Explore Ratanakiri

Visa types for the Kingdom of Cambodia

Unless you have a passport from one of the other ASEAN member countries, you are going to need a visa to enter Cambodia. But don’t worry, the process is pretty painless and relatively cheap for citizens of most countries. However, it’s important to know which of the visa options is best for you. The first thing to know is what brings you to the Kingdom of Wonder?

I want to see the beautiful sights and experience the country, and then go back home. (Tourist Visa)

If you are coming to explore Cambodia for fewer than 60 days, then you’re going to want a standard Tourist Visa, or T-class visa. The Tourist Visa only costs $30 and is valid for a single entry of 30 days, though it can be extended once for an additional month at most travel agencies. There officially is no need for any additional documentation, such as insurance or vaccination. Just a passport which is valid for six months and thirty dollars in cash. That being said, there are isolated incidents of customs officials asking for proof of funds from people they claim to suspect of planning to stay illegally. This is not official policy, but sadly does sometimes happen, particularly to people holding Indian, Bengali, or African passports.

For citizens of most countries, you can get the Tourist Visa on arrival at any of Cambodia’s main ports of entry, or in advance via the government’s eVisa website if you want to skip the line.  However, if you are taking a long trip through the country, you should be warned that the eVisa is much more tricky to extend, and slightly more expensive, so it may be better to do the visa on arrival. It usually takes only a few minutes and a small amount of paperwork at the port of entry. Also, passports from a handful of countries cannot use the eVisa system.

If you fall in love with the country and decide you want to stay, you will have to leave and come back on an Ordinary Visa. So if you think that might be a possibility, save yourself the hassle and get an Ordinary Visa off the bat.

NOTE: eVisa is not the same thing as an E-class Visa. The E-class visa is a category of visa which we will cover in the next section, while eVisa is the system for pre-arranging a visa online.

I want to dive in and start a new Cambodian life! (Long term visas)

Whether you want to work, start a business, or retire in Cambodia, you are going to need an Ordinary Visa, otherwise known as an E-class visa. This visa is applied for in exactly the same way as the Tourist Visa: either on arrival or over the internet, but costs $35 instead of $30. Unlike the Tourist visa, it can be extended indefinitely from inside the country, provided you meet certain criteria. The generic Ordinary Visa allows you to look for work and look for a residence, however after 30 days you will have to convert it into one of the following specific long-term stay visas:

Looking for Work Visa (EG-class): You do not need any additional documents to get this visa, and for all intents and purposes it is a three month extension of the generic Ordinary Visa. It cannot be extended additionally, so if you fail to find a job or other way of staying in the country before the time is up, you will have to leave and re-enter to try again. This visa costs $80 at most travel agencies.

Employment/business visa (EB-class): This is by far the most popular visa with foreign residents in Cambodia. To get this visa, you will have to present a letter of employment, a PATENT tax form, and a work permit from your employer. You will need to supply at least 1 passport photo and pay around $280 for a one year visa. Alternatively, you can get a 1 month, 3 month, or 6 month EB-class visa for cheaper prices (which vary between travel agencies) but it is always more cost effective to take the longest available visa. If you have not yet been able to acquire a work permit from your employer, you can only get this visa for six months, and for future extensions you will need the work permit.

If you are self-employed or working remotely, you will either have to register a business (a complicated affair not covered here) or write the most formal looking letter you can muster explaining your situation and have it stamped at a stamp shop. The effectiveness of this second method varies from person to person, and often involves paying extra “fees.”

It should be noted that having an EB-class visa does not mean that you can legally work in Cambodia. You will additionally need to get a work permit through your employer. If you wish to extent your EB-class visa, you will have to present a valid work permit.

Retirement visa (ER-class): The retirement visa is granted to those over 55 who are no longer employed. To get this visa, you will have to show documentation that you are officially retired, or proof of sufficient funds, although there are no official guidelines as to what qualifies as “sufficient funds” and you will have to talk to a travel agent about that. However some people who recently got this visa said that a monthly income of at least $500, or $6,000 in the bank, was sufficient to get a one year extension, costing $270-$300, depending on the agency.

I want to bring my children to see Cambodia! (Children’s visas)

For entry into Cambodia, children are not treated differently from adults and must acquire a Tourist Visa if coming just for travel, or an Ordinary Visa to stay in Cambodia for a longer period. In order to extend their Visa, you will have to submit their paperwork as a dependent along with yours. The specifics of this are nebulous, and you may need your employer to write a separate letter saying that they sponsor them. This also applies to a spouse or other dependent who will not be getting their own employment.

It’s best to talk to a travel agent about the specifics of your situation.

Where do I go to extend my visa?

Technically, all visas and visa extensions are handled by the Ministry of Immigration. While some expatriates do go directly to their offices for visa needs, most seem to think that it is too time consuming and complicated for the small amount of money saved. Rather, most go through a travel agent who charges a modest fee to take care of all of it for them. 

In Ratanakiri, we recommend Jammy from Parrot Tours as an agent to extend your visa. We have used his service numerous times. He is very reliable and the visa extensions were always done without a hiccup.

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