Cambodia is known for having strict laws on proper visas and work permits on paper but leniency in practice. Still, as an employer, you need to ensure all employees obtain the proper Cambodia work permits. You must also have a local license and be an incorporated entity within the country before you can sponsor foreign employees.
Types of Work Visas in Cambodia
All foreign nationals coming to Cambodia for work must obtain an E-class visa, previously known as a business or ordinary visa, valid for 30 days. They must also obtain a work permit and employment card through the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training (MLVT). Cambodia introduced new E-class visa extension categories in 2016, which include:
- EB visa: The most common option for foreign nationals working in Cambodia. It applies to anyone working in the country, starting a business, freelancing, and staying in Cambodia for more than a month.
- EP visa: EP visas are issued to foreign nationals coming to Cambodia to look for a job, start a business, or remain in the country after their initial 30-day stay under the E-class visa expires.
- EG visa: The general visa that applies to those searching for employment. It can last one, three, or six months.
- ER visa: An ER visa is for those looking to retire in Cambodia. They must show documentation of retirement in their home country and prove they can financially support themselves.
- ES visa: A visa issued to students going to a school or university in Cambodia. Holders can extend it indefinitely as long as they can provide a letter from a registered Cambodian school and show they can financially support themselves.
- ET visa: This is the technician visa extension, meant for those who work in specific trades or industries.
Requirements to Obtain Cambodia Work Visas
Since you will sponsor employees for their Cambodia working visas and permits, you must provide the information necessary to obtain their work visas. Necessary company-level information includes:
- Certificate of incorporation with company stamp
- Registered business address
- Tax patent with company stamp
- List of all foreign and local employees to ensure the ratio is not below 9:1
- Your company’s articles of incorporation
Employees are required to provide their own information, including:
- Their name, gender, date of birth, and height
- Copies of their ID cards and passports
- Copy of their E visa
- Their current address
- Full names of their mother and father
- Health certificate
- Information about their role with the company
- The year they received their first E visa
Employees can apply for their Cambodia working visas in advance at the nearest Cambodian Embassy by submitting the documentation above. They’re also available at the Phnom Penh airport upon arrival.
Once the individual has a work visa, they must apply for a work permit, which is valid for a year and can be renewed for as long as the period indicated on a residence permit. Cambodia has two different work permits — temporary and permanent options.
Temporary work permits apply to staff and management specialists, technical workers, skilled workers, and service providers/other laborers. Foreign immigrants recognized by the Ministry of Interior, and foreign investors, spouses, and other dependents recognized by the Council for the Development of Cambodia are eligible for permanent work permits.
Other Important Considerations
Currently, work permits in Cambodia are confusing and poorly regulated. The 1997 Labor Law requires every foreign employee to have a work permit, but a large number of expats live and work in Cambodia without one. However, your employees should still apply for one to eliminate the chance of getting a large fine.
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