Getting a visa to Cambodia
NICK RAY Lonely Planet Writer 22 MARCH 2022Most visitors to Cambodia will need to apply for an e-visa before their trip © Grant Faint / Getty Images
Cambodia is currently one of the most open and visitor-friendly countries in Southeast Asia following COVID-19 travel restrictions.
As of 17 March 2022, visa-on-arrival has been reinstated for most visitors and all COVID-19 travel-related testing requirements have been lifted.
Do I need a visa to visit Cambodia?
The simple answer is yes: most nationalities need a visa to enter the Kingdom of Cambodia, including citizens of Australia, the European Union, the UK and the US. The main exceptions are citizens from the Association of Southeast Asian (ASEAN) neighbors who are granted visa-free access; these countries include Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam. Some other Asian nationalities, including Japan and South Korea, may also enter Cambodia without a visa in most circumstances. Citizens of Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka and Sudan need to make advance arrangements for a Cambodian visa.
A 1-month tourist visa costs US$30; easily extendable business visas cost US$35. Online tourist e-visas cost US$36, which includes a US$6 processing charge.
Do I need a photograph?
Photos are no longer required with visas for those arriving at airports, although some land crossings still require them and charge US$2–3 if you do not have one.
What about visas during the time of COVID-19?
Cambodia suspended its visa-on-arrival program in June 2020 but made the bold decision to reinstate it with immediate effect from 17 March 2022. It is also possible to apply for a Cambodian e-visa online.
It is also possible to apply for longer-stay visas at Cambodian embassies around the world.
What you need to know when for applying for a Cambodian visa
- Ensure your passport is valid for at least 6 months from your planned entry or you won’t be allowed to enter the country.
- Cambodian visas take up an entire passport page – unless you are entering on a tourist e-visa, which takes up about a quarter-page.
Are there any special entry requirements related to COVID-19?
Cambodia blew the doors off quarantined Southeast Asia on November 15, 2021, when the government announced an unexpected total reopening for fully vaccinated travelers. Some pre-departure and arrival testing remained in place until recently but the requirement for COVID-19 travel testing was lifted in a bold move towards normality from March 2022. Visitors are free to travel anywhere in Cambodia without the need to quarantine and there are no curfews in place anywhere in the country.
Unvaccinated travelers are still required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in a pre-booked hotel or a designated government facility.
Can I extend my Cambodian visa?
Those seeking work in Cambodia should opt for a business visa, as it is easily extendable for longer periods, including multiple entries and exits. A tourist visa can be extended only once and only for 1 month and does not allow for re-entry. Overstaying a visa currently costs US$10 a day.
Visa extensions are issued at the large immigration office located directly across the road from Phnom Penh International Airport. Extensions are easy to arrange, taking just a couple of days. The cost is US$45 for 1 month (for both tourist and business visas), US$75 for 3 months, US$155 for 6 months and US$285 for 1 year. Some hotels and travel agents in Phnom Penh can help with arrangements for a small fee.
Where can I enter Cambodia?
Cambodia has three international gateways for arrival by air – Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville – and a large number of land borders with neighboring Thailand, Vietnam and Laos. Formalities at Cambodia’s international airports are generally smooth.
Crossing at land borders is usually easy as well, though immigration officers may try to extract some extra cash, either for the visa itself or via some other scam. Crossing from Thailand, immigration officials may demand payment in baht and round up the exchange rate considerably in their favor. Overcharging is also an issue at the Laos border, but not usually a problem at Vietnam borders. Arranging an e-visa in advance can help avoid any hassles or surcharges.
Departure from Cambodia during COVID-19
You do not need a PCR test to leave Cambodia, though you should check whether a “Fit-to-Fly” PCR test or rapid antigen is required for your onward stop, whether a stay in another country, transit through another country or return to your home country.
There are currently COVID-19 testing labs in several cities around Cambodia, including multiple testing labs in Phnom Penh, one lab in Siem Reap, one lab in Sihanoukville and one lab in Battambang. In practice, it is easiest to work with the labs in Phnom Penh or Siem Reap, so we recommend making one of these cities your departure destination from Cambodia if a Fit-to-Fly certificate is required.