Cambodia plans long-term visas for foreigners amid fierce regional tourism race

By Hoang Phong   November 20, 2023 | 03:13 pm PT
Cambodia plans long-term visas for foreigners amid fierce regional tourism race
Tourists walk outside the Royal Palace in central Phnom Penh. Photo by Reuters
Industry insiders have called on the Cambodian government to consider granting long-term visas for foreign tourists as Southeast Asian nations are racing to boost tourism recovery with flexible immigration policies.

"Long-term visas should be considered by converting short visits from single-entry to multiple-entry for a minimum of 1 to 3 months," said Thourn Sinan, Chairman and Board Member of the Pacific Asia Travel Association, as cited by the Khmer Times.

He added the government should consider offering annual visas with attractive policies to attract foreigners who wish to become residents of Cambodia.

Craig Dodge, director of Sales and Marketing at a Cambodian circus, told Khmer Times that the government should offer multiple-entry visas over a specific time to make it easier for travelers exploring the region to return to Cambodia multiple times during their visit.

"Cambodia's visa program for long stays is quite easy to work with. The visa extensions for work or retirement are straightforward," added Dodge.

Passport holders from ASEAN countries are eligible for a visa-free stay upon entering Cambodia with the allowed maximum stay depending on nationality.

Citizens from Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Singapore are allowed to stay for a maximum of 30 days while citizens from other countries are allowed 15 days.

For passport holders from countries not eligible for the visa-exemption scheme, they can apply for visa on arrival or via an e-visa service. Nationals of any country may obtain a visa on arrival for tourism purposes with a visa fee of $30 for a maximum stay of 30 days.

The e-visa service is available for citizens of most countries for $36, which allows for a single entry and a maximum stay of 30 days for tourism purposes.

Starting from mid-August, Vietnam has been issuing tourist visas for people from all countries and territories valid for 90 days and multiple entries.

Thailand currently waives visa requirements for travelers from China, Kazakhstan, India, and Taiwan and offers a 90-day visa exemption for certain markets, such as Russia.

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