rather than you. However, you’ll need to provide a health check certificate and three current passport photos for the application as well as your passport and valid visa.

A few extra words from the (sometimes!) wise …

If you’ve applied for a visa in advance, don’t get caught out by the validity date. This refers to the time you have to enter Cambodia – and NOT how long you can stay.

Also, if you’ve recently been in a country where there’s a risk of transmitting yellow fever, you’ll need a yellow fever certificate to get into Cambodia.

And finally – make sure your passport is stamped and you’re given a departure form when you arrive. You’ll need these to leave!

Check, check, check …

Always check the latest information from your closest Cambodian Embassy before you travel. Cambodia is tightening up its visa regulations and becoming much stricter around enforcing the rules!

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