Who Needs What & How

By now you may be familiar with the standard one-month tourist visas costing $30. However, this can only be extended for one extra month ($45 – $50), after which you will be fined $10 a day for overstaying up to 30 days, which quickly adds up.

ExpatLIFE Cambodia Visas

If you intend on staying in Cambodia long-term, start with an ordinary (E class) visa. At $35, it’s more expensive than a tourist visa, but it can be extended indefinitely for between $50 and $290. After thirty days, you can go to extend your visa where you have the choices between an EB, EG, ER, or ES visa extension.

The main Extension of Stay (it’s wrong to call it a visa) is the EB, commonly known as ‘business extension.’ You can obtain 1, 3, 6, and 12 month extensions, but please note that only the 6 and 12 months are multi-entry. To obtain a 1 or 3-month extension, you need to show a valid work permit. To obtain the 6 or 12 month, you also need to show a current letter of employment. This has to be stamped, and the company/business employing you has to be registered with the Ministry of Commerce. All non-tourist visas require a supporting letter when requesting an EOS and it must be signed and fingerprinted. Note however this is not a statutory declaration and does not require an embassy stamp. A 12-month extension should cost you around $280/290 through a good agent like Call Kim.

Next up is the EG extension, commonly known as the ‘looking for work’ extension. There are 1, 3, and 6 month options, but only the 6 month one is multi-entry. A letter written by yourself with details of the type of work you are looking for, along with the date, your name, contact details, your thumbprint, and other details of your proposed employment is required, although exact details of this are still unclear due to lack of information provided by the authorities. At time of writing (December 2018) people have been able to obtain a 2nd 6-month EG, but only by leaving the country, re-entering on an ordinary visa, then extending to EG again. Those 2nd ones are due to expire in November, so only then will we see if a 3rd EG is possible. If and when you find a job, you have to leave the country, re-enter on an ordinary visa, then change to EB. There have been some reports of being able to change in-county if you already have your work permit. A 6 month EG extension should cost around $160.

The ER, or retirement extension, is a popular but confusing option. The official age for ER is 55, and requires you to write a request letter offering details about the proposed retirement, along with the date, your name, contact details, and your thumbprint. However, if you are under 55, then you can apply, but with a few more hoops to jump through. For a start, all supporting documents must be very strong. You need to show you have funds to live on – though unlike other countries there is no figure set for this – and if you have any form of official retirement documents, they will be required too. What has also been accepted as ‘proof’ is a statutory declaration undertaking that you will not work while in Cambodia. Be aware though, it may not be possible to switch back from an ER extension. We know of some who have tried and failed, but as with many things here, a different agent may be able to do it for you.

The ES (student extension) is one that is not often used by adults (children of families living here and attending school require one though), but it does exist if anyone plans on studying in Cambodia. To get an ES, you need; a letter of enrolment from the school you are attending, proof of finances (whether self-funded or on a scholarship), a receipt from the school confirming you have paid your fees, a copy of the school’s incorporation certificate from MoC, copy of the school’s patent tax from GDoT (these latter two documents are to prove that the school is legally registered), and certificate of residence from your local sangkat office. You have to fill in an application form from the DoI, and the fee for a 6 month ES is $100. Your school should assist you with this process if you are having difficulty.

We would ask you to note that over the last year there has been lots of uncertainty, especially amongst many agents who haven’t understood the new changes and rules. If you speak to an agent and they contradict the advice given here, then seek a second or even third opinion. Experienced agents such as Call Kim are the best to deal with as they know exactly how each extension works. Things do seem settled these last few months, but we never know what is round the next corner, but if more changes do happen, then we will update information here as soon as possible.

Please also note that ALL children also require their own visa, whether they are on their parents’ passport or on their own. They pay same fees as adults.

There is one other popular visa type, the NGO Visa Extension (known as B-Class). There still seems to be some confusion over these given the amount of posts we see on social media. As far as we understand, the visa (which is free) is only for international NGOs who have an existing MOU with the MoFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs). Your organisation needs to apply for this before you arrive (if you are already here on a different extension type, then you need to leave Cambodia and reenter). We would advise that for this extension, all processing should be carried out by the NGO.

To apply for a Cambodian visa, you need a passport with a validity of at least 6 months, and the passport has to have at least one blank page in it. You will also need a passport sized photo.

The “official” way to extend your visa is via the Cambodian Immigration Department (#332, Russian Blvd), but as the process is lengthy and they charge a similar price as going through an agent, it generally isn’t recommended! Instead, visit one of hundreds of travel agents in Phnom Penh who, entrusted with your passport, will extend your visa for you within two to seven working days.

If you are holding a passport from any one of the ASEAN countries (Brunei, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam), you are not required to have a visa to enter Cambodia, and you can stay between 14 and 30 days depending on which country your passport is from.

You are not eligible for a visa on arrival, and will need to apply in advance at the closest Cambodian embassy in your home country, if you are from Afghanistan, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, or Sudan. There are some other countries which are not on any official list, but whose citizens are likely to be refused a VOA, especially an ordinary visa. These countries tend to be either African or in the Middle East. We advise that it is best to apply through the closest Cambodian embassy.

At time of writing (December, 2018) all information was correct, but may have changed since. If there’s something you read here which you feel is incorrect or requires updating, please let us know.

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