Cambodia to introduce three-year visa for expats

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Cambodia border crossingCambodia is expanding its unusually permissive visa regime and will soon issue three-year multiple-entry visas to entice more long-stay visitors and expats to the country.

Application for the visa can be made from September 1, and foreigners from all countries are eligible. Tourists and business people can get a two-year stay or three-year stay with multiple entries. Details on the pricing of the new visa was not yet available.

Ho Vandy, secretary-general of Cambodia’s National Tourism Alliance, told the Khmer Times that the move to extend visas was part of a strategy to develop the country’s tourism sector. Cambodia hopes to welcome at least 7.5 million foreign tourists by 2020, according to a newly announced target. Of this number, two million are Chinese and 300,000 Japanese, according to the Cambodia Tourism Marketing Strategy 2016-2020.

Cambodia is also in the process of introducing a new visa category for foreign retirees to encourage more expatriates to settle in Cambodia. The new visa will require proof of financial stability and documentation proving retiree status from applicants’ home countries. But, unlike business visas, officially called “Category E” visas, the new retirement visas – to be called “Category ER” visas – will be valid for up to a year and will not allow visa holders to take up any kind of work.

Foreigners staying in Cambodia long-time usually use “business visas” which are valid for one month, three months, six months or up to a year and can be renewed indefinitely regardless of whether the foreigners are actually employed in the country or are running any business. Work permits are now officially required in addition to business visas, but the regulation is rarely enforced.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced it will be hiking fees for its 15-days non-extendable visa on arrival to 2,000 baht ($58) from 1,000 baht, starting this September. The 19 countries affected are Andorra, Bulgaria, Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

Observer are questioning the logic of the move since it came shortly after deadly bomb attacks on tourism resorts which already deterred tourists from coming to Thailand. And since Chinese make the lion’s share of tourists to the country, it might reduce arrivals further which is exactly the contrary of what the Thai Tourism Ministry wants to achieve.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Cambodia is expanding its unusually permissive visa regime and will soon issue three-year multiple-entry visas to entice more long-stay visitors and expats to the country.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Cambodia border crossingCambodia is expanding its unusually permissive visa regime and will soon issue three-year multiple-entry visas to entice more long-stay visitors and expats to the country.

Application for the visa can be made from September 1, and foreigners from all countries are eligible. Tourists and business people can get a two-year stay or three-year stay with multiple entries. Details on the pricing of the new visa was not yet available.

Ho Vandy, secretary-general of Cambodia’s National Tourism Alliance, told the Khmer Times that the move to extend visas was part of a strategy to develop the country’s tourism sector. Cambodia hopes to welcome at least 7.5 million foreign tourists by 2020, according to a newly announced target. Of this number, two million are Chinese and 300,000 Japanese, according to the Cambodia Tourism Marketing Strategy 2016-2020.

Cambodia is also in the process of introducing a new visa category for foreign retirees to encourage more expatriates to settle in Cambodia. The new visa will require proof of financial stability and documentation proving retiree status from applicants’ home countries. But, unlike business visas, officially called “Category E” visas, the new retirement visas – to be called “Category ER” visas – will be valid for up to a year and will not allow visa holders to take up any kind of work.

Foreigners staying in Cambodia long-time usually use “business visas” which are valid for one month, three months, six months or up to a year and can be renewed indefinitely regardless of whether the foreigners are actually employed in the country or are running any business. Work permits are now officially required in addition to business visas, but the regulation is rarely enforced.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced it will be hiking fees for its 15-days non-extendable visa on arrival to 2,000 baht ($58) from 1,000 baht, starting this September. The 19 countries affected are Andorra, Bulgaria, Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

Observer are questioning the logic of the move since it came shortly after deadly bomb attacks on tourism resorts which already deterred tourists from coming to Thailand. And since Chinese make the lion’s share of tourists to the country, it might reduce arrivals further which is exactly the contrary of what the Thai Tourism Ministry wants to achieve.

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