Unless you are eligible to apply for an eVisa for Cambodia or are coming from a visa exempt country, you’ll need to ensure you apply for a visa before your trip to Cambodia. Before traveling all the way to Cambodia for your upcoming vacation, read our guide below to ensure you are covered for your visit.
While many visitors to South-East Asia often opt to visit Vietnam or Thailand, Cambodia has become increasingly popular as a tourist destination in recent years. Cambodia has a more challenging history and political climate, with relations between certain countries such as the US still not in great form. A visa is required for many visitors to enter the country. Since 1993, English has become more commonly spoken across the country and has started to replace French, which was the primary language used in the past.
Even in the past few decades, the country has had a challenging political climate following invasions by Vietnam in 1978. However, the country has become more stable since 2003 and is currently ruled by the Cambodian People’s Party.
Nine countries are exempt from needing a visa for Cambodia for a trip of up to fourteen or thirty days. These are Brunei, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Seychelles, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. On top of that, diplomatic and service passport holders will also not require a passport to enter from a small list of countries.
Since July 2015, the tourism industry representatives in the country have proposed wider visa-free regulations to match other countries nearby in South-East Asia. If you are just looking to stay in the country for up to 30 days, many visitors can purchase a visa on arrival for either tourism or business.
For countries apart from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Syria, you can apply for an eVisa online if you are just looking to stay in the country for up to 30 days as a tourist. There are specific entry points you can enter via, so you’ll need to ensure you are using one of these, otherwise, you’ll need to take the traditional visa application route. For anyone just transiting via Phnom Penh International Airport, you won’t need a visa if you are arriving and leaving on the same aircraft.
As with anywhere in the world, there is a wide selection of visas on offer for Cambodia. Depending on the type of trip you are going on, you’ll want to ensure you select the right one for your needs. The most common visas that are offered for entry into Cambodia are tourist and business visas.
A standard tourist visa will allow you to stay for up to 30 days and can also be extended by another 30 days once when you are in the country. There is also a visa which is called the Ordinary visa, which provides a 30-day business visa. This can be extended for a selection of lengths varying from one month to a year. The longer business visas will also allow you to enter and leave Cambodia as needed.
On top of that, there are also retirement, student, proposal, technician, and general visas, which fall under this category. For anyone who is a descendant of a Cambodian, they can apply for a Khmer visa. This visa requires you to prove that your parents are from Cambodia, and it’s a one-time visa that is free to apply for. You’ll enjoy unlimited entries to the country with this visa type. Finally, Diplomatic, Courtesy and Official visas are other free-of-charge visa types, but they do require specific documentation for your application to be valid.
To apply for a Cambodian visa, you’ll need to head to your local embassy. Begin by checking out where the nearest local embassy is to see if there is one in your home country. Where possible, try to apply for your visa a month or two before your travel date, however, you may be able to pay a rush fee if you are short of time. You will need to provide your actual passport for the application, which the embassy will take to add your visa into.
While requirements will vary between the different visa types, you’ll need to ensure you have a signed passport that is valid for six months after your exit date from Cambodia. You’ll need at least one blank page in the passport, where your visa will be added. One passport-size color photograph will need to be supplied, which must be taken within the last three months against a white background.
If you are traveling for business, you’ll need to provide a letter that shares the details of your trip and why you are visiting Cambodia for business. You’ll also need a letter of invitation if you are visiting a company based in Cambodia. Ensure you complete the visa application form carefully and that it’s signed before you submit it.
Finally, you’ll need to have a means of payment in order to complete your application.
For anyone who is eligible for the Cambodia eVisa, this is a simple online application process. You’ll need to provide similar information and documents as listed above, but this will all be completed online in the comfort of your home. You will scan in your passport and photo, and the visa will be valid for up to three months from the issuing date.
You’ll receive the visa directly to your email address, which you can then print to show upon your entry into Cambodia. With so many different options to choose from when it comes to visiting Cambodia, you’ll need to research the best option for your length of trip and the reason you are visiting. Make sure you apply well in advance of your trip to avoid any issues. When traveling this year, we also encourage you to check the current restrictions which may impact your visa application process