Visa on Arrival in Siem Reap, Cambodia as an African Passport Holder

Word on the ground and in a few forums has indicated that Immigration officers at Siem Reap International Airport (REP) are very reluctant to issue an Ordinary (E) Visa for African Passport holders on arrival. If they see “Africa” on the passport, they immediately profile all under one category, which could potentially mean that you will not be able to enter Cambodia on the correct visa. Immigration will still allow you entry into the country, however you will enter on a Tourist (T) Visa. The E visa is the only one which can be converted into any type of long-stay visa such as EB for business, EV for volunteering, ER for retirement, etc, so this is the one which you ultimately want.

Should you not be issued your requested Ordinary (E) visa on arrival, it is not the end of the world, and you will then need to do a visa run to convert your T visa to an E visa later on, once you are employed and have a letter from your school.

Doing a visa-run is a very common practice for all teachers in Southeast Asia and many see these as a great adventure to get some travel time in to see other countries or another stamp in their passport. Luckily, once your E visa has been approved, you will not need to do any more visa runs for at least 12 months.

Visa runs are generally done to either Bangkok, Singapore or Kuala Lumpur. Our suggestion would be to look at going to Bangkok as the travel costs will be minimal. You will also be able to fly in early the morning, visit the Royal Embassy of Cambodia, apply for your visa and receive it on the same day. This means you will be able to fly back the same day or else spend a night or two, to explore this amazing city. Have a look at some great flight specials on Air Asia

If you have not yet booked your flights, you might want to consider rather flying into Phnom Penh to clear immigration in the capital. Phnom Penh Immigration has proven to be a lot more relaxed with minimal visa issues of late. If you decide to take this route, you will need to make your way to Siem Reap.

A few options to consider:

1. Taking an overnight bus from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap (we recommend using Giant Ibis)

2. Taking a private taxi – this might be a great option of you traveling as a couple or group or friends or met fellow travelers on your flight to Cambodia. Bookings can be made on BookMeBus

3. Booking a local/domestic flight. Have a look at Angkor Airways. Flights are very affordable and might the quickest and easiest way to travel between the two cities.

Have a look at this link:

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