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Work permits now required for long-term visa renewals

Travellers wait in line at the immigration checkpoint at Phnom Penh International Airport in 2015. New rules will make it more difficult for foreigners to obtain long-term visas without work permits.
Travellers wait in line at the immigration checkpoint at Phnom Penh International Airport in 2015. New rules will make it more difficult for foreigners to obtain long-term visas without work permits. Vireak Mai

Work permits now required for long-term visa renewals

The Immigration Department yesterday confirmed that foreigners requesting long-term business visa extensions in the country are now required to submit a work permit proving their place of employment.

Last month, the department indicated it would postpone the implementation of the requirement until next year, but Sok Veasna, the director of the Interior Ministry’s Department of Non-Immigrants, confirmed that it went into effect on Monday.

“We have announced it for a month from September to October informing [everyone] about this. So, it is applicable from October 2,” he said.

The new policy would require applicants to produce a Ministry of Labour-issued work permit and workbook, a letter from the employer attesting to their employment, or any other documents showing proof of work, when applying for a six-month or one-year business visa.

Those documents would not be required for one-month or three-month visas. Veasna said that the law did not specifically address freelance employees but that the department would try to accommodate them.

“If they have documents as freelancers, we just need that for now. This point is not stated in law, so we need to help them,” he said.

Mey Heak, owner of popular visa renewal outfit Lucky Lucky Motorcycle Shop, said the company had received notice of the changes and already had to turn away some applicants.

“Their option is to choose the three months temporarily and when they get those [work] documents they can extend,” he said.

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