Cambodia getting tougher on visa extensions

Save on your hotel -
I’ve been living in Cambodia for over 10 years. When I need a visa extension, I’ve just paid the money and automatically gotten a year’s visa. That’s about to change. Cambodia is getting tougher on visa extensions.

According to sources, you can get two types of visas. One requires a work permit. Another requires proof of retirement. It’s still a little confusing and Facebook hasn’t helped. I’ve read too many contradictory reports. One person said they got a retirement visa without having to give proof of retirement, but another person contradicted that. I went to Ana Internet yesterday to find out more.

Apparently you do need proof of retirement to get a retirement visa. I’m not retired, so I have to get a work permit. I’m not quite sure how to get it, but we have a policeman friend who is looking into it for us. When I get a work permit, I’ll have to pay taxes in Cambodia. Fortunately, I don’t have to pay taxes in Australia, so I won’t be doubling up.

axe falls on visa extensions

Image from “Axe Falls” article. Click image to read the article

I was told to wait until the first of the year to apply for a work permit. If I did it now, I’d have to get another one in January. Since my visa doesn’t expire until the end of March, I can easily do that. The best article I’ve read on the subject is Axe Falls on Endless Cambodia Visa Extensions. According to the article, you can:

  • Give an employment letter
  • Get a work permit from the Ministry of Labor
  • Show a business license
  • Show an employment contract
  • Give a relevant document explaining why you need to stay in Cambodia

I’m still not sure if just one document will do. I was told I had to get a work permit. To do that, I need to give proof of employment. I work online, so will have to ask my Australian employers for a letter. I was also told they may ask you to pay back taxes, but this may or may not be true.

It’s not just visa extensions Cambodia is cracking down on. According to an article in AEC News, Cambodia to Target Foreigners with Irregular Documents, Cambodia is also cracking down on foreigners with irregular documents. According to the article, 19,000 foreigners have already been deported and more are sure to follow. “Irregular documents” include passports, visas, family books, residential books, ID cards and more.

I’ve enjoyed a free ride in Cambodia for over 10 years. It has cost me less than $1.00 a day to live here. Apparently, that’s about to change. I won’t know how complicated the process is until I go through it. Anyway, I can’t complain. I think it’s time for Cambodia to make it harder to stay here. Too many of us expats have enjoyed a free ride for too long. If we’re living here, we should be responsible for ourselves. With Cambodia getting tougher on visa extensions and irregular documents, perhaps those who sponge off Cambodia will have to look elsewhere for a home. Where is anybody’s guess. Many people have been coming here from Thailand and Vietnam because it is easy to get a visa here and the authorities have turned a blind eye to irregular documents. It looks like that’s about to change.