Known for its beautiful tropical scenery and ancient temples, Cambodia is a wonderful choice for a quick stop from any Asian country. Recently the government has changed its policies to make traveling to Cambodia easy. Most passport holders can get a visa upon arrival to Cambodia and the government promises a quick and easy process. Exceptions are passport holders from Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Nigeria. Passport holders from these countries have to apply in advance.
Cambodia Visa for US Citizens
For an American passport holder, the process is relatively easy. Plan your travels to enter the country via Siem Reap or Phnom Penh Airport. These are two of three airports that have immigration services. The third is the Sihanoukville airport that has been opened to immigration services in 2017. You will need one passport size photo and a passport that is valid for at least another six months. Make sure your passport has enough pages left. Take into account that your Cambodian visa will take up one page.
DIfferent Visa Types
You have two choices when choosing a Visa type. There is a travel visa and a business visa. Both can be issued at the airport by immigration officials. The business visa is the option to consider if you plan on entering the country multiple times during your stay (quick trip to Thailand anyone?) and is valid for 35 days. The travel visa is valid for one month but does not allow multiple entries.
If you happen to fall in love with the country during your stay, either visa is extendable and takes a few days. A business visa will cost you about $35 and the tourist visa about $30. The penalty for overstaying is $10 per extra day.
Visa Requiremnts & Fees
Ensure you have a recent passport size photo. If you do not have a photo you will be fined $2 and they will have to take one at the immigration office. This will add hassle and time to the process. Time you could’ve spent exploring this wonderful country. Additionally, they have a “passenger service charge” of between $6 and $25. Children between 2 and 12 pay $13 and children under do not pay the fee.
If you’re traveling into Cambodia via road, the process gets a little more difficult. There are reports of officials asking for more money than necessary or flat out scamming travelers. If you get to an honest official, the process and requirements are the same. Traveling through an airport is the safer and easier option.
Apply for Cambodian E-Visa
Another option is to get your visa online. Head on to the website (https://www.evisa.gov.kh) and complete the required fields. You will need to upload a photo. The official waiting time for an e-visa is three days, but most receive their visa via email within 24 hours. Having your visa in hand means you do not have to go through the application time at the airport.
Apply at the South Korean Embassy
The last option to apply for a visa is at an embassy. Be careful, and inquire beforehand if you can apply at an embassy. The immigration office in South-Korea, for example, is only open to Cambodian and South-Korean nationals.
The Cambodian government is trying to make tourism in Cambodia as attractive as possible, which is a great thing! Cambodia is truly a beautiful place filled with mystery and a million wonderful things to explore, you might seriously need that visa extension!
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