Explainer: Work permits and visa requirements for Cambodia

Nic Platt

The first step to beginning your business in Cambodia is ensuring you have the correct work permits and visa requirements for Cambodia to operate your business legally in Cambodia.

In this explainer, we take you through the sometimes complex world of work permits and visa requirements for Cambodia to clearly understand what you will need to operate a business or find work in the Kingdom of Cambodia.

To read about how to start a company in Cambodia click here.

How do I get a visa suitable for working in Cambodia?

The E-type visa is split into several different categories, including the EB visa (Business), the most common one and the visa that anyone looking to start a business or work in Cambodia will need to apply for.

Work permits and visa requirements for Cambodia
The Cambodian visa will take up a full page in your passport.

The E visa needs to be applied for at an embassy before arriving in Cambodia and is valid for one month upon arrival in the country. This visa was available on arrival at the airport, but current entry regulations related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic mean it must be applied for in advance. The current cost for the visa is $35.

It is essential that if you plan to stay in Cambodia long term, you apply for an E Visa as T or tourist visa will make you non-eligible for an “Extension of Stay.”

As of now, a one-month EB extension costs $50, three months is $80, six months is $160, and one year is $290 in general when applying through an agent – and with a valid work document.

New visitors to Cambodia can apply for their first six-month or one-year EOS EB visa without obtaining a work permit, thus allowing them enough time to find a job. However, the application for their second six-month or one-year EB visa and subsequent long-term EB visas must be accompanied by proof of a valid work permit which we will touch on later.

With six and 12 month extensions come multiple entries into the Kingdom, allowing you to travel freely as you wish in and out of the country.

Work permits and visa requirements for Cambodia

It is the employer’s duty is to register employees, obtain their work permits, and assist them with paying their own income taxes. This is also true for consultants and freelancers.

Work permits are issued by the Cambodian Ministry of Labour and are valid for one year after issue. The official period of renewal for Cambodian work permits is between January and March each year.

Work permits and visa requirements for Cambodia
The off pink colored work permits are in addition to your business visa and are becoming more enforced by the government.

The official requirements for a work permit in Cambodia are as follows:

Article 261 says, “No foreigner can work unless he possesses a work permit and an employment card issued by the Ministry in charge of labour.” Foreign nationals wishing to work in Cambodia must also meet the following conditions:

  • Have a job offer from an employer compliant with relevant regulations regarding the employment of foreign nationals.
  • Legally entered the Kingdom of Cambodia.
  • Valid passport.
  • Possess a valid residency permit.
  • Be fit for the appropriate job.
  • Have no contagious diseases.

Work permits are generally issued 15 – 20 days after the application and payment is completed.

In August 2017, officials from the Department of Immigration confirmed that it is now mandatory for foreigners also to have an official work permit or employment card to be eligible to apply for a long-term extension on EB visas.

In 2022, the fees for the Cambodian work permits are the following

  • $200 for Work Permit.
  • $80 for a one-year penalty if you have never processed a work permit.
  • $35 for over quota per foreign staff (for companies).

Once you have your EB visa and work permit, you are all set to legally enjoy living and working in Cambodia.

This article is part of CIR Media’s Explainer series. A simple guide to everything you need to know about business and investment in Cambodia.

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