For three years, I was based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, so I have gone through all the paperwork of getting a Cambodia Ordinary visa and extending it more than once. Just so you know, they also call it the Cambodia Business visa.
Cambodia business visa is an E class visa that covers most Cambodia expats, freelancers, volunteers, and their families. Note that the E-class visa is totally different from Cambodia e-visa or electronic visa, that’s only issued for tourism.
The process is pretty simple, as you do not have to do anything in advance, nor provide much information upon arrival. Cambodia has always been one of the easiest countries for expats and digital nomads to live indefinitely with hassle-free, year-long visas. Although there have been some recent changes, you can still get 6-month and 1-year visas even if you are not employed.
I am from Canada, but these rules are the same for passport holders from most countries.
Note- Depending on your nationality, you might have to get an ordinary visa from a Cambodian embassy in your home country. And when it’s time for EB EOS, the agents might ask for extra documents like labor contract, tax patent of the employer etc. But there won’t be any problem with a tourist visa on arrival for Cambodia.
This is common with Indian citizens and most African nationals.
There are two steps involved here.
Get a Cambodia ordinary visa at the airport, land border, or the embassy of Cambodia in your country. This will be valid for 30 days.
I got the Cambodia business visa on arrival, at the Phenom Penh airport.
After the initial 30 days, when you go to extend your Cambodia business visa, you can choose an EB, EG, ER, or ES visa extension, also known as an EOS, or extension of stay.
I did the EB visa extension which is the most common and needs the least amount of paperwork.
Requirements for Cambodia Visa on Arrival
A valid passport with at six months until expiry and a blank page.
2.Cambodia Visa Photo Requirements
A 4 X 6 color photo with white background.
3. Accommodation Proof in Cambodia
While they don’t ask for the proof of accommodation, you need to fill in your address in Cambodia in the application form. So you can make a refundable reservation in a hostel or hotel, and write down the address there.
4. Cambodia Visa Application Form
The Cambodia visa application form is same for all kinds visas. You can get it at the airport and land crossings.
5. Cambodia Visa Fees
The cost of Cambodia business visa is $35 USDs. You need to pay for it in cash.
How to Get a Cambodia Business Visa: Land & Air
Cambodia Business Visa at Airport
They hand out the Cambodia visa on arrival application forms in the plane. Or when you arrive at the airport, pick up a Visa Application and head to the counter. There are usually two counters, the first where you apply for your Visa and pay, and the second counter where they call your name to pick up your passport with the Visa inside.
Cambodia Business Visa at Land Borders
If you are taking the land route, you can get the visa at a border checkpoint as well. Cambodia has 19 land border checkpoints with Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. But remember that, you can’t get this at every border checkpoint. The process is all the same.
In order to work in Cambodia, you need to apply for a one month “(E) Ordinary Visa” on the application form. There are no other questions at this time or interviews.
You just submit the form along with your passport, photo, and pay $35 USD in cash, and head over to the pickup counter and wait to be called. Every foreign worker first needs a one month Ordinary Visa to later be renewed for the desired length of time.
Be careful – there are two visas available at the airport – a “tourist visa” and an “E-ordinary visa.” Both are 30 days, but the tourist visa cannot be extended. You need to get the “E-ordinary” visa, NOT the “tourist” visa. Be very clear with the immigration official.
The whole thing can go quite quickly if the airport is not busy. After receiving your passport, you head over to immigration and give them your passport with a visa, together with your immigration card from the plane before going to get your luggage. So the whole process is very easy, I have never been asked to show proof of onward travel or show any bank statements. However, it’s always a good idea to carry an onward flight reservation for visa.
This is what the E-Ordinary visa for Cambodia looks like.
Quick Tip – If you do not have a passport photocopy ready, they will photocopy your passport for three dollars. Also, be sure to have USD in cash, as they do not accept any type of payment by card, and although there are ATMs nearby, they are often broken or do not accept foreign cards.
EB Visa Extension: 6-12 month Cambodia EB EOS
After receiving your Ordinary (E) Business Visa, it is best to apply the EOS (extension of stay) at least a week before expiry because of Cambodian holidays and processing time. There are two ways to get this done.
- Do a visa run: Leave Cambodia, stay out for a week or so, come back with an ordinary visa for 1 month like before and then get a 6-month visa. Repeat the drill when the visa runs out. This way you don’t have to bother with getting a work permit, especially if you are a freelancer.
- Get a work permit: Extend your current 6-month / 1-year visa without leaving Cambodia.
You can extend the business visa in Cambodia for 1-12 months. I would recommend getting 6 months or one year because these visas are multiple entries, so even if you are only staying for another 3 months, but want to go away for the weekend, you don’t have to restart the whole process.
Cambodia Business Visa Extension Cost
|Extension Duration (in months)||Cost (in USDs)|
Note- The 1 and 3-month (single entry) extensions can, however, still be extended indefinitely without a work permit.
Documents Needed for Cambodia EB EOS:
- Passport Photo
- USD in cash for the amount of renewal
- Address in Cambodia
- Employment Contract (if applying for more than 6-month extension) or proof of business
- Work Permit (if applying for more than 6-month extension)
- Health insurance
You are allowed to apply for their first six-month or one-year Cambodia EB EOS without obtaining a work permit, so that you have the time to look for a job.
However, when it’s time for your second six-month or one-year EB EOS, and all subsequent long-term EB visas, you must submit the proof of a valid work permit or proof of business.
Since I was employed legally, my employers have always provided me with any necessary documents, as I am sure any legitimate company will also do.
Coming to health insurance, while I have never been asked to provide one various expats have been asked to provide proof of health insurance and a health certificate. And after Covid-19, you would need health insurance with $50,000 USD medical coverage.
I have never been asked for proof of savings in order to renew my visa. However, this might be changing.
Cambodia Visa Extension Application Process
Once you have all your documents, you have two options on how to apply for the extension.
1.Apply Cambodia Visa Extension by Yourself
The first option is going to the office of immigration which is across from the airport and applying in person. This will save you a few dollars in processing fees, but with the time it takes to get there, waiting and often translation issues. Simply put, the route is long drawn out. I usually go for the second option of getting a travel agent to take care of it.
2. Cambodia Visa Extension through an Agent
The travel agents are easy to work with as they know exactly which documents you need and will ensure your passport is submitted in time, as they know all about the Cambodian holidays and processing times. They charge a little more for the service, but I think it is worth it. You pay the whole amount to them, give them your passport, and get a receipt, and they will call you when it is ready to be picked up, usually 5 working days later.
I had two different employers in Cambodia. The first time, my employer took care of all the visa applications. My second employer, however, got me to do everything and they reimbursed me – this is when I went to the travel agent.
My employers provided me with a written contract in English and Khmer, agreeing the terms of my work. I took this along with my passport and cash to a travel agent who took care of everything very easily. I was never asked to provide a work permit, because the companies I worked for where Cambodian.
Cambodia Ordinary Visa Duration: 1,3,6 or 12 months
Cambodia Visa Extension Fees: 50-290 USD
Visa validity: From the day it’s issued, including the day of arrival and departure.
No. of entries: Single for 1 or 3 months, Multiple for 6 or 12 months
Since 2017, Applicants must also go through a health check at the Ministry, which costs $25. You can go the local health center too to get a certificate of health, but I chose the convenience of this route for the same fee. Another option is to pay $60 to an agent to get your health certificate without going to the Ministry.
The medical exam is pretty straight forward – height, weight, blood pressure, blood sugar test and a question about if you have ever had an operation.
Cambodia Letter of Employment If You are not Employed
Even if you are not employed or if you are working for an international company, it’s possible to get a letter of employment from a Cambodian business through an agent. There are a few templates used by different agencies for providing this. Here is one that I came across.
Once you have the letter of employment, you can apply for the work permit and employment card. As per some agents, there is no need for WP for EB EoS, but there is no clear information about this.
There are expats who also register a business in Cambodia and can write a letter like the above confirming their own employment. This Cambodia employment letter must be stamped with a business stamp, that you can buy at any stamp shop for less than $15.
Note – If you have applied for a work permit but have yet to receive all your documentation, you can submit a copy of the receipt of your application when applying for an EB visa extension.
Cambodia Work Permit & Employment Card applications
A work permit and an employment card are two separate documents. However, you can apply for them in a single application submitted online.
Cost – 100$ per year
You need to apply online by yourself via the Ministry of Labour’s Foreign Workers Centralized Management System, which has been outsourced to a private company called E-Solutions (Cambodia) Co. Ltd.
Popular Agents for Cambodia Business Visa Extension
Here are some agents popular with expats. The rates they quote might differ depending on your nationality. They normally charge 10$ or more than the actual fees.
Lucky! Lucky! Motorcycle Shop
413Eo Monivong Blvd, Phnom Penh
T: 099 808 788; 012 279 990, +855 23 220 988
T: 092 256 388, 081820388
#19, St D (Piphum Thmey Chhuk Meas Market), Kraing Thnoung, Sen Sok.
12411 Phnom Penh
T: +855 89 666 068
Things can change
Lots of rules related to the ordinary or business visa have changed. Right now, visa rules are changing without notice.
If you are applying for an EB visa extension, do check with more than one agency to ensure everything. This post will be updated if we know anything has changed.