Minister of Interior Sar Kheng has requested former justice minister Ang Vong Vathana to lead the interior ministry’s working group in drafting a bill to replace the existing immigration law, which he said is outdated given technology advancements in the digital era.
Sar Kheng made the request at the 18th meeting of the National Committee for Sub-National Democratic Development (NCDD) at the ministry on Wednesday.
“Almost everything needs to change. If we want to amend all of that, then I think we should make a new law,” he said.
To make a new law, he said, a request must be sent to Hun Sen. “I would like to inform you in advance that I have requested that Ang Vong Vathana, chairman of the committee on Immigration Law, revise it.
Sar Kheng said the immigration law was written in 1994 and many changes have been made to it over the years, and Cambodia just revised the law on nationality. “The law on immigration has been changed a lot, so we must form a committee to prepare a proposal to re-arrange the law,” he said.
The ministry said the law is aimed at ensuring the management of all foreigners in Cambodia, and to determine the rules and conditions that apply to foreigners entering, passing through and staying in the Kingdom.
The law applies to all foreigners, except in the case of the application of the rules of international law to which Cambodia is a signatory.
Even if the person has entered to live in the Kingdom before the law came into force, it applies to all foreigners entering, passing through and staying in Cambodia.
“The immigration work has been very successful, such as noting foreigner statistics. We have done it well. There are perhaps more than 80,000 foreigners only in the country,” Sar Kheng said.
On May 8, the ministry held a working group meeting to draft an amendment to the law on immigration, chaired by secretary of state Sok Phal.
Phal said the meeting was held to exchange ideas to prepare draft amendments to the Law on Immigration, which the working group passed on to Sar Kheng.
The group asked for more guidance at the Tuesday meeting. That is when Sar Kheng advised the group to submit a report to overhaul the law from scratch.