Chapter 15 : Immigration and Naturalization
Foreigners wishing to enter Cambodia may apply for a visa at a Cambodian embassy or consulate outside the country. There are various categories of non-immigrant visas, as follows;
- Diplomatic Visa (Category A);
- Oﬃcial Visa (Category B);
- Courtesy Visa (Category C);
- Transit Visa (Category D);
- Ordinary Visa (commonly referred to as a “Business Visa” or Category E);
- Special Visa (Category K); and
- Tourist Visa (Category T).
The Ordinary Visa is the visa under which most businesspeople enter Cambodia. Foreigners entering Cambodia to undertake a technical assistance contract would obtain a Category B visa.
Tourist Visas and Ordinary Visas may be issued at most Cambodian ports of entry, including the international airports. However, Diplomatic and Oﬃcial visas must be obtained through the Ministry of Foreign Aﬀairs and International Cooperation (“MOFA”), via a Cambodian embassy outside the country.
Extensions of non-tourist visas are possible upon application to the appropriate department of the Ministry of Interior or to the MOFA for United Nations staﬀ and those employed by humanitarian organizations.
Extensions can be obtained for most categories of visas for up to one year. Repeated extensions are permitted for certain categories such as Ordinary Visas for businesspeople. For foreigners employed in Cambodia, the individual must present his/her work permit and employment card as issued by the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training (“MLVT”), as well as proof of employment contract to receive a visa E extension, with multiple entry of up to one year.
The Cambodian Investment Board (“CIB”) has an oﬃce to assist investors in obtaining long-term Ordinary Visas for their employees. However, it is also possible to obtain the visa directly from the Ministry of Interior. The fee will vary depending on the length of the extension.
At present, it is not possible to obtain a long-term employment visa outside Cambodia as the required paperwork is only available in-country. The required documents include the employment card and work permit discussed in Chapter 16 (“Labor and Employment”), as well as a health certificate issued by the Health Department of the MLVT. These requirements must be met regardless of whether the employee obtains a visa through the CIB oﬃce or from the Ministry of Interior.
The MOFA has launched an “e-Visa,” which enables foreigners to apply for a Cambodia Tourist Visa online. An e-Visa can be obtained by completing the online application form at www.mfaic.gov.kh/e-visa/vindex.aspx and paying by credit card. A person applying for an e-Visa must have a passport valid for more than six months at the time of entry, a recent passport-size photo in digital format and a valid credit card to pay the visa fee. However, nationals of certain countries (such as Afghanistan, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Sudan) are ineligible for the e-Visa scheme. Furthermore, the e-Visa system is only available for those applying for Tourist Visas. Applications for Ordinary Visas must go through the Ministry of Interior.
2. Oﬃcial Fees for Visa Extensions
Tourist Visas are initially granted with one month validity for an official fee approximately USD 30. The official fee for extending a Tourist Visa is USD 30 for one time only with validity of one month.
Oﬃcial Visas, Diplomatic Visas and Courtesy Visas are initially granted with three months validity. Oﬃcial Visas and Diplomatic Visas can be extended for one month to twelve months or until mission termination at the latest. Courtesy Visas can be extended for one to twelve months. Extensions of Oﬃcial Visas, Diplomatic Visas and Courtesy Visas are free of charge.
Transit Visas are initially granted with five days validity and cannot be extended except for cases of force majeure. The official fee is approximately USD 15.
Special Visas are granted to persons whose original nationality is Cambodian and who hold foreign travel documents. This period of validity is not limited.
Ordinary/Business Visas are initially granted with one month validity for an official fee of approximately USD 35. Ordinary/Business Visas can be extended for one month (single entry), three months (single entry), six months (multiple entry) and one year (multiple entry) at the Immigration Department of the Ministry of Interior.
3. Visa Exemption
|Countries||Type of Passport||Duration|
|Brunei Durassalam||PD||PS||X||14 days||14 days||14 days|
|Indonesia||PD||PS||PN||14 days||14 days||30 days|
|Lao PDR||PD||PS||PN||30 days||30 days||30 days|
|Malaysia||PD||PS||PN||30 days||30 days||30 days|
|Myanmar||PD||PS||X||30 days||30 days||14 days|
|Philippines||PD||PS||PN||30 days||30 days||21 days|
|Singapore||PD||PS||PN||30 days||30 days||30 days|
|Thailand||PD||PS||PN||30 days||30 days||14 days|
|Vietnam||PD||PS||PN||30 days||30 days||30 days|
* (1) Passport Diplomatic (PD)
* (2) Passport Service (PS)
* (3) Passport Normal (PN)
Further Information for other countries is available at www.evisa.gov.kh
4. Cambodian Citizenship
Cambodian citizenship may be obtained through marriage to a Cambodian citizen or through a naturalization process whereby citizenship is granted by the state. The requirements for such naturalization are specified in the Nationality Law. In addition, sub-decrees detailing the specific procedures were issued in 2013.
Cambodian law recognizes dual citizenship, and therefore does not require a person to surrender his or her citizenship upon attaining citizenship of another state. A person may only “lose” their Cambodian citizenship if they decide to voluntarily surrender it.
The following chart lists the criteria required for a foreigner to become a Cambodian citizen:
|Requirement||Possibility of Waiver|
|Good attitude and ethics, with a certificate issued by the municipal oﬃce where residing.||No possibility of waiver specified.|
|No criminal record.||Waiver specified.|
|Certificate of permanent residence for seven years (three if born in Cambodia).||Waived for certain investors and donors.|
|Resident in Cambodia while applying for naturalization.||Waived for certain donors.|
|Speak and write Khmer, know Cambodian history, can “live peacefully” with Khmers and respect Cambodian traditions.||No possibility of waiver specified.|
|The physical and mental abilities of the applicant do not cause danger or encumbrance to the nation.||Waiver specified.|
A foreigner investing from KHR 1.25 billion (about USD 330,000) or more can become a Cambodian citizen without satisfying the seven-year Cambodian residency requirement, but must still satisfy all other requirements. A foreigner who donates from KHR 1 billion (about USD 265,000) or more to the state budget can obtain Cambodian citizenship without satisfying either the seven-year residency requirement or the requirement that the applicant be resident at the time of applying for citizenship, but still must satisfy all other requirements.
Chapter 16 : Labour and Employment
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