With recent press speculation that Cambodian visas are now available for foreign tourists Travel Begins at 40 has teamed up with the Cambodia Visa and Work Permit Group to unravel the mystery surrounding Cambodia Visa Requirements.
Applying for a Cambodia visa has always had complications and the Covid pandemic has made the maze even harder to navigate. Inaccurate media reports muddy the water even further so here is an up to date report on what you can and cannot do. But, first of all make sure you have a valid passport.
Do I Need a Visa for Cambodia?
The short answer is yes. There are four Categories of Arrivals:
- Sponsored Foreigners – This programme (VAPG) has been suspended as of December 2020 for an indefinite period of time. All these individuals now fall under General Foreigners.
- General Foreigners: General foreign arrivals must now stay at a government-approved hotel for two weeks. The Health certificate, $2,000 deposit and mandatory health insurance requirements remain in effect.
- Cambodians: Travelling on either a Cambodian passport or Foreign passport with K-type Visa, will stay in a Government approved quarantine facility for 14 days for free. Cambodians can opt for hotel quarantine at their own expense.
- Diplomats: Must provide a health certificate indicating negative COVID-19 status valid from within 72 hours, take a test upon arrival, and wait at least 24 hours at a hotel or quarantine facility for their results.
Getting a Cambodia Visa
As is usual with Cambodian bureaucracy, this can be confusing. Currently, tourist visas, Cambodia visa on arrival, and the Cambodia e visa (electronic tourist visa) remain suspended. Outside of specialist visa types (C visa etc.) the only visa type available for general foreigners is the E Type (ordinary) Visa.
Some poor reporting has recently said that online visas for short term visitors are now available again. For now, those are only for Taiwanese visitors and are just an online version of the E Type (ordinary).
The standard requirements to obtain a visa from a Cambodian embassy are:
- Invitation letter/employment contract etc.
- Copy of company registration and tax patent.
- Forte Insurance (some embassies will ask to see this at time of application, but the insurance will not kick in until inception date.)
- 2 x passport pics.
- Valid passport
- 2 copies of application form
- GBP 35 fee
If granted, you will have an E Type visa. This is valid to use for three months from date of issue and then valid for 30 days upon arrival. Some people have not checked on this and have faced large overstay fines.
Once in Cambodia, you can then extend your E Visa to the relevant EOS (required documentation varies). EB: working/business EOS (extension of stay); ER: Retirement; EG: Looking for work; and ES: Student.
Note that one- and three-month extensions of stay are single entry only while six- and 12-month ones are multiple entry.
Cambodia Visa Requirements
Embassies are interpreting the rules in their own way. Some embassies (not London) have been asking for a negative Covid test when you apply (and then another one to fly).
While some embassies have been ‘kinder’ in granting visas to people with proven connections to Cambodia such as family or long-term retirement.
Always contact your closest embassy and ask them what their requirements are. They will often supply – as London does – a WhatsApp number so you can send copies of documents in advance to be checked.
Some embassies have also been asking for more financial evidence such as bank statements or a company letter stating salary.
Our top tip is to carry your deposit in cash as cards do not always work. And make sure all notes are new(ish) and undamaged as they will refuse damaged notes.
If you are planning to visit Cambodia, you could do far worse than staying at the Amber Kampot.