Finding your next adventure...

Cambodia Immigration Procedures: Update

An explanation of the new Cambodia E-Arrival System

As of 2024, the Cambodian government has seen fit to introduce a new, what they term, E-Arrival system for all overseas visitors arriving in the kingdom so what follows is a brief rundown on the new Cambodia immigration procedures, taking into account the recent changes.

This E-Arrival is along the lines of similar schemes, introduced last year, in Malaysia and Indonesia so we’d expect to see 1 or 2 other Southeast Asian destinations following suit in the near future.

The E-Arrival card, (as the name implies, it’s online so it’s not actually a card as such), is intended to replace the paper arrival forms generally handed out by airline stewards on flights to Phnom Penh or Siem Reap. (The ones where you scramble around trying to find a pen so you can complete it before landing.) That was hardly a major inconvenience, although the new scheme claims to make the arrival process simpler and more efficient and, as with automated airport check-ins and supermarket check-outs, is of course, purported to be for the convenience of the customer. (Our cynical side says it’s more for the convenience of immigration officials and, as with airlines and supermarkets, reduces wage bills but…)

Cambodia, taking the kids to school
Cambodia, taking the kids to school

In so far as you require a visa for Cambodia anyway – either visa on arrival or e-visa – you have already provided most of this information but you are still required to complete this form whether you have already obtained your visa or not. As with the previous paper forms, you’re still duplicating information, (not to mention that much of this info is included in your passport barcode anyway).

We repeat, even if you have already received an E-visa you still need to complete the form and if you haven’t applied for an E-visa this online form does not provide one. (Which would have been logical as you’re providing almost identical information). If you haven’t obtained an E-visa, you still need to apply for a visa on arrival and, in so far as the arrival card is not the same as a visa, you still need to complete a handwritten visa application form at the airport – containing pretty much the same info you supplied on line. (You can’t help but feel some streamlining could have been done here.)

All Points East Rabbit Island Kep
Rabbit Island Kep, on the Beyond Angkor tour

Their website, (this is the online form while this link offers similar, albeit slightly expanded Cambodia immigration procedures), specifies the E-Arrival applies to arrivals by air only and needs to be completed within 7 days of arrival. (Note that while there are various websites providing information and offering visa application facilities out there, we strongly recommend using official Cambodia immigration sites only.)

On the plus side, it does replace the separate, handwritten, customs form but frankly, if you’re going to go online to complete the arrival card you may as well spend another few minutes completing the relatively straightforward, (and in our experience efficient), E-visa application. (E-visas are not accepted at all land entry points, but then land entry points don’t require an E-arrival card.) Either way, Cambodian visas are still $30 plus $6 processing for an e-visa while the E-arrival card is free of charge.

A further aspect we find rather confusing is that their site states that once you have completed the form online and received confirmation, you need to either scan the QR code provided or take a screenshot of the confirmation. Why you need to show this to the immigration official when you have sent an application and received a confirmation from the Cambodian immigration website, is beyond us. (But that’s what it says. Or more accurately – ‘you may be asked to present proof…’)

Cambodia, Terrace of the Leper King
Angkor, Terrace of the Leper King

Anyway, that’s our Cambodia immigration procedures update as of June 24; information on our All Points East Cambodia tours can be found at this page while we hope you’ll excuse a few gratuitous pretty pics to brighten up the post!