How to Apply for a Cambodia E-Visa
How to Apply for a Cambodia E-Visa
Most tourists visiting Cambodia will require a visa to enter the country. The exception is if you hold a passport from either Brunei, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Phillipines, Singapore, Thailand or Vietnam. If you hold a passport from Afghanistan, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka or Sudan you'll need to get a visa at an embassy prior to arriving . If you're from any other country you are eligible for a Visa upon Arrival (VOA) or a Cambodia E-visa.
E-Visa vs. Visa on Arrival
The Cambodian E-visa program is relatively new and costs $30 USD for the visa, plus an additional $6 USD processing fee. The Kingdom of Cambodia says it usually takes 1-3 Business Days to process the visa application. However, ours were approved within 24 hours so it was a relatively painless process.
In our opinion, applying for our Cambodia E-visas and being approved prior to arrival gives us peace of mind. Though when we flew from Chiang Mai to Phnom Penh there was virtually no line for VOAs at the airport (at around 7:00AM on a Sunday). Long story short, we could have saved a few dollars not paying an online processing fee since there was no wait at the airport anyway.
However, it could be a different story crossing over a land border. Though we don't have experience entering Cambodia via bus, we have done it several times for other countries and things tend to get a bit hectic with lines of buses at the land border crossings.
Note: E-visas are only accepted at the following ports of entry: Phnom Penh International airport, Siem Reap International airport, Cham Yeam (Koh Kong), Poi Pet (Banteay Meanchey), Bavet (Svay Rieng), Tropaeng Kreal Border Post (Stung Treng), and Sihanoukville International Airport.
Cost: $30 USD*
Pros: Accepted at all Ports of Entry, No extra processing fee*, Instant Processing
Cons: Need to bring (2) passport size photos to the border, Could face a long line at some ports of entry
Cost: $30 USD + $6 USD processing fee
Pros: Typically shorter wait at border crossings, No need to get travel documents upon arrival (be sure to bring your Printed E-Visa)
Cons: $6 online processing fee, Only accepted at certain ports of Entry (some land borders and airports), Processing time of 1-3 Business Days
*If you don't bring (2) passport sized photos for a VOA, you will be charged an extra few $$ to have them taken there. We have also heard stories of tourists being asked to pay a 'processing fee' to the immigration officer at some land borders. There should be no additional fee to pay in person when applying for a VOA.
Starting the E-Visa Application
Applying for a Cambodia E-visa is actually quite simple - this link will take you to the Kingdom of Cambodia's e-visa application website. Step 1 is entering in a security captcha to make sure you're not a robot trying to visit the country. Step 2 prompts you to enter your personal information including passport and travel details.
The application photo should be a plain headshot of yourself against a wall (preferably a solid color). During Step 2 you will also have to attach a copy of your passport. I (Josh) have a scanned PDF file of my passport that I use for online visa applications. However, Molly just took a photo of hers from her phone which also works just fine when applying for the Cambodia e-visa. After completing this step you will simply need to review all of your information and make a payment.
Note: Don't worry if you don't have a flight or bus booked into the country while you're applying for a Cambodia E-visa. You can add in flight and/or lodging details after submitting your application. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will send you an email with your Cambodia E-visa application reference number.
Editing the E-Visa Application
After you finish applying for the Cambodia E-visa you should get an email with your reference number. There is a link in the email that allows you to go back and edit your visa. From here you will need to enter in your Reference Number and email address used for the application. Next you will be taken to the 'Application Status' shown in the second picture below. Click on the 'Edit' button to add Flight and Lodging details.
Some details are un-editable after you submit your Cambodia e-visa application. However, you are able to add your flight and lodging address information after submitting the application. Molly didn't add any to hers but I added it to my application to see if it would be approved any faster. It turns out that we both go our e-visa acceptance emails at virtually the same time.
Receiving your Cambodia E-Visa
After you're done with applying for the Cambodia E-Visa, you should receive an email within 1-3 Business Days with a response. We lucked out and got ours approved within 24 hours. Though we ended up paying $36 for the e-visa instead of $30 for the VOA, we felt a sense of relief that all our affairs were in order for our arrival in Phnom Penh.