Working in Cambodia: Expat Guide

working in cambodia - CP&O

If foreigners want to work in Cambodia, they should have a work permit and an employment card which is issued by the Ministry in Charge of Labour. Foreign workers in Cambodia must know and practice the following conditions;

Employment law for Foreign Nationals

If a Cambodia based company wants to hire a foreign worker, they can only hire up to 10 percent of its total workforce as foreigners. This is composed of 3 percent office employees, 6 percent skilled labour and 1 percent unskilled labour. Employees must legally have a work permit to work the Kingdom of Cambodia. The foreign worker must have not only a valid passport but also a residency permit. Cambodia does not offer permanent residency permits. If a foreign worker wishes to stay in Cambodia for a long period, they need to extend their business or ordinary visas, or apply for Cambodia citizenship.

Types of visas in Cambodia

There are three types of business visas in general which are the E- class, EB, and EP visas. The Cambodia E-visa, was introduced in 2006, is an online electronic visa which allows stays up to 30 days in Cambodia.

A business visa (E-class) is essential for foreign nationals planning to work in Cambodia. It allows foreign nationals to stay for up to one month and they can easily extend for three months, six months and maximum a year at a time by filling an application at immigration. It was previously known as a business or ordinary visa. To apply for a Cambodia business visa, the worker should have a job offer from an employer who is compliant with Cambodia laws. Must possess an original passport with at least six months validity. They must physically qualify with the relevant job that they applied for. Also, make sure they have no communicable diseases.

The EB visa is the most common type of E-visa issued to foreign nationals planning to work in Cambodia. It covers those who want to start a business in Cambodia and want to work in Cambodia, non-working partner and dependent children or any other foreigner who wants to stay in Cambodia for more than a month. If a foreign national wants to work in Cambodia with this visa, they will need to be legally employed in Cambodia and must have a foreign work permit and a foreign employment card through their employer since the EB visa alone does not guarantee foreign nationals to the right to work in Cambodia.

The EP visa is issued after the expiry of the 30 days stay under the E-class visa and this is used for foreign nationals who are seeking a job or considering starting a business. This type of visa will not be permitted if a foreign nationals fail to be employed within three months since the EP visa is valid for up to 3 months and cannot be extended. Once this visa expires the foreigner is no longer permitted to stay in the country.

Work Permit

As per the Cambodia labour law and immigration law, any foreign business owner, worker and /or foreigner earning a regular income must have a valid work permit. However, volunteers, foreign government employees, diplomats, NGO workers, and domestic servants employed in Cambodia do not need to possess a valid work permit. Work permit’s validity is for one year, but it can only be extended until the end of the residency permit.

Employment Card

A foreign worker shall receive an employment card which is a booklet which is used for recording of the employment history in Cambodia. The employment card is only valid for a one year and needs to be renewed annually before the end of the March each year.

Tax and National Security Fund

Cambodia levies non-resident workers a flat tax of 20 percent. The withholding tax, for a service provider in Cambodia is 15 percent and non-salary income tax rate is usually 20 percent but higher for certain things such a mineral exploitation. And employers are required to contribute to the National Social Security Fund 3.4% or USD 10.20 (whichever is smaller) each month.

If a foreigner has lived and worked in Cambodia for a minimum of seven years, and are proficient in Khmer reading, writing and speaking, they can apply to be a citizen in Cambodia.

These are some facts that foreign nationality should be aware before entering Cambodia for any business or work reason.

Hsu Yee Lin

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