Applying For A Cambodia E-Visa With A US Passport

Filed Under: Advice, Travel

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While applying for Vietnam e-Visas for our group was fairly annoying (an unclear website, weird payment funnels, and having to do separate applications for each person), and Laos visas are arranged on arrival, getting Cambodia visas in advance was basically delightful.

The last time I was in Cambodia (in 2014) there was a more “theoretical” eVisa process, that never really materialized, so we ended up getting our Cambodia visas on arrival. Things have improved dramatically since then, so if you’re eligible for an eVisa I’d definitely recommend it. It is worth noting, however, that the eVisa has a $6 “processing fee”, in addition to the $30 visa fee. I personally felt it was worth the $6 each to save an hour at the airport and know we had everything arranged ahead of time, but YMMV.

To request an eVisa for Cambodia, start by visiting this page on the Cambodian government website:

The site is clear and easy to use, and the entire process took less than ten minutes for our entire group. As this is a government-run site, they also list information about Angkor tickets (helpful to avoid getting ripped off in Siem Reap), and lists the various ports of entry where you can use an eVisa.

Clicking on “Read more” under “Get e-visa Approval” takes you to a page listing the steps and instructions for the process:

The application asked for the information you’d expect, including uploading a photo. I cropped scans of our passports, just to make things easier, and while the quality wasn’t amazing it worked just fine.

You also have to enter your full passport details (including attaching a scan of the info page), and confirm your entry date and visa type:

From there, you’re asked to agree to the terms, but can also “Add Applicants”, which lets you submit one Cambodia e visa application for your entire group. SO much easier than doing this individually for a family!

Once I’d filled out the applications for all four of us, I was asked to confirm my method of payment:

I was then transferred to a payment portal (which again, seems better than Vietnam, where you have to make your own way to the payment processor and it doesn’t always go well). The purchase amount of $36 x 4 was confirmed, and after going through the little Mastercard SecureCode process, the payment was approved.

I received an email right away noting that the application had been submitted, and giving me a receipt and reference number:

Less than 24 hours later, I received four emails, each stating that the e visa application had been approved, with our individual Cambodia visas attached:

The application process may take longer during busy times, or if you submit it over a weekend, but the other data points I’ve seen suggest it’s fairly fast these days. The Cambodian government says it can take three business days for an e-Visa to be approved, but I’d give yourself at least a week, just in case.

Other things to know about Cambodia evisas

The Cambodian government does a good job of clearly communicating the requirements for using an e-visa, but the main things that I saw other people get tripped up by when I was researching are:

  • An e visa is not a landing card, so you’ll still have to fill that out
  • You’ll need to present one copy of the visa when you arrive, and another when you depart; they don’t have to be color copies
  • You have to arrive to the port you’ve listed on your visa

Otherwise, it was a very straightforward process. I was trepidatious about how much time immigration in Cambodia would take, as last time I was in Siem Reap the terminal was tiny, and very poorly staffed.

Nowadays, Siem Reap has a large, modern terminal. Since we already had our visas, we were able to right to immigration, which only took about ten minutes. There were several people processing visas on arrival as well, and the terminal wasn’t that busy, so based on how the queue was moving I’d expect it to have taken about 45 minutes.

Bottom line

The process of applying for a Cambodian e-visa was super easy. It took less than ten minutes to fill out the paperwork, cost $36, and was approved within a day, so that’s a great improvement over the old system.

So if you’re eligible, getting an eVisa in advance can save you quite a bit of time, especially since the process is so user-friendly.

If you’ve applied for a Cambodian e-visa, what was your experience like?

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Comments
  1. Agree that it is worth doing. I don’t recall any issues with the Vietnam evisa I got a few months ago

  2. I was actually surprised how easy it was doing through the Cambodian government. Their help desk was really good too, and their written English was excellent. I was shocked at how great a government agency could work.

  3. I don’t think it is worth it. It is definitely not an hour wait to get a visa on arrival, I’ve never waited more than 10 mins with a US passport. It’s been so fast I still end up waiting for my luggage at the carousel. No point in the extra work and cost to do eVisa.

  4. I didn’t know about this option when my wife and I flew into Phnom Penh in January. It took about 20 minutes to get our visa on arrival. More options are always better.

  5. I recently got approved for a Cambodian E-VISA through this exact process. When I purchased the visa for $36 it took the money out of my bank but then put it back a few days later. The transaction wasn’t actually processed for another week so it appeared I had an extra $36 in my bank that I didn’t have. It’s good to know that beforehand because If this happens to you, make sure to keep at least that amount in your bank, it will disappear again later when they finalize the transaction.

  6. Agreed. Very easy process when arriving to Siem Reap with an E-visa. Proceeded directly to immigration. Glad that I didn’t have to wait behind huge tour groups who were going about getting visa on arrival.

  7. This kind of step-by-step breakdown would be helpful for other nations’ evisa application processes (say, India’s, which took a lot of online sleuthing to figure out).

  8. I travel to Cambodia 1-2 times per year on business. It is a wonderful country with a very easy e-visa process….basically, they get their money and have a good idea who is in their country and you get in effortlessly. I definitely recommend e-visa as opposed to visa on arrival for convenience. I only wish multiple entry visas were more readily available.

  9. Oh. My. God… is this for real? I laughing my butt off right now, but also feel bad for all of the “Visa Services” employees. In Cambodia, these are usually paid positions(people pay the government to get the position) and they pocket most of the money they get from tourist!

  10. Vietnam evisa hard? You want someone to do it for you?

    I completed the Vietnam evisa application on line this past Friday and had my visa pdf by Monday, even though they stated it might take 3 business days. It was cheaper as well. ymmv.

  11. @ Tonymike — I said it was annoying (which is was, especially if you’re doing it for four), not hard. I’m pretty good at this stuff 😉

  12. I’ve done this each time I went to Cambodia. It’s worked great, and another benefit is that if you get an evisa, they do not take an entire passport page for the visa, it’s just an ordinary stamp like most other countries

  13. It’s sort of a waste of money to apply online visa in advance; it usually only saves you 5 or 10 minutes at most, but you spend that long doing it online.

  14. I entered Cambodia from Vietnam on a bus with an evisa in hand. The vast majority—actually, I think it was all of them—of the other people got their visa at the crossing. It didn’t seem to put me at any advantage to already have my visa but I’d say it can’t hurt to get it dealt with before arriving.

  15. We flew in to Siem Reap from Phuket via AirAsia. Nothing arranged ahead of time. No problems at all didnt even have the copies of my passport picture and it did not seem to matter. The kindness we encountered here was unlike any other place we have visited. Our english speaking guides were so honest and open, even so much as to speak openly about our cultures and politics. Our conversations were unexpectedly insightful.

    I blame a trip through the old market in Siem Reap for the Noro Virus that got my wife. I then got it from her, just in time for a 13 1/2 hour CAN to LAX flight that I will never forget nor probably the flight attendants. It got me a ride up front in a lie down but the bodily theatrics it required was not worth the cost.

  16. I was impressed at the speed of processing and how straightforward it was to get it done. As a bonus you can apply for multiple family members at once. Vietnam had to submit one at a time including separate payment. Either way, why wouldn’t you take a few minutes to get it in advance, it is one less variable to deal with upon arrival?

  17. I did this online today–the process to enter information for two persons took about 15 minutes using scanned passport photos, and it took exactly one hour to receive the eVisa approval and files by email. Thanks for this great information!

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