The Cambodia e-Visa is a document that you can apply for, entirely online, if you want to travel to Cambodia with a little less trouble than usual.
The regular Cambodia tourist and business visas require visitors to line up at a Cambodia embassy or consulate, or get a visa on arrival at the airport. The Cambodia e-Visa scraps all that; the whole process is done online and concludes in 24 hours or less.
You pay an extra US$6 processing fee on top of your US$30 visa fee, sure, but think of the lines and the sweat getting an e-Visa can save you.
Just ask Cambodia visitor Bruno Raymond, who applied for a Cambodia e-Visa to facilitate his travel to Siem Reap via the Poi Pet border crossing.
"Application was really easy," Bruno emailed us. "The only easiest one I can compare with was the Australian one […] the only 'challenge' was to find the right URL as it does not show up that high in Google search results."
The e-Visa lightened his burden considerably, Bruno says: "Online application took about 15 minutes. Approval was received overnight (we heard people got it as fast as 20 minutes)," he explains. "No need to queue to apply for the Visa on the spot."
How to Apply
If you want to get a Cambodia e-Visa, do as Bruno did: go to the Cambodia e-Visa website (offsite), fill up an online application form, and upload a face shot of yourself (either JPG or PNG format is acceptable).
Unlike other Cambodia visas, you should have your starting itinerary locked down before you fire up the app. "Main difference with other applications was that you have to know the port of entry," says Bruno. Luckily, he reminds us, "port of entry and other details can be changed online if needed."
Afterward, you'll need to pay with a valid credit card. Cambodia e-Visas cost US$36.
The longest a visa application takes is three days, but many applicants get their approved visa applications in their email within 24 hours. While your application is being processed, you may come back to the website to check your status online, or change visa details.
"I got an email confirmation the next morning that my visa was accepted, with detailed instructions," remembers Bruno.
Using Your e-Visa
The visa documents will be emailed to you, attached as PDF files. Bruno followed the instructions in the email, printing two copies and presenting them upon arrival in Cambodia. Why two copies? You'll need one each for entering and exiting Cambodia:
- Upon entry: Fill in an entry/exit card; present passport, one visa printout and entry/exit card to immigration officer
- Upon exit: Present passport, one visa printout and entry/exit card to immigration officer
Cambodia e-Visas are valid for the same terms as tourist visas - thirty days' maximum stay or 24 hours' minimum stay, valid for 90 days from date of issue. E-Visa holders can enter through the following points of entry:
- Three Cambodia international airports - Phnom Penh International Airport, Sihanoukville Airport, and Siem Reap International Airport
- Two Thailand border crossings: Cham Yeam (Koh Kong) and Poi Pet (the nearest overland crossing from Bangkok, across from Aranyaprathet)
- One Vietnam border crossing: Bavet (Moc Bai), located in the midpoint between Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
- One Laos border crossing: Tropaeng Kreal Border Post (Stung Treng)
However, e-Visa holders can use all international border crossings to exit Cambodia – even the ones not mentioned in the list above.
Air travelers, in particular, enjoy extra convenience if they use e-Visas to enter Cambodia, thanks to a dedicated immigration counter for e-Visa holders in both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap airports. "It was not the case for arrival at Poi Pet (by land)," Mr. Raymond says.
Applicants for an e-visa should time their visit to the official site correctly: if you apply for an e-visa more than three months prior to your trip, your visa application simply won’t be processed.
The Cambodia e-Visa is useful only for single entry trips, and can only be extended once.
In short, it's a tourist visa that can be procured online; business travelers who need to stay longer or make multiple entries into Cambodia will need to go the usual route to apply for a Cambodia business visa.
As noted previously, the Cambodia e-Visa costs US$6 more, with a processing fee of US$6 tacked on to the usual arrival visa fee of US$30. But if it saves you long trips to distant Cambodian embassies, or if it spares you from long queues in the airport (or the usual regimen of harassment and scams at Cambodia’s notorious land crossings), isn't US$6 a tiny price to pay for the added convenience?