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Retirement Visa for Cambodia?


cigar7

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Getting a visa extension isn't the issue, Sheryl. Door-to-door enforcement by immigration is. I used to argue that you don't need one... then immigration turned up on my doorstep and demanded one about a month before I moved to Chiang Mai. They wanted to fine me and for me to pay for the work permit (including arrears) and my "I don't work" (which is true) landed on deaf ears.

In the end we settled on a $50 bribe as I was leaving the country (and wouldn't give them the original of my passport - just a photocopy - so they couldn't take it). Work permits have become necessary whether you work or not in Cambodia. They are easy to obtain now - from a travel agent just like the business visa (which almost nobody qualifies for properly either).

There was a post on another forum recently: "Immigration have been at my hotel and everyone on a business visa needs to go to an office and speak to WP people." No update from the poster how it went.

Hence my recommendation to budget this in, even if not working.

Conclusion: Cambodia is more expensive than Thailand in terms of the visa cost - which is good, to keep the cheap charlies out.

Don't live in a place to save $100+ per year but because you really love the place and want to be there.

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thx for the update. This is worrying. I had read on another forum that officials have begun visiting hotels in PP in order to sell/extort WP/fees. It would be good to keep an eye on this.

Is it really enforcing or more like a money grab by some enterprising officials?

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It is a money grab.

There is NO legal requirement to have a WP if not working. Indeed, since it is necessary to submit forms with details of place of work to get a WP those who get one and aren't working are probably guilty of filing false information....if what was "purchased" was a genuine WP which I think is open to doubt.

If it is a genuine WP then another issue arises namely how you will pay taxes on non-existant income since a main reason for the WP is to ensure collection of tax revenue.

Would be interested to know how prior poster knew the people who did this to be bona fide immigration officets.

BTW it is not a business visa, that category of visa was abolished some years back. It is an ordinary (as opposed to tourist) visa and there is nothing in immigration regs that limit it to people traveling for reason of business.

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It is a money grab.

There is NO legal requirement to have a WP if not working. Indeed, since it is necessary to submit forms with details of place of work to get a WP those who get one and aren't working are probably guilty of filing false information....if what was "purchased" was a genuine WP which I think is open to doubt.

If it is a genuine WP then another issue arises namely how you will pay taxes on non-existant income since a main reason for the WP is to ensure collection of tax revenue.

Would be interested to know how prior poster knew the people who did this to be bona fide immigration officets.

BTW it is not a business visa, that category of visa was abolished some years back. It is an ordinary (as opposed to tourist) visa and there is nothing in immigration regs that limit it to people traveling for reason of business.

How would you handle a situation where they came knocking on your door and asked you to produce your WP, which you don't need.

We've heard that it is happening. Is there an easy way around it?

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Well I would start by asking for their IDs to ascertain who they actually are.

Then I would stand my ground saying I am not required to have a WP as I am not working. More or less same thing I do with the "official" at Poipet who try to tell me I need to get a medical certificate.

Maybe take our my phone and say I will call my friend who is an Imm Officer.

In my experience when they see you know it is a scam and understand the law they back down pretty quick and move on to greener pastures.

Also maybe insist on going to the Imm Office to discuss it there. They won't want to do that.

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Btw immigration has nothing to do with WPs and WP requirements. That is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Labor. Article 261 of the Cambodian Labour Law states "all foreign workers must posess a valid work permit". Note "foreing workers". Not all foreigners. And no mention anywhere in this law of visa beyond "must have entered the Kingdom legally" and "must posess a valid residency permit" which I take to mean visa i.e. you must have the visa to get a WP but not the reverse. Again, entirely different branches of government involved..

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Well I would start by asking for their IDs to ascertain who they actually are.

Then I would stand my ground saying I am not required to have a WP as I am not working. More or less same thing I do with the "official" at Poipet who try to tell me I need to get a medical certificate.

Maybe take our my phone and say I will call my friend who is an Imm Officer.

In my experience when they see you know it is a scam and understand the law they back down pretty quick and move on to greener pastures.

Also maybe insist on going to the Imm Office to discuss it there. They won't want to do that.

The four officials who arrived on my doorstep were immigration and one of them very senior at that. They were only too keen to take me to immigration and start processing fines etc.

Unfortunately, the wording of the prakas regarding work permits is incredibly loose and it can be interpreted as "anyone who lives in Cambodia needs a work permit". There has been an ongoing war of words regarding this between immigration officials in Cambodia. Standing your ground would be a complete waste of time. Down in Sihanoukville the fines (and official fines at that) have been huge and they've backdate the requirements for a work permit to the very first visa in their passports. The best advice on this front is simple - get a work permit and save yourself the hassle.

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Btw immigration has nothing to do with WPs and WP requirements. That is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Labor. Article 261 of the Cambodian Labour Law states "all foreign workers must posess a valid work permit". Note "foreing workers". Not all foreigners. And no mention anywhere in this law of visa beyond "must have entered the Kingdom legally" and "must posess a valid residency permit" which I take to mean visa i.e. you must have the visa to get a WP but not the reverse. Again, entirely different branches of government involved..

Actually a residency permit is NOT a visa. Never has been. The number of residency permits issued by the Kingdom of Cambodia? To date, none. The ministry responsible for issuing them says the process is too complicated for them to understand. So even with a visa and work permit - you're not technically legal in Cambodia. Wait for enough barang idiots with too much time on their hands to go and start demanding those (which is what they did with work permits and why the whole stupid mess began to be enforced) and they'll come sooner or later.

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Immigration cannot fine you for working without a work permit. Only Ministry of Labor can do that. It is not a violation of immigration law, it is a violation of Labor Law.

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Immigration cannot fine you for working without a work permit. Only Ministry of Labor can do that. It is not a violation of immigration law, it is a violation of Labor Law.

Technically. But technically and reality rarely meet in corrupt 3rd world dictatorships like Cambodia and in this case they don't.

Immigration are fining people. They are issuing receipts for those fines. They are also enforcing "you must have a work permit whether or not you are working".

Given this, the reality is the one to deal with rather than the technical.

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If one has several used "ordinary/business" visas in their passport and it's expiring soon or running out of pages, getting a new one would of course solve any potential issue of a backdated fine. wink.png

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  • 2 weeks later...

Work permits are being enforced for those working.

There is no legal requirement to have a WP if you are not working.

TV members report - recently - getting the one year extension without one with no problem.

Getting a visa extension isn't the issue, Sheryl. Door-to-door enforcement by immigration is. I used to argue that you don't need one... then immigration turned up on my doorstep and demanded one about a month before I moved to Chiang Mai. They wanted to fine me and for me to pay for the work permit (including arrears) and my "I don't work" (which is true) landed on deaf ears.

In the end we settled on a $50 bribe as I was leaving the country (and wouldn't give them the original of my passport - just a photocopy - so they couldn't take it). Work permits have become necessary whether you work or not in Cambodia. They are easy to obtain now - from a travel agent just like the business visa (which almost nobody qualifies for properly either).

sorry to hear about it reaper.

shakedowns actually. very similar to what happened to me exiting at pp airport where they wanted money for some visa stamps that had become unglued due to heat in my passport and were loose in there.

really poor country, and once you get shaked down you never really feel completely comfortable there long term. welcome back to cm!

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... very similar to what happened to me exiting at pp airport where they wanted money for some visa stamps that had become unglued due to heat in my passport and were loose in there.

They tried this on me at the Poipet border crossing (I stood my ground & refused to pay) but this is the first I have heard of it being done at the airport. sad.png

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... very similar to what happened to me exiting at pp airport where they wanted money for some visa stamps that had become unglued due to heat in my passport and were loose in there.

They tried this on me at the Poipet border crossing (I stood my ground & refused to pay) but this is the first I have heard of it being done at the airport. sad.png

Almost all my cambodia visas have come unstuck now. I wonder if I can re-use the pages... ;)

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i "lost" a Cambodian visa and it was near the front of my 48 page us passport, years ago,

no one would place a stamp on that page even if i asked - it still shows there was something there as there is slight remainder of the immigration red stamp and the page has a different color from the glue.

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Getting back to the cost of visa. 800,000 baht stuck at hardly any interest in a Thai bank is no fun. Even if it is just for 3 months and disregarding transfer fees etc. we look at 25K USD at practically zero interest. In Cambodia this sum could produce around 500 USD for 3 months (after 6 % tax).

Many forget this loss of income. On top of that your money is not stuck.

Thus, people who depend on bank accounts for their Thai visa will pay a lot more for their visa plus have a lot of banking charges and visits ahead of them in order to limit the losses. In a way the scenario outlined above is a best case scenario.

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Getting back to the cost of visa. 800,000 baht stuck at hardly any interest in a Thai bank is no fun. Even if it is just for 3 months and disregarding transfer fees etc. we look at 25K USD at practically zero interest. In Cambodia this sum could produce around 500 USD for 3 months (after 6 % tax).

Many forget this loss of income. On top of that your money is not stuck.

Thus, people who depend on bank accounts for their Thai visa will pay a lot more for their visa plus have a lot of banking charges and visits ahead of them in order to limit the losses. In a way the scenario outlined above is a best case scenario.

Everyone will argue this from their own viewpoint. Using the income method in Thailand is totally painless, no cash tied up anywhere.

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Hardly "totally painless". For me, would require a trip to Bangkok (6 hour drive), payment of fee to the Embassy, and lying in an assertion made to Embassy officials as I do not in fact met income criteria.

Even if I later do quality I will likely continue to use the 800,000 baht in the bank method as it is far easier and less expensive for me.

As you say, everyone's situation is different.

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i use the combo method;

very easy

US counselor visits Phuket 4 x/year to get my letter $50--- 15 minute drive, get to see old friends i haven't seen in a year :-)

visit the bank to get my letter--- 200 baht

Money does not need to be seasoned

visit immigration pay my 1,900 + 3,800

set for another year

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FWIW, BKK Immigration in recent years has begun requiring seasoning of bank deposit funds used when doing the "combo" (income plus bank deposits) method of qualifying for a retirement extension. Not all offices do, but BKK has joined the list of those that do.

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My point was not to reject other opinions. I simply felt that applicants who depend on the bank deposit way should consider the loss of interest and possible banking fees in their calculations.

The rules work out differently in terms of cost for different people. The bank route is likely to impact those under the retirement age in their respective country.

In the end, there will be no simple answer fitting each and everyone. Once that point comes over it is helpful to people trying to figure things out. So we all add with our posts small stones to a big puzzle.

Just another item that might be of interesting: By maintaining a baht balance and being forced to change USD to Baht I would have lost thousands of USD due to changes in the exchange rate. Years earlier I would have gained. At the same time, the USD in a Cambo bank, better in various banks, generate an income substantially higher than any Thai bank would provide. While it is true that these factors are not dependent on the Thai immigration regiment, they still directly connected.

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  • 4 months later...

There is some info in the press and an explanation why it is delayed. What I do not get is why they do not publish more detail info in advance.

 

I m not sure if there is a real advantage coming with it.

 

Here is a bit info: http://www.tourismcambodia.com/news/localnews/21511/cambodia-woos-seniors.htm

 

Pricing will be another matter.

 

Perhaps the best way to learn more is to drop by lucky motors - our top experts.

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I'm sure it will have no advantages (and many disadvantages) over the prior situation where people could just get an ordinary visa - but they have begun to require that people with those have work permits, and once the retirement visa option is in place I expect that will be more thoroughly enforced.

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  • 2 months later...

Retirement visas (more accurately, extensions of stay) are now being issued and can be gotten through Lucky Lucky Moto and other visa agents. Same price as the business/"ordinary" visa and no special requirements other than to be "old". I was told over 60 but they didn't seem too sure on that. The extension you get comes marked "ER" and should forstall any demands for work permit (you are not, of course, allowed to work).

 

I assume you'd need to first come in on an ordinary (not tourist) visa. Which most nationalities can get on arrival.

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46 minutes ago, Sheryl said:

Retirement visas (more accurately, extensions of stay) are now being issued and can be gotten through Lucky Lucky Moto and other visa agents. Same price as the business/"ordinary" visa and no special requirements other than to be "old". I was told over 60 but they didn't seem too sure on that. The extension you get comes marked "ER" and should forstall any demands for work permit (you are not, of course, allowed to work).

 

I assume you'd need to first come in on an ordinary (not tourist) visa. Which most nationalities can get on arrival.

 

That's quite a nice piece of good news to come down the pike today...

 

Especially on a day when the local headlines include:

Thaivisa survey: Half of expats have considered leaving Thailand in the last year

 

Dunno that I'm ready to pull the pin on Thailand and head for Cambodia just yet, a place that certainly has its own warts. But at least, getting some competition from neighbor Cambodia for the expat retiree community will PERHAPS spur Thai Immigration to consider how their policies and behavior negatively impacts perfectly ordinary, law-abiding expats here.

 

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Enter on an ordinary visa ( ariport or land border  $35 and a photo)

extend before the 30 days is up atj ust about any travel agent for $280-290 for a year extension... multiple entry.

 

Living in Cambodia is not like living in Thailand, i lived there fora year and love visiting, BUT by far prefer it overhere

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