What if I don’t have a photo? Getting a Cambodian Tourist Visa

We were in The Philippines on a tiny eastern island with no wifi, no printers and no photo booth.  Knowing we were flying into Siem Reap where we needed photos to apply for our visa was stressing me out and I really couldn’t find any up-to-date info on what to do, so here’s what we learned and what we did!


Applying Online For A Cambodian Tourist Visa

Applying online seems like the easiest solution (if you have wifi). So. if you’re travelling to Cambodia and want to apply online you must complete the process at least THREE days in advance of your travel plans.

It costs $36 to complete online and you’ll need a head & shoulders photo as well as passport number and the address of where you’ll be staying in Cambodia.

To apply online directly with the Cambodian Government click HERE.  It is not advisable to apply with a third party company for a tourist visa as scams are well documented.

Apply For Your Visa Upon Arrival

Applying for your visa upon arrival and clearing passport control are two separate matters and each takes a little while. I’d allow up to an hour to complete both.

Tourist visas are available only on arrival at the Phnom Penh or Siem Reap international airports.  In order to apply for a visa, your passport must be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Cambodia.

The cost to apply in person is $31 + $1 for scanning and using your passport photo as your visa photo. It doesn’t matter that you don’t have a physical photo as they will scan your passport photo for you.

Payment must be in CASH and in US $.


The paperwork we were required to complete upon entry to Cambodia. 12 pieces for 4 of us.

What About Kids?

The Cambodian Governmental website states that children’s visas should be free however I was forced to complete FOUR SEPARATE visa applications because two of my children (under twelve) have their own passports. This seems to be the key element however I was NOT given a receipt for my transaction.

I’m not sure if this was a scam but at 22:30 after three flights and fifteen hours of travel, I was less inclined to challenge him too vigorously.

Now What?

Now you have your Cambodian Visa you must take your body of paperwork (there’s a lot!)  and join the passport control queue and wait to have ALL your fingers printed (electronically).  For some reason our grunting passport officer (who slammed the queue gate shut behind us) didn’t take my finger prints, I suspect as it was late he was in a hurry for his dinner!

Apparently the grunting pig noises made by the passport officers are quite common too.

Get Cheap Flights To Cambodia With Kiwi

How Long Should You Expect This To Take?

I suspect the entire process probably took around an hour and our plane was only half full.


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As a small child my favourite book was 'People of the World' which featured Inuits from Alaska, children from China and farmers from Peru. It was a glimpse into another world that would inspire me to wander the globe in search of something special.


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