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Retiring anywhere in the world takes research and thought and weighing the pro's and con's.

One of the items that retiree's look at is the visa options. Not everyone can or wants to tie up 27,000 US for a long term (1 year visa) in Thailand. And not everyone wants a SSRV from the Philippines which is expensive and a money grab in our opinion.

Neither the Retirement visa in Thailand or SSRV in Philippines is a good option for retiree's and appear to have been created to benefit the banks and countries coffers.

Thailand does offer other long term visa options (1 year) such as the TEFL visa and Thai language visa as options and these options put it above Philippines in terms of visa options.

But when one compares Thailand, Philippines and Cambodia in terms of visa options Cambodia is the easist place to get a long term visa and the lowest cost long term visa. It is head and shoulders above both Philippines and Thailand when it comes to long term visa availability and cost.

As of December, 2016 Immigration Cambodia police are raiding long term accommodations and insisting to meet with tenants. Immigration Cambodia police want to see “work permits” from all on Business Visa’s. And this is the majority of tenants.

When one enters the country one can get Tourist Visa which can only be extended once or a Business Visa which can be extended indefinitely. So all foreigners intending to stay long term in Cambodia get the Business Visa on arrival and extend it within 30 days of arrival.

The new hitch is that if all foreigners get Business Visa only a small fraction work for Cambodian companies and thus have work permits and therefore all of the rest need to get work permits or be liable for $10/day fines by Immigration police.

Immigration Cambodia police will tell the foreigner to get a work permits or they will be fined and the foreigner goes to Work Permit office to find out they need to be working for a Cambodia company which is authorized and approved under Cambodia work permits to receive a work permit.

And as the foreigners are not working for Cambodian companies they are liable to fines of $10/day.

This has come without any warning and is a complete shock to retiree’s living in Cambodia on a Business Visa. Back in July 2016 the top man at Immigration Cambodia mentioned that a retirement visa would soon be issued and if you are on a business visa you should not worry. Well, he better come here and talk to Immigration Cambodia police and tell them.

We investigated this issue to see what options are available to foreigners living here on a Business Visa other than trying to get a job with an approved Cambodian company and a work permit and discovered that even though there has been talk of converting visa’s that it is never done thus if one is on a Business Visa one cannot convert to Retirement Visa. If one is one a Business Visa one cannot cancel the Business Visa or apply for a Retirement Visa, that one has to wait until the Business Visa expires.

So that means that many people are liable to be fined by Immigration police and fined heavily forcing them to pack up and leave the country.

We contacted 10 travel agencies that deal with visa extensions and all 9 said that they know nothing about the new retirement visa. One told us that a retirement visa would be issued early in 2017 and that one needed a letter from their Embassy stating that they were retired in Cambodia in order to get the new retirement visa and that they had to be over 60 years of age.




When we contacted several Embassies in Cambodia they either knew nothing of the retirement visa or told us to wait until 2017 and that if a letter was required they would find out the exact wording of the letter that was required by Immigration Cambodia.

When our staff contacted Immigration police department directly we were told that one had to be over 65 years of age to apply for retirement visa.

A bit of confusion and lack of understanding of a new visa option that many foreigners need in order to stay long term in Cambodia.

Our persistence paid off and we found one agency that can get the new retirement visa and we made an application and received the new Retirement Visa also known as E-K visa in 4 days.

We will explain the eligibility criteria to our retire clients, as well as help them apply and all things look good for our clients who use our services as we believe we helped our client receive one of  the first retirement visa’s issued in Siem Reap.

The retirement visa issue required many phone calls both local and long distance and many visits to travel agencies as well as research to get what we feel are the up to date facts on how to apply for the retirement visa, cost, eligibility requirements and the agency that can do the visa.

Foreigner’s retired in Cambodia add a lot financially to Cambodia and Cambodia can become the most popular retirement destination in all of S.E. Asia but not by handling visa options in this manner and threating foreigners with fines where they did nothing wrong.

We hope that Immigration Cambodia can get their act together and improve communications with Embassy’s in Phnom Penh, as well travel agencies handling visa extensions and updating their own website as to visa options for foreigners.

Cambodia is a safe, friendly, affordable place to live and infrastructure has improved steadily and now fiber internet and tv are being offered and we hope that more foreigners decide to make this their retirement destination as all of our clients who visit Cambodia find that it surpasses their expectations.

Bottom line is that the retirement visa issue was very confusing and still is if one contacts Embassies, travel agencies and Immigration Cambodia but the fact that we were successful in getting the first or one of the first retirement visa’s in Siem Reap has lead us to believe that things will be fine in the future and that Cambodia needs and wants retired foreigners.


related pages

Cambodia Banking

Internet in Siem Reap, Cambodia



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