Visas for Cambodia
Vexed by visas?
Popular visa types: Tourist and Business
Cambodia has two principal types of visa: (1) the tourist ‘T’ class visa, which is valid for 30 days on a singly-entry basis and can only be extended once, and, (2) the business ‘E’ visa, which is initially also valid for 30 days on a multiple-entry basis and can be extended by one, three, six or 12 months, which you can continue to do indefinitely (at the time of writing in March 2015). The fee for a tourist visa is $30, while the one-month business visa is $35.
You can obtain your visa either on arrival, or online in advance as a tourist e-visa, which costs $37 including a $7 processing fee. The tourist e-Visa should take three working days to process and is valid for use for three months from the date of issue. An e-visa will only be accepted at Siem Reap and Phnom Penh airports, Koh Kong, Poipet (from Thailand), and Bavet (from Vietnam).
For a visa-on-arrival, you will need to bring two passport photos with you, or you will be charged a $1 "administration fee", and for the tourist e-visa, you need to file a digital photo.
Beware that overcharging may occur on overland crossings. You can choose to argue with officials, but the easiest way to get through is to simply smile, be sincerely polite and hand over the correct amount in dollars.
While most people get the visa on arrival, if you are planning on entering at Koh Kong, it is worth considering getting your visa beforehand to avoid any "misunderstandings" at the crossing. Given how easy it is to get an e-visa, and as they are valid at the Koh Kong crossing, the e-visa is really the way to go.
A tourist visa can be extended once, for 30 days only. The extension costs US$50. Business visas can be extended pretty much forever. The fees are $50 for one month, $80 for two months, $160 for six months and $290 for one year. Both types of extensions take a day or two and are best handled through agents.
The main issue facing tourists is that tourist visas can only be extended once. If you are looking at a longer stay in Cambodia, get a business visa. It costs just $5 more, requires no extra paperwork, and can be extended for a far longer period.
While it isn't a big deal to overstay a visa in Cambodia, it does get expensive quickly. The base fine is $6 per day of overstay. So for instance if you overstay by five days, you will be required to pay $30 on exit.
Things to watch out for
The main potential problem revolves around buying your visa at the border. Some immigration officers demand that you pay in baht, using a very poor exchange rate (and they pocket the difference). This is a particular problem at the Koh Kong crossing. The easiest way to avoid the problem is to get your visa in advance or don't use the Koh Kong crossing.
There is no departure tax if using a land crossing. If you are flying out of Cambodia, departure tax is now included in the price of your ticket.
For the latest information on border crossings and to read (or submit your own) traveller reports, please see our Cambodia border crossing page, or the exhaustive Border Crossings FAQ thread on the messageboard, which includes reports from travellers who have recently crossed.
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