How to obtain your visa for Cambodia?
To travel to Cambodia, whether it is for tourism or business, you will absolutely require a visa. There are different procedures and documents to complete to obtain the right to visit this country. For all applications a passport is absolutely necessary that is valid for at least 6 months after the return date. You will also need to complete a form for this and provide an ID photograph. Children under the age of 18 will also need parental authorisation. Visa applications can be completed online, by post or once in the country at certain border posts. Applying for a visa is therefore an important step in preparing for a visit to Cambodia. Here is a guide to the procedures that need to be completed to obtain a travel authorisation to visit Cambodia.
Obtaining a tourism visa
The tourism visa for Cambodia is valid for 30 days but can be extended once you are there for a maximum time period of one month. A request should be made to the ‘Département des Étrangers du Ministère de L'Intérieur’ which is opposite the airport at Phnom Penh. The tourism visa is valid for three months following its issue date and costs 30 Euros. Each day of delay following the exit date is subject to a fine of U.S. $10 per day that should be paid in the country before leaving Cambodia. For delays of over 30 days visitors are required to leave within seven days after paying the fine. Due to the security issues the authorities generally require visitors to hold a return ticket when they apply for a visa.
Obtaining a business visa
A business visa is generally issued by the Cambodian Embassy. It was primarily created for businessmen and women, journalists, workers and students. It is only available when applications are submitted with a document from the organisation concerned confirming the project details, a work contract or an inscription confirmation at an educational establishment and it costs 35 Euros. Although it is first issued for a 30 day period of validity this can be extended by supplementary periods once you are in the country, first for another month, then three months, then six months, and for up to a year if you visit the ‘Département des Étrangers du Ministère de l'Intérieur’ (Foreign Department of the Ministry of the Interior) which is opposite the Phnom Penh airport. This visa application procedure will take around 48 hours.
Obtaining a visa for a child
The procedure for accompanied visitors under the age of 18 is the same as for a tourist visa. The price is also the same. The child must hold their own passport as well as a visa to enter and exit the Cambodian territory. For children travelling alone one of the parents responsible for the child must complete a particular form for the local authorities. Once there, the child must show this document as well as a photocopy of a piece of identity of the signatory parent to be entitled to stay in the country.
Procedures online and in the country
For a tourism visa, applications for an e-visa are completed online through the website created by the Cambodian authorities at www.evisa.gov.kh. Using the online procedure, the visa is delivered in only a few days by mail. You then simply need to print two copies of this; one for entering the country and the other for leaving the country. The e-visa regulations and restrictions however require visitors to enter through certain border posts as not all are equipped to read e-visas.
Only the international airports at Phnom Penh and Siem Reap as well as the land borders with Thailand, Vietnam and Laos issue visas at the point of entry into the country and no visas are issued at maritime border posts. The list of useable land and maritime border posts is available on the e-visa application website.
The Cambodia Embassy in your home country also issues visa. Applications for business visas are completed through the same channels as the tourism visas. An online application form is available for visitors who are then required to visit the Embassy with their completed application form, their passport and an I.D. photograph. The visa service is open from Monday to Friday, 9 am to 1 pm. Visitors will need to pay 5 Euros for general administration fees plus the cost of the actual visa. The latter will be issued within 48 hours. The application can be submitted and returned by post using registered post. In this case the return delivery of the document will take longer.
Choosing an e-visa when planning your visit will add a measure of security because in this way you can ensure that your entry onto Cambodian territory is possible. In fact, a visa application can be refused for various reasons. Once you have obtained an e-visa it is essential that you choose the port of entry where authorities can check that your paperwork is in order which is impossible to do at certain border posts. Therefore turning to a visa issued by the Cambodian Embassy in your home country can be the preferred solution for many visitors. Although more restrictive due to opening hours and the processing and delivery period it does still offer an effective and official service. It is however still important to pay attention to the access conditions for this country using this type of visa. Obtaining a visa once you have arrived in the country is a third possible choice for visitors, particularly tourists, but in this case you have to be absolutely certain you have all necessary documents with you or entry into the territory will be denied.
The forms to complete to enter Cambodia legally:
As we have just explained, a visit to Cambodia requires a certain amount of preparation, notably relating to forms that need to be completed from an administrative point of view. Here therefore are some important reminders to ensure you can prepare for and organise your visit effectively and completely.
Firstly it should be noted that everyone who wishes to visit Cambodia should hold a valid passport that does not expire until at least 6 months after the return date. However it is also primordial that you obtain an official travel authorisation such as a tourist visa. If you have already obtained this document in the past it is important to note that you can only use it during a three month period following its date of issue and even then only for a visit of up to 30 days.
It is also important to note here that visitors under the age of 18 are also required to present certain official travel documents to travel to Cambodia even if they are accompanied by their parents. Also, every child that visits Cambodia must also hold their own piece of identity such as a valid passport of which the expiry date should be at least 6 months after the end of the visit. It should also be noted that children who are not accompanied by one of their parents should also possess an exit authorisation from the territory signed by both parents. We also note that each country is responsible for determining the regulations pertaining to these cases independently of the destination. Generally speaking, for travelling to Cambodia or elsewhere a child under the age of 18 that is unaccompanied by their parents must hold a passport as well as the form signed by one of their legal parents or guardians. They must also possess a photocopy of a piece of identity from the parent or guardian who signed the authorisation application form.
Complete a visa application for Cambodia through the Embassy or consulate in your home country:
Of course, there is no obligation to apply for a visa online if you wish to visit Cambodia. You may apply directly to the Cambodian Embassy or consulate in your home country. To do so you will need to provide certain documents and items including an ID photograph, your passport and a photocopy of your passport as well as a completed and signed visa application form. This application form can be downloaded online to save time and avoid inconvenience. This application form is the same even for children under 18 years of age.
We would also point out that if you live far from the Cambodian consulate or Embassy in your home country then there are procedures that enable you to complete your application and send it by post.
The length of time it takes for a visa to be issued by the Cambodian consulate or Embassy can be from just 48 hours to a few days. It is generally faster to obtain this visa by requesting the express delivery service which does however require a supplementary fee.
Applying for a visa for Cambodia on arrival in the country:
Maybe you have heard of some people that have visited Cambodia without first obtaining a visa, they simply applied for their visa when they arrived in the country. This procedure is theoretically possible and is generally known as ‘visa on arrival’.
You can in fact obtain this type of visa at any Cambodian land border or at one of the country’s international airports. However, this procedure is risky and we highly recommend that you ensure you have your return ticket with you to ensure you can obtain it rapidly and easily. Certain companies actually refuse to allow passengers to board their airplane if they do not hold a visa or return ticket.
To apply for a visa upon your arrival in the Phnom Penh or Siem Reap airport you will need to provide an ID photograph as well as your passport and pay the sum of around $36. It is also possible to obtain your ID photograph there for a small fee.
If you choose to apply for your visa when you pass through a land border then the price will theoretically be the same although in reality the amount requested may be higher depending on the officials you encounter, scams and abuse are unfortunately fairly frequent occurrences.
This is the reason why we highly recommend you apply for your visa in advance before travelling to Cambodia, partly to ensure the procedure runs smoothly thus avoiding interruptions to your travel plans but also to avoid any unexpected expenses.
Some advice for obtaining your visa online for Cambodia:
As we have just noted, it is best to complete your Cambodian visa application directly online using the e-visa system that you can easily access through the link available on this website. The entire procedure can be completed online in just a few minutes by simply supplying your passport number and an ID photograph and paying the costs and fees by credit or debit card.
In around 3 days you will receive your visa for Cambodia by email. You then simply need to print two copies of this document for your outgoing and return travel.
It is however important to remember that this type of electronic visa only works in the airports and is not acceptable if you enter the country through a land or maritime border. If you are unsure about your destination airport you can easily find the entry points listed online where this type of visa is accepted.
If you wish to extend your visit in Cambodia once you have arrived then you may visit the General Immigration Department at Phnom Penh to request a single 30 day extension of your visa.
To conclude, you should also know that your visa will be automatically cancelled when you leave the country. If you exceed the length of stay authorised by this visa then you will need to pay a fine of $5 per day and you may be liable to other penalties in the case of abuse.