Everything you need to know about Cambodia's Visa (and eVisa) policy
The Kingdom of Cambodia is becoming one of Southeast Asia’s most popular destinations for tourists, backpackers, and digital nomads alike. The laid-back and beautiful country that borders Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam is home to the stunning ruins of the ancient Khmer Empire at Angkor Wat and some of the region’s most incredible untouched beaches.
Before you go on your trip to Cambodia, make sure that you have the proper visa! Citizens of most countries can apply for a visa-upon-arrival at any of Cambodia’s international airports and most border crossings. If you want to save time at the airport, skip the lines by applying for a Cambodian evisa in advance.
Here’s everything you need to know about Cambodian visas:
Visa-free travel to Cambodia
Who can visit Cambodia visa free?
Passport-holders from Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei, Indonesia, Laos, Seychelles, Singapore, and Vietnam do not need a visa to visit Cambodia.
If you are a citizen of any other country than the ones listed above, you will need to apply for an evisa in advance, or a visa on arrival at the airport in Cambodia.
Cambodian tourist visa on arrival
Who can get a Cambodian visa on arrival?
Most people can get a visa on arrival in Cambodia. The exception are citizens of: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Syria who MUST apply for a visa or evisa in advance.
Cambodia has a very wide and open visa policy. Citizens of all other countries other than the ones mentioned above do not need to apply for a visa in advance, and can receive one upon arrival at a Cambodian airport or border crossing.
How much does a visa to Cambodia cost?
A Cambodian tourist visa-upon-arrival costs $30 (payable in USD, the de facto currency of Cambodia). You must fill out a simple form and supply a passport-size photo. If you do not have a photo with you, you will be charged an extra dollar.
This process is quick and easy, especially at the airport.
How do you get a visa at the airport in Cambodia?
After landing, just follow the signs at Siem Reap International Airport, Phnom Penh International Airport, or Sihanoukville International Airport directing visitors towards the visa-upon-arrival area.
There is a one-page document to fill out. Bring your passport, visa application, and USD (having exact change is advised) to the visa counter, and soon you’ll have a big full-page visa sticker admitting you to Cambodia as a tourist for 30 days.
How to apply for a visa at the border crossing
The process can be a bit trickier at the border. It’s not that applying for a visa at a land border crossing is any different, but that the border area itself is more confusing and stressful.
You’ll have to deal with “friendly” strangers who want to show you where to go and fill out your paperwork for you (for a steep fee, of course). Politely but firmly refuse, or ignore them and proceed to fill out and apply for your visa on your own.
Unfortunately, there have been reports of corruption at the land border crossings. Visitors may be asked to pay a few extra dollars for a “stamping fee” or other unposted fees. Although its unfair, it’s best not to argue, and just to pay up if you want to get your visa.
Instead of dealing with this, I recommend arriving in Cambodia by air, or at the very least applying for an evisa in advance. With an evisa, you never need to deal with the visa application process.
Who can get a Cambodian evisa?
Anyone can apply for a Cambodian evisa. An evisa works just like a regular paper visa, except you can apply for the visa and pay online. When you arrive in Cambodia, just show your printed document to the passport agent, and you will be admitted to the country.
How does a Cambodian evisa work?
You can apply for a Cambodian evisa on the government’s official evisa website:
You’ll need to upload a photograph of yourself and a scan of your passport information page. After that, just pay the $36 fee.
They say that it can take up to 3 days to receive your visa, but I’ve always had a response within a few hours. The quickest I ever got my visa back was in 30 minutes! Be sure to apply for your visa a few days in advance, anyway. Your tourist evisa allows you to enter Camboda for 30 days.
Print out two copies of the evisa pdf that you will be send after your visa request is approved, and present them to the passport agent upon arrival. Easy!
How much does a Cambodian evisa cost?
An evisa costs $36. Admittedly, it’s a little bit more expensive than an visa-on-arrival, but worth it to save the stress and headache of trying to apply for a visa at the airport.
Personally, I always apply for an evisa whenever I go to Cambodia, especially if I’ll be crossing the border. I like having the peace of mind of already having my visa in my hand, and being able to skip most of the lines at the border checkpoint or at the airport.
Oh, and if you want to learn more, why not have a look at the small guidebook that I published about visiting Siem Reap? It’s available on Amazon, or from the store on this very website!
A Budget Traveller’s Guide to Siem Reap