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Business Visa for Cambodia? Can my Thai wife also get one?


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The advice here is all OK but your wife does not need to visit immigration when she arrives (though you do). Thai nationals get a 14-day visa free access to Cambodia - this visa-free access can then be converted into a business visa at any travel agent in Cambodia. (I've done this twice with my, now-ex, Thai partner). You need a 1 month ordinary visa for $25 (plus whatever minor bribe they can extort) at immigration in Poipet. Don't let an agent on the Thai side do this for you - they'll rip you off and leave you with a tourist visa which can't be extended for more than a month (meaning a trip back to Poipet to do it all over agan).

It's worth noting that 12 month visa processing times have gone up in Cambodia - it used to take 3-4 days and it now takes more like 10 days so remember to put your passports in with a travel agent early rather than late. (There is a potential $5 a day fine if you don't hand your passports in early enough - this will be collected from your visa agent who will pass the charge on to you when you collect your passports).

Thanks for the tip on 10-day processing time. I was going to up my visa to 1 year on my next trip. But cannot stay there for 2 weeks. Back to the 6-month one then.

Nah it can be done in 2-3 days. Took 2 days earlier this year.

Thai nationals should pay for the 1-month business visa on arrival and then convert it just like every other nationality that needs a visa to get in. If they arrive on a 14-day stamp, it's probably treated like a $20 tourist visa. Not sure if a conversion can be made without going out of the country first. Better arrive and request the correct visa on arrival.

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Don't go to immigration in PP yourself to get an extension. You get it done through a travel agency. Travel agencies can also get your passport back to you sooner. No one fronts up to immigration for extensions themselves in Cambodia. Just contact an agent, could even be a motorcycle rental shop such as Lucky! Lucky! or something.

At the land borders, always get your initial visa yourself, never through anyone who tries to "help" you though.

Edited by Tomtomtom69
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The advice here is all OK but your wife does not need to visit immigration when she arrives (though you do). Thai nationals get a 14-day visa free access to Cambodia - this visa-free access can then be converted into a business visa at any travel agent in Cambodia. (I've done this twice with my, now-ex, Thai partner). You need a 1 month ordinary visa for $25 (plus whatever minor bribe they can extort) at immigration in Poipet. Don't let an agent on the Thai side do this for you - they'll rip you off and leave you with a tourist visa which can't be extended for more than a month (meaning a trip back to Poipet to do it all over agan).

It's worth noting that 12 month visa processing times have gone up in Cambodia - it used to take 3-4 days and it now takes more like 10 days so remember to put your passports in with a travel agent early rather than late. (There is a potential $5 a day fine if you don't hand your passports in early enough - this will be collected from your visa agent who will pass the charge on to you when you collect your passports).

Thanks for the tip on 10-day processing time. I was going to up my visa to 1 year on my next trip. But cannot stay there for 2 weeks. Back to the 6-month one then.

Nah it can be done in 2-3 days. Took 2 days earlier this year.

Thai nationals should pay for the 1-month business visa on arrival and then convert it just like every other nationality that needs a visa to get in. If they arrive on a 14-day stamp, it's probably treated like a $20 tourist visa. Not sure if a conversion can be made without going out of the country first. Better arrive and request the correct visa on arrival.

You are wrong on all counts. 1. The processing times changed this month; look at the Cambodia forums or ask anyone here - 2-3 days used to be possible, it isn't any more.

2. Thai nationals can convert the 14-day visa to a long-term business visa (as I said above - I have done this twice).

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Don't go to immigration to get an extension. You get it done through a travel agency. Travel agencies can also get your passport back to you sooner. No one fronts up to immigration themselves in Cambodia. Just contact an agent, could even be a motorcycle rental shop such as Lucky! Lucky! or something.

This bit is almost correct. You can go to the department and do the paperwork yourself; if you want to sacrifice two days of your life and make sure all the real visa paperwork is absolutely 100% correct (including invitation letters, etc.) and paying a few bribes yourself - this may save you $50 and is absolutely not worth it.

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Don't go to immigration to get an extension. You get it done through a travel agency. Travel agencies can also get your passport back to you sooner. No one fronts up to immigration themselves in Cambodia. Just contact an agent, could even be a motorcycle rental shop such as Lucky! Lucky! or something.

This bit is almost correct. You can go to the department and do the paperwork yourself; if you want to sacrifice two days of your life and make sure all the real visa paperwork is absolutely 100% correct (including invitation letters, etc.) and paying a few bribes yourself - this may save you $50 and is absolutely not worth it.

As mentioned nobody does this because as everyone knows you can just stay in Cambodia on 1-year extensions with no business, no work, just paying the money. Officially, to get a 1-year extension you need some kind of invitation letter etc. but I assume that most travel agencies submit one on your behalf without you even knowing and that's where the extra fees come in. Fronting up yourself would be a nightmare just to save a few bucks, particularly if you don't know what's required or if all you want the business visa for is to avoid applying for a new visa every time you enter. Of course it may still be possible to pay some bribes to avoid the invitation letter, but as you say it's not worth it. Never heard of anyone trying.

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As a few members have brought this topic back to life, I was wondering if the cost of living varies much in Cambodia from Thailand?

On a like-for-like basis; nearly everything is cheaper in Cambodia than in Thailand. Though finding a "like for like" product can be difficult in Cambodia which has fewer available choices than Thailand.

Beer, rent, cigs, food, etc. are cheaper.

Electricity is more expensive. So is milk.

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The advice here is all OK but your wife does not need to visit immigration when she arrives (though you do). Thai nationals get a 14-day visa free access to Cambodia - this visa-free access can then be converted into a business visa at any travel agent in Cambodia. (I've done this twice with my, now-ex, Thai partner). You need a 1 month ordinary visa for $25 (plus whatever minor bribe they can extort) at immigration in Poipet. Don't let an agent on the Thai side do this for you - they'll rip you off and leave you with a tourist visa which can't be extended for more than a month (meaning a trip back to Poipet to do it all over agan).

It's worth noting that 12 month visa processing times have gone up in Cambodia - it used to take 3-4 days and it now takes more like 10 days so remember to put your passports in with a travel agent early rather than late. (There is a potential $5 a day fine if you don't hand your passports in early enough - this will be collected from your visa agent who will pass the charge on to you when you collect your passports).

Thanks for the tip on 10-day processing time. I was going to up my visa to 1 year on my next trip. But cannot stay there for 2 weeks. Back to the 6-month one then.

Nah it can be done in 2-3 days. Took 2 days earlier this year.

Thai nationals should pay for the 1-month business visa on arrival and then convert it just like every other nationality that needs a visa to get in. If they arrive on a 14-day stamp, it's probably treated like a $20 tourist visa. Not sure if a conversion can be made without going out of the country first. Better arrive and request the correct visa on arrival.

You are wrong on all counts. 1. The processing times changed this month; look at the Cambodia forums or ask anyone here - 2-3 days used to be possible, it isn't any more.

2. Thai nationals can convert the 14-day visa to a long-term business visa (as I said above - I have done this twice).

Doesn't it depend where you apply? I've only ever applied in Phnom Penh and my understanding is that all business visa extensions are processed in Phnom Penh only. As you live in Siem Reap I don't think it would ever have taken only 2-3 days for you. More like 4-6 because your agent would have to send your passport down to PP and then back again. But even if 10 days is becoming the standard now, I'm sure by paying extra you can still get it done quicker (it's Cambodia after all). Just that you'll probably have to pay much more than US$300, rather than slightly less that is the case now.

I'm wondering if 1-month tourist visas can still be converted to business visas first and then to a long term business visa, which would likely be more expensive and complicated than arriving with a business visa from the beginning. If as you say Thais can do that, wouldn't it cost them much more than US$300? I know that in Vietnam, visa exempt nationalities are allowed to get a 3-month multi entry extension and conversion done, but it will cost way more than if you entered on a 1-month or 3-month visa. That's because the original entry was free and therefore immigration wants extra money to make up for that.

Also, if Thais can still do that AND up to 10 days may be required for the conversion, then Thais would better hand in their passports immediately after arrival otherwise they would run the risk of their visas running out before the extension is processed.

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So far, it makes little difference if you apply in PP or SR. No, you can't pay a little extra for fast tracking. Thai's should apply within the first 4 days of arrival on the 14 day deal.

A tourist visa conversion can be done, theoretically, to a business visa. In practice it costs more than flying out and flying back again.

PhuketRichard is wrong. In many ways, the Western import goods are much cheaper and of equal quality to those in Thailand. There's less of a selection, that's true - but I spend a shed load less in Cambodia in a month than I would to live the equivalent life in Thailand. Those who don't live here - never discover where to go to get the best deals...

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So far, it makes little difference if you apply in PP or SR. No, you can't pay a little extra for fast tracking. Thai's should apply within the first 4 days of arrival on the 14 day deal.

A tourist visa conversion can be done, theoretically, to a business visa. In practice it costs more than flying out and flying back again.

PhuketRichard is wrong. In many ways, the Western import goods are much cheaper and of equal quality to those in Thailand. There's less of a selection, that's true - but I spend a shed load less in Cambodia in a month than I would to live the equivalent life in Thailand. Those who don't live here - never discover where to go to get the best deals...

Are you sure about the no fast track service? Who have you asked to confirm this? Have you tried it yourself? Although it doesn't become applicable to me until next year, I will certainly ask about it then and offer to pay more if the agent claims it will take 10 days. In almost all cases paying more gets things done faster in Cambodia. I simply don't believe they wouldn't accept extra money to get things done faster.

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There is no official/legal "fast track service".

If you are asking whether you can bribe your way to a faster result, that is usually possible in Cambodia.

But we do not like to discuss illegal activity in the forum.

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There is no official/legal "fast track service".

If you are asking whether you can bribe your way to a faster result, that is usually possible in Cambodia.

But we do not like to discuss illegal activity in the forum.

OK but that's the way things are done in Cambodia. I am not sure if previously there was an official "fast-track" service either. I simply enquired about how long it would take (back in February), I was told around 3-4 days (this was in Phnom Penh) and asked if it can be quicker than that and they said yes probably only 2-3 days (but they weren't sure) and they didn't ask for extra money - in fact my passport arrived back much more quickly than I expected, I only had to wait for one night, even though I had been prepared to wait around 2 nights.

Given how much one would have to pay for 8-9 nights in a hotel and after that amount of time you'd quickly run out of things to do, paying extra would certainly be worth it, but OK I'll leave that one to the agent who processes my new extension at that time.

I was just confused as to why the processing time had suddenly increased and the claim that there is no fast track service, but if you mean there is no "official" service then I understand.

Edited by Tomtomtom69
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So far, it makes little difference if you apply in PP or SR. No, you can't pay a little extra for fast tracking. Thai's should apply within the first 4 days of arrival on the 14 day deal.

A tourist visa conversion can be done, theoretically, to a business visa. In practice it costs more than flying out and flying back again.

PhuketRichard is wrong. In many ways, the Western import goods are much cheaper and of equal quality to those in Thailand. There's less of a selection, that's true - but I spend a shed load less in Cambodia in a month than I would to live the equivalent life in Thailand. Those who don't live here - never discover where to go to get the best deals...

it all depends on what your buying. !!!

, i lived in PP in 2008/09 and travel up there at least 2 x .year an when i go places I always look at prices in Markets and supermarkets.

wine/cigs are cheaper for sure Imported meats are more as are cheeses.

most all western good come from Thailand and /or Vietnam

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