Cambodia Tourist Visa and Current Travel Guidelines

Cambodia is a country whose international appeal to tourists has been steadily increasing over the years.

Sandwiched between Thailand and Vietnam, the two most popular countries for tourists in Southeast Asia, Cambodia was once a place that backpackers would use as a bridge between more well-trodden ports of call.

Now though, Cambodia is much more than a stepping stone, it is an outright destination, which is reflected in the consistent annual spikes in foreigners applying for and receiving a Cambodia tourist visa.

To facilitate this process, Cambodian tourism officials have implemented an eVisa for citizens of several countries, with the list growing to include more nations. Recently, officials introduced an option for passport holders from India, hoping to tap into one of the largest populations in the world with the Cambodia eVisa for Indians.

Is Cambodia currently issuing tourist visas?

As restrictions have fluctuated during the pandemic, the most important tip for applying for a visa to Cambodia is to ensure that the country is accepting foreign visitors.

The current answer is: Yes, you can get a Cambodia tourist visas. However, prospective travelers must familiarize themselves with the most recent updates from the Cambodian government before traveling as alterations to the current guidelines and rules can be made at a moment’s notice.

When applying for your Cambodia tourist visa, take the following tips into account:

  • Start your application early.
  • Make sure your passport is valid (including 6 months past your travel dates).
  • Follow all the requirements and get all of the necessary documents read.
  • Make all travel bookings required for the visa ahead of time (though, make sure to double check cancellation policies on your flights and accommodation as you never know when travel restrictions may change again).
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Siem Reap, Cambodia

How important is tourism to Cambodia?

The coronavirus pandemic and resulting fallout had an enormous impact on Cambodia. As was the case with any nation that derives such a large percentage of its GDP from its tourism sector, the March 23rd, 2020 closing of its borders shut off the income stream for millions of Cambodians who rely on foreign visitors for their livelihood.

With that in mind, motivation has remained high to work to contain the COVID-19 virus to once again be able to welcome tourists back into the country at or approaching the pre-pandemic levels.

Related Read: Travelling in a Pandemic: Crucial Safe Travel Tips

Cambodia tourist visa
Tourism in Cambodia supports the locals

What to do and see in Cambodia

After applying for and receiving a valid Cambodian eVisa, and also verifying that travelers can enter the country, there are a ton of reasons to take a trip or even volunteer in Cambodia.

The most consistent of these reasons is certainly the temple and palace structures that can be found throughout the country. The famous Angkor Wat temple not only attracts hordes of visitors daily, but it even adorns the country’s flag, showing its importance to the nation and its people.

Angkor Wat is hardly the only draw for foreigners looking to experience Cambodian culture. There is often a misconception that Angkor Wat is a standalone temple somewhere out in the jungle when that is not the case at all.

Siem Reap, the town that functions as the jumping-off point for a trip to Angkor Wat, features an entire temple complex that houses Khmer (Cambodian people) structures, buildings, and temples made from stone such as the Bayon Temple, Angkor Thom, and the Terrace of the Elephants.

There can be a lot of misinformation from companies and individuals looking to take advantage of clueless tourists, so it is always best to read up on tips for visiting Cambodia and, more especially, Siem Reap before departing.

Angkor Wat, volunteer in Cambodia
Angkor Wat, in Cambodia

Following local travel guidelines in Cambodia

Understanding and respecting local customs and ways of life is the absolute bare minimum that visitors should do before entering a country. Every country and people have their specific ways of doing things and unique cuisine and Cambodia is no different.

The importance of understanding a country is elevated even more while the coronavirus remains a threat. Just because a country is issuing tourist visas does not mean that the country is going to be completely open for business.

States, counties, cities, and even individual neighborhoods or locales may have their guidelines or restrictions, so anyone who plans to visit Cambodia should research not just the general government-issued regulations, but also the local ones depending on where they are planning to visit.

What types of restrictions does Cambodia have?

Travelers from many countries may have to quarantine upon arrival in Cambodia, subject to their country of origin’s current infection rates. Visitors will also be required to undergo two COVID tests, one upon arrival, and another on the 13th day of the quarantine to ensure that they are not carrying the virus.

Another important factor to consider when making an itinerary is that there are three classifications for regions of Cambodia concerning each area’s infection rates.

  • Red Zones” have the most strict regulations in place and areas that fall under that category are essentially in lockdown.
  • Dark-Yellow Zones” have slightly more freedom of movement for their residents and visitors, but it is still not recommended that tourists visit these areas as they will be subject to strict rules.
  • Yellow Zones” are the least restrictive areas and in these sections, many businesses and restaurants are permitted to remain open and people may walk around freely.

While traveling may feel harder now than it was before, we still encourage you to visit Cambodia! Get your Cambodia tourist visa, check the current regulations and restrictions and come visit!

Simple Tips for an Easy Visa Application

Applying for a visa can be one of the most stressful parts of traveling. From figuring out what type of visa you need to how to apply for one and gathering the MANY documents required.

Not to mention getting the timing right to make sure that you get your visa in time!

While we can’t take away all the admin that often comes with visa applications, it is possible to have a relatively easy visa application process.

Here’s a few simple tips to ensuring that you have an easy visa application!

Applying for a visa might seem daunting, but it’s not impossible. Here’s a few visa application tips to help make the process much easier.

Get help if you need it

If you don’t have time to figure out the whole visa application process yourself, or just don’t feel like going through the hassle, then hire a visa application service, like ByeVisa.

ByeVisa are eVisa experts and make international travel simple and stress free. Not only do they provide all the information that you need, but you can apply for your eVisa with them – in just a few clicks!

Not all visa application services assist with all visas. ByeVisa, for example, assists with Canada, USA, Vietnam, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Cambodia eVisas.

Start your application process early

If you know that you’re going to need a visa for the country that you’re visiting, start planning your travels early. Most countries accept visa applications up to 90 days before your date of travel, so don’t wait until the last minute.

While some visas may come through really quickly, others can take a few weeks. Each country has different turnaround times, which you can usually find on their dedicated websites. Be aware that during peak season visa processing can take longer than anticipated.

If you do need a visa in a hurry though, you can always opt for Priority Visa Service (available for certain countries). However, you will need to pay extra for this service.

Make sure that your passport is valid

We often forget to check the expiry dates on our passports, but it’s an important detail for your visa application.

Most visa application requirements include your passport being valid for at least three to six months beyond the date that you plan to leave the destination.

Some visas, like the US ESTA Tourist Visa, may require your passport to be an electronic passport that includes a digital chip with biometric information.

Follow ALL the requirements

You’ll usually be able to find a checklist of the requirements for the visa for your destination. It’s important that you follow ALL of the requirements by getting all of the documentation ready.

The last thing that you want to do is waste a visa appointment slot by getting rejected purely because you left out a document.

The standard requirements are usually:

  • Your visa application form (accurately filled out).
  • Recent passport photos.
  • Valid passport.
  • Round-trip flight details (here’s how to get cheap flights).
  • Accommodation bookings or letter of invitation.
  • Proof of financial means.
  • Travel insurance policy.
  • Proof of paid visa.

Every visa is different, so make sure that your research specifically for the destination that you’re visiting as some might require additional documents.

Depending on the type of visa that you’re applying for, whether it’s a business visa, working holiday visa or long-term visa, you may need further documentation. Some countries may require you to submit a letter of employment from your country.

If you have all of these documents ready beforehand, you’ll more likely have an easy visa application process.

Be clear on your reason for travel

Why do you want to visit that country? You’re going to be asked this question on your visa application form, during your interview (if required), and probably also at passport control when you arrive. So, it’s a good idea to be clear on your purpose of travel (and stick to it).

Are you visiting family? Are you going for work or a conference? Is this purely a holiday trip?

You will be asked to prove your reason. If, for example, you’re going to visit family, you may be required to provide a letter of invitation along with a copy of your family members passport. If you’re going for work, then you’ll likely be required to produce a letter from your work.

Include a cover letter

This tip is mostly geared towards those applying for a Schengen Visa where it’s quite common to include a cover letter in your application.

This is your time to shine, and PITCH yourself. Include your reasons why you’re traveling to the country (including that you love their country), your planned itinerary, your financial means, and your reasons to return home. They want to know what you’re going to be getting up to in their country and that, when your visa expires, you’ll be leaving.

Easy visa applications come to those who are prepared. Do your research, get your documents ready and start the process early!