Visas and Work Permits 8 min

Work permits and visas in Cambodia: an employer’s guide

Written by Sally Flaxman
Sally Flaxman

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If you need to hire an employee or relocate them to Cambodia, you’ll have to ensure they have the relevant visa or work permit to work legally in the country.

But, it’s not straightforward, as Cambodia has different categories of visas, and you must ensure you get the right one. In addition, you have to comply with the relevant labor and tax laws. It can be difficult, especially when hiring talents from different countries.

If employers fail to follow immigration and employment laws in Cambodia, they can face legal risks or financial penalties. One of the best ways to minimize risks due to non-compliance is to work with a trusted employer of record (EOR). 

We put together this guide to help you understand the proper steps to take to do the following legally and without hassles:

  • Hiring a candidate in Cambodia without an owned entity

  • Hiring a non-citizen of Cambodia 

  • Relocating an existing employee to Cambodia 

  • Allowing a digital nomad to work compliantly in Cambodia

The importance of immigration compliance in Cambodia

While some countries may allow foreigners to work on a tourist visa for a short time, many countries, including Cambodia, don’t allow foreigners to work on a tourist visa. You need a Cambodia work permit to work legally in the country. An employer working without a work permit in the country can be fined for each year they default. They can also face three months of imprisonment or deportation in some cases.

Cambodia is one country where you can easily get a work visa. However, the rise of remote work and digital nomads working without the requisite approval has made the country tighten up enforcement of its work permit requirements for foreign employees.

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Which workers need a right-to-work check in Cambodia?

When hiring a foreign employee in Cambodia, you need to check that they have the right to work in the country. That will entail having a valid E-class visa, a valid work permit, and an employment card. 

There are three classes of people you need to confirm their right to work in the country:

  • Permanent residents: Cambodia doesn’t have a permanent residency scheme like many countries. But, it’s easy to stay in the country for an extended period. A foreigner can, on arrival, request a one-year visa, renewable every 12 months. But as mentioned earlier, every foreigner must have a work permit before they can work in the country.

  • Temporary residents: Cambodia doesn’t have a specific category of temporary residents. Every foreigner in the country, whether they are on a business visa (EB visa), job-seeking visa (EG visa), student visa (ES), or retirement (ER visa) can be a temporary resident. Holders of EB visas may have the right to work in the country if they also have a work permit and an employment card.

  • Work permit holders: Foreigners who have a work permit can legally work in the country if they meet other requirements. 

Do non-citizens need a work visa or work permit in Cambodia?

Yes. Every non-citizen needs a valid work visa and a valid work permit before they can work in Cambodia. 

What are the eligibility requirements for a work visa in Cambodia?

Any person coming to work in Cambodia to work will obtain an E-class business visa. This visa gives you the right to stay in the country for 30 days with the option to extend it.

The following individuals can apply for a work visa:

  • Persons who have accepted an offer of employment in Cambodia

  • Persons who were invited by a registered company or organization in Cambodia

What are the long-stay visa types in Cambodia?

Most visa types in Cambodia are short-term, usually for a month, but they can be extended easily. 

Ordinary or business visa (E-Class visa)

This common visa gives the holder the right to stay in the country for 30 days. However, it can be extended almost indefinitely. So, if you want to stay in the country long term, all you need to do is to keep extending your visa. 

It’s important to note that the one-month and three-month extensions are single-entry visa extensions, which means you cannot move in and out of the country. If you want to move in and out of the country at will, you’ll have to apply for the six-month and 12-month multiple entry visa extensions.

There are many types of E-class visa extensions, but the EB visa extension is most suited for foreign employees.

B-class visa

This visa is for employees of organizations in Cambodia on invitation by the government. This is suitable for organizations like the United Nations and the World Health Organization.

C-class visa

This is a free visa for employees of Non-Governmental Organizations that have an arrangement or an MOU with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

K-class visa

This is a free lifetime visa for individuals of Cambodian descent who have a foreign passport.

How do you get a work visa for Cambodia?

Here are some things you need to know about Cambodia work visa requirements:

Documentation requirements for a work visa in Cambodia

The hiring company will sponsor most work visas. So, your company needs to provide the following information to sponsor an employee’s work visa:

  • Certificate of incorporation with company stamp

  • Registered business address

  • List of all foreign and local employees to show that foreign employees are not more than 10%

  • Tax patent with company stamp

  • Your company’s articles of incorporation

  • Approval from the Ministry of Commerce

  • Application forms and fees

The employee will provide their information, including:

  • Their name, date of birth, gender, and height

  • Copy of their E-visa

  • Copies of their passport and ID cards

  • Proof of residential address

  • Details of their position with the company

  • Education certificate

  • Photo

  • Health certificate

  • The year they got their first E-visa

Where do you apply for a work visa in Cambodia?

You can apply for a Cambodia work visa in advance at the closest Cambodian embassy or when you arrive at Phnom Penh airport.

What is the average processing time for a work visa in Cambodia?

Processing a work visa in Cambodia takes 7 to 10 working days.

What is the process for employee work visa sponsorship in Cambodia?

Organizations that want to employ foreign workers in Cambodia must get foreign employee quota approval from the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training. This allows them to hire foreign employees.

In Cambodia, foreign employees apply for work visas by themselves. Currently, there’s no provision for businesses to apply for work visas on behalf of their foreign employees. However, an employer can provide the employee with a written work contract and other documents to facilitate their work visa application. 

Applicants must provide several documents to process their visa application, including:

  • A filled and signed visa application form

  • Passport bio page (the passport should have at least two blank pages and six months of validity)

  • Employment contract

  • Company incorporation document

  • Patent tax

  • Proof of health insurance

You need to apply for a work permit and an employment card (which can renewed every year) on behalf of the foreign employee.

What are the visa requirements for digital nomads in Cambodia?

Cambodia didn’t have any specific digital nomad visa. 

How Remote makes compliance in Cambodia so much easier 

Helping an employee relocate and work legally from Cambodia is a cumbersome, expensive, and time-consuming process. For starters, you need to have a registered business entity in the country before you can sponsor an employee’s Cambodia work visa.

One of the best ways to employ an employee in Cambodia quickly and compliantly is to partner with an employer of record (EOR) like Remote. There are several reasons to partner with Remote to attract, hire, and retain talents and help them relocate to new countries if there’s a need. Remote can help you:

  • Handle international payroll and benefits

  • Be wary of permanent establishment risks

  • Understanding international taxation

  • Stay compliant with local employment laws.

Our relocation guide breaks down what it takes to help an employee move to a new country. Download it to understand how relocation works, what to watch for, and how to do the paperwork. You can also contact our expert team of Mobility specialists who can answer any questions you have about employee relocation.

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