In my last post, I outlined the e-visa application process for Vietnam. Today, I finally wrapped up my pre-trip preparation with approval of my Cambodia visa.
The Cambodia tourist visa application process is a bit more straightforward than in Vietnam. There are again two options: visa on arrival (VOA) or the e-visa.
Unlike in Vietnam, the VOA procedure is actually quite easy. No letter of approval and no third party agencies; just show up and get processed through customs. You need to bring $30 USD in exact cash and a passport sized photo, although I have just read some rumours that the photos are no longer required (they will take a photo and fingerprint you at customs). The only potential downside of going with the VOA is the wait time in line and having to use up a page of your passport, which could be an issue for those who are accumulating stamps – not yet a problem for me.
In retrospect, the VOA would have been acceptable for me and Mr. Chuckles, but I was eager to get everything lined up ahead of time and went with the e-visa option. Here are the details on how I did it.
Who needs a visa?
Again, I am writing this from the perspective of a Canadian passport holder so check with your local consulate for confirmation regarding your specific nationality.
Currently, there are only a few countries that are visa exempt in Cambodia for visits of less than 30 days. These include Brunei, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Seychelles, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Therefore, western travellers will require a tourist visa, with the single entry option being valid for 30 days from date of arrival. Keep in mind that the visa must be used within 90 days from date of issue so do not apply for it too early.
Who is eligible for the e-visa?
The Cambodia tourist e-visa is accepted at select international airports and land ports, as listed here.
How do I apply for the e-visa?
The official website for the Cambodia e-visa portal is here.
Click through to the application and you will get to this page, which looks more polished than the Vietnam version.
Similar to the Vietnam e-visa application, you will need to upload a copy of the first page of your passport and a portrait photo, which should be passport style but does not need to be in specific passport dimensions. There is a cropping tool on the application that you can use as well.
The other required information is standard, including your port of entry and temporary address in country.
Once you’ve filled in and submitted the form, you will receive a confirmation email with a reference number that you can use to track the status of your application. You must submit your payment in order for your application to be complete. If you discover any errors, you can go back to the Check & Change page to make necessary corrections.
How much does it cost?
Once you’ve submitted the form, you will be directed to the payment page. The e-visa costs $36 USD with no additional processing fees that I could discern. International credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, American Express) are accepted. Note that this is $6 USD more expensive than the VOA mentioned above. You decide if the extra few dollars is worth it for saving some time in the customs line at the airport. Before I realized that the passport photos are no longer required, I figured that it would cost me more than $6 USD to get photos printed at home, so the savings with the VOA would be negated anyway.
When will my application be processed?
The website does not actually specify a processing time, but I came across other travel blogs that quoted a range of less than 24 hours to 3 business days.
I ended up having to give the visa office a little nudge to get my visa done. My application was still listed as ‘In Process’ 6 days (including a weekend, 1 stat holiday, and 3 business days) after I had submitted, so I contacted someone via the live chat link on the website. I sent them a couple messages, and within a few minutes received an email with approved visas for both myself and Mr. Chuckles.
The e-visa can be downloaded and printed off the approval email or the Check & Change page. You will need 2 copies, one for entry and one for exit. The photo you submit will be featured on it, so take a good one or live with the awkwardness of a wonky photo. At the very least, the visa can be printed in black and white, and also is not permanently affixed to your passport, so you can discard evidence after your trip! Now you’re ready for your Cambodian adventure.