How to get a Cambodian tourist visa

cambodian tourist visa
I have good news and bad news. The bad news is you probably need a tourist visa to visit Cambodia. The good news is that it’s cheap and painless to get. Here is everything you need to know about the process of getting a Cambodian tourist visa.

Who needs a visa

Unless you’re traveling with a passport from: Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei Darassalam, or Myanmar, you will need to apply for and obtain a visa to enter Cambodia.

Cambodian visa length and validity

The Cambodian visa is a one-month long single entry visa. This means if you intend on going to Cambodia for a couple of weeks, then leaving to go to Thailand and coming back into Cambodia, you will have to get a second visa. Though it is given for a length of stay of one month, the visa’s validity is for three months from the date of issue. This means that you can apply for your visa up to three months before your date of travel (or rather, your exit date). A handy thing to do if you book your trip to Cambodia many months in advance is to put a reminder on your calendar to remind you to apply for the visa one or two months before your trip. This will save you the scare I had a week before my trip when I realized I needed a visa and didn’t have one.

How to obtain a Cambodian tourist visa

The good thing is that the process to get the visa is really simple and can be done a few different ways. You can go to the Cambodian embassy in your country (though I don’t know why you would do that), or you can apply online from the comfort of your home. The government’s official evisa website boils the process down into a 15 minute application, where you submit information about our travel dates, your port of entry, and your passport. You also have to submit a digital version of a passport photo. Though this is definitely a loose interpretation. My friend uploaded a fabulous portrait mode selfie and they accepted it. If you have problems with the photo, you can also request a change to it after you submit the application. The fee for the visa is $30 plus a $6 service fee that you pay for with a credit card when you apply. The processing time for the visa is 3 days, but I got a visa in PDF form delivered to my inbox less than 12 hours after applying. Not that I recommend you to wait until the last minute, but if you do, you’ll probably be fine. An important note about the evisa is that it’s not accepted at all border checkpoints (you can check here). If you’re doing some really off-the-beaten path traveling around neighboring countries, you may have to apply in person upon arrival. Double check the border you intend to use. Most likely you’re the rule and not the exception, so you’ll be flying in and out of Phnom Penh or Siem Reap, in which case, the evisa is fine. If you didn’t obtain an evisa online ahead of time, you’re supposed to bring two passport sized photos and obtain one in person. I’m not sure what happens when you arrive without them, though I’m fairly certain they can just snap a photo in person. If the Angkor Wat ticket office can get your picture on your ticket, I’m pretty sure immigration can too (though probably for a small fee).

Arriving in Cambodia

When you arrive, you’ll be directed in one of two ways: to the line for people with visas and the line with people without them. You will have to fill out an entry form which is stapled to your passport and removed upon exit. They will also take your fingerprints. According to the email instructions sent with my evisa, you’re supposed to print two copies of it, one to enter and one to leave. At entry, they took one of my copies. No one ever asked for the second copy again.