On Work Permit Issue, There Is a Lack of Clarity for Expats

The Cambodia Daily has published several articles recently about the coming enforcement of work permit rules for expatriates, but there is still no clarity on some subjects. What if you are not working, you are retired, or you are just here to live, enjoy yourself and spend your money?

The government should also state its purpose. Is it only to increase revenue? That’s understood; Cambodia needs to increase revenue. Or as in Thailand, do they want to make it more difficult for people to live here? A lot of expats now living in Cambodia are refugees from Thailand’s harsh immigration policies—the hassle and paperwork. Arguably, Cambodia’s open, unrestricted, hassle-free immigration policy is an important part of the country’s recent growth and prosperity.

As expats, we have no choice but to abide by the rules or leave. But requiring long-term expat residents to pay enormous back payments when none were ever asked for over those same years? For some of us, this is a heavy burden.

Does Cambodia really want to drive us out with Thailand-like rules? I hope not, for while Cambodia is not my country, after 13 years, it’s certainly my home.

Stan Kahn, Kampot Province

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