Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Price of citizenship could rise



Price of citizenship could rise

Price of citizenship could rise

Foreigners who want to obtain Cambodian citizenship, which is usually available for a price, may soon have to shell out more than ever if government plans to raise the bar go through.

Cambodia is one of a few dozen countries where foreigners can, in essence, buy citizenship – in the case of the Kingdom by investing at least 1.25 billion riel (about $312,000) in a government-approved project.

That figure was set in 1996, when the country’s nationality law was first adopted, but no longer reflects Cambodia’s economic growth, according to Ministry of Interior spokesman Khieu Sopheak.

“Now it has been more than 20 years,” he said. “The amount is not equal to the development of Cambodia.”

A 15-member working group created by Prime Minister Hun Sen last month is now studying how much the price should rise, according to Sopheak.

Over the past three years, 1,050 foreigners have obtained Khmer citizenship through investment, according to a report released by the ministry last month. The option is particularly popular among real estate investors from China and South Korea who wish to own land in the Kingdom.

Ngov Sok Hun, a legal associate at BNG Legal, said more and more foreigners are seeking Cambodian citizenship so that they can own land. She recommended raising the cost, as it would lead to larger investment overall, so long as the new amount was not exorbitant.

Thida Ann, the director of CBRE Cambodia, said most investors with qualifying projects are already investing far more than $300,000, so “it makes sense” to raise the amount. “Right now it’s small, so if they want to raise it, I support it,” she said.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Hun Sen: Lakes filled in for national developments

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced continued operations to fill some lakes in Phnom Penh to create land for developments, though he is against the unrelated practice of damming rivers or blocking waterways. Speaking at the inauguration of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport

  • Koh Preus upgrades 70% complete

    Initial construction of a nearly $30 million tourism infrastructure project on Preah Sihanouk province’s Koh Preus Island is “about 70 per cent complete”, according to an official with the developer. Heng Thou, construction site manager of Angela Real Estate Co Ltd (ARE), told The Post that

  • Local media loses a giant, and The Post a great friend

    Cheang Sokha, a gifted and streetwise reporter who rose to the highest ranks of Cambodian media and was beloved for his sharp intelligence, world-class humour and endless generosity, died on Friday in his hometown of Phnom Penh. He was 42. His wife, Sok Sophorn, said he