If you are planning on visiting Cambodia, then you are probably wondering whether or not you need a visa. 5 million people visit the country each year, and most of them have doubts about how to arrange their Cambodia visa before travel.
There are many websites providing lots of information about this topic, but many of them fail to provide clear answers. The CamboTicket team is here to help. That’s why we have put together a comprehensive guide to help you plan your trip to Cambodia with more peace of mind.
Cambodia Visa Guide
Types of Visa
We will describe the types of Cambodia visa in detail later. But for starters, there are two visa categories available: a Tourist Visa (T Class) and an Ordinary or Business Visa (E Class).
They are both valid for 30 days at the start and the application form and requirements are exactly the same.
The only difference between the two is that a Tourist visa can only be extended for one month after the initial duration of 30 days. On the other hand, an Ordinary (or Business) Visa allows you to extend for longer durations (up to 12 months). You would have to pay the charges but it doesn’t require you to leave the country.
We will revisit the Visa types in a later section.
Do you need a visa?
Unless you are a national of any of the visa exempted countries, namely Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand or Indonesia, you do need a visa to travel to Cambodia.
But don’t worry, Cambodia is one of the easiest places in the world to get a visa. Most foreigners are able to get a Cambodian Visa on arrival or without too much trouble at a Cambodian consulate in their home country. However, citizens of Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka and Sudan have specially strict visa requirements.
There are 3 ways to get a Cambodia visa:
- Visa through Cambodian Consulate in your home country
- Visa on Arrival
VISA FROM YOUR HOME COUNTRY:
We won’t describe this in much detail as you are advised to read through the requirements of the respective Cambodian consulate in the country of your residence.
The process is straightforward and involves filling a form, annexing the requisite documents and paying the fee determined by the Consulate. The timeframe is usually 3-5 working days but could vary depending upon your situation.
Citizens of Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, and Sudan, MUST apply for their visas in advance at a Consulate in their country of residence.
The requirements may be much more severe and at a minimum they will be required to be in possession of a return ticket and a letter of invitation from an employer or sponsor.
In recent years the Cambodian Government has made it possible for travellers to apply for an e-visa before their arrival. These can be applied for online here (Note: This is a legitimate Govt of Cambodia website and you can apply without any reservations).
The cost of the visa is USD30 with USD10 of processing fees bringing it to a grand total of USD40. This e-visa is available to all citizens of nations that are eligible for visas on arrival.
The processing time listed for these e-visas is 3 business days but travellers should allow for an extra few days. Time in Cambodia doesn’t always work the same as it does in other places, public holidays etc. notwithstanding.
Also please be aware that the e-visa is only valid for entry at the Phnom Penh and Siem Reap International Airports, as well as Bavet, Poipet and Cham Yeam land border crossings. In addition to this, the e-visa process is only available for those applying for tourist (T class) visas.
VISA ON ARRIVAL
What you will need to get your Cambodia Visa:
When applying for your Visa on Arrival in Cambodia you will need to have:
- A passport valid for at least another six months
- A passport-sized photo (two is better just in case). Don’t worry, if you don’t have this you will be able to purchase one at a cost of USD2
- Visa fee of USD 30 (in US dollars)
Where to apply:
You can apply for your Cambodia visa on arrival in any one of the following locations:
Cambodian Visas are available on arrival to tourists entering by land through Thailand and Vietnam. Whilst officially the requirements for the visas are the same as if you enter the Kingdom by air this is not always the case.
Getting a Cambodia visa on arrival at a land border can be a real headache and you may be required to pay a number of “fees/charges” (read: unofficial) before you finally get your visa. These extra ‘fees’ can end up costing travellers between USD1 and USD20.
If you do wish to get your visa on arrival at a land border, then the following are the crossings able to issue visas:
- Bavet International Checkpoint
- Kha Orm Sam Nor International Checkpoint
- Cham Yeam International Checkpoint
- Poipet International Checkpoint
- O’smach International Checkpoint
At the Airport:
You can easily apply for your Cambodia Visa on arrival at either of the Kingdom’s two international airports: in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. You will be given the application forms on the plane (if you don’t not to worry as you can also collect the forms at the airport).
To apply for and obtain the visa, you need to hand over your passport, the two photos and fee of USD30 to the officials. The amount must be in US dollars only and preferably in exact numbers as they won’t always give you change.
If you don’t have cash at hand, there are ATM’s in the arrivals hall that will dispense US dollars. It normally takes 5-10 minutes for your visa to be issued unless the airport is specially busy.
TYPES OF CAMBODIA VISA
As mentioned earlier, there are two visa categories available to travellers: a Tourist Visa (T Class) and an Ordinary or Business Visa (E Class).They are both valid for 30 days at the start and the application form and requirements are exactly the same. The cost of the Tourist Visa is USD30 whilst the cost of the Ordinary Visa is USD35.
The difference is when you go to extend the visa after the initial validity period. A Tourist Visa can only be extended for one month at a cost of USD52. After that any overstay is charged at USD5 a day.
For those who only wish to stay in Cambodia for an extra week or so after their month, it may be cheaper to simply pay the overstay fine.
Extending your visa
Please note it is NOT possible to change visa types without leaving the country, so if you decide you wish to stay in Cambodia for longer than an extra month and entered on a Tourist Visa, you will need to leave and re-enter on an Ordinary Visa instead.
The Ordinary Visa however, can be extended indefinitely for periods of 1, 3, 6 or 12 months. Even after the initial extension period is up, they can be renewed again and again with no need to leave the country.
Please note that the 1 and 3 month visa extensions are single entry only whilst the 6 and 12 month visas are multiple entry. If you are planning on using Cambodia as a base from which to travel then it is advisable to get the 6 or 12 month visas.
The easiest way to renew your ordinary visa is one of the many travel agents around Cambodia. The fee charged is often very small and negotiable. To renew all you need to do is present your fee, passport and passport pictures to the travel agent. They will handle all of the forms for you. The processing time is normally a week.
- 1 month extension $45
- 3 month extension $86
- 6 month extension $165
- 1 year extension $300.
Lucky Lucky Motorbike Rentals on Monivong Boulevard in Phnom Penh is a fast and reliable agent offering visa renewal services. It is very popular with the City’s expats.
Should you wish to renew your visa yourself it can at the Department of Immigration at #322, Russian Boulevard, Phnom Penh. However, it can actually take longer this way and often requires the payment of a number of unofficial fees.
One final warning
Some airlines will give you problems if you are flying to Cambodia without a visa on a one way ticket. If you don’t know when you will be leaving Cambodia then an easy way around this is to prove onward travel.
This can be done quite easily either by booking a return flight that is fully refundable and then cancelling it on arrival or, by booking a cheap bus ticket online from Cambodia to Ho Chi Minh or to Bangkok. At CamboTicket, you can book direct bus tickets to destinations in Thailand, Vietnam and Laos.