By Courtney Ridgel
Most travelers to Cambodia, including US citizens, will need visas. We recommend using the visa on arrival system in Cambodia but you also have the option of using the e-visa system.
For visa on arrival services, you will be handed the immigration forms on the plane ride into Siem Reap or Phnom Penh. (If you miss getting the forms on the flight, you can also pick them up in the airport when you arrive.)
Siem Reap is a small airport, so you’ll disembark outside and head into the newly renovated (and enlarged) airport terminal.
For visa on arrival, you’ll need to enter the ‘Apply Visas’ line, on the right and turn in the visa application form (check the box to apply for a tourist visa, which is valid for 30 days), a passport photo (a 2×2 sized headshot with a blank background – no hats or glasses) and the visa fee of US$30.00.
Your passport will tossed down the counter to the next available official and you will head to the next line to pick it up. Don’t be surprised it the process seems a bit casual by US Immigration standards.
Once you have your visa in hand with the visa label, head to your left and pass through the Immigration inspection. Cambodia uses entry and exit forms so you’ll need to present this to the official. They will scan your fingerprints and take your photo, before stamping your passport. Once you passport has been stamped, move through to collect your luggage.
Guides and taxi drivers are not permitted to enter the airport, so you’ll need to exit the building to find your guide holding a sign with your name. Walk up, say hello and welcome to the Kingdom of Wonder!
For the e-visa service, visit the website for Ministry of Foreign Affairs on their e-visa page. (Make sure you visit the official government site, and not one of the knock-offs sites.) The fee for this visa is $30.00 + $7.00 processing fee for a total of US$37.00. E-visas are only valid for 90 days, so be sure not to apply too early! If you choose to use the e-visa service, please be careful to accurately enter your information as it can be difficult to get it corrected. The e-visa works beautifully when there are no errors in the paperwork, but when there are, we’ve seen multiple travelers end up having to purchase a second visa through the visa on arrival process.