Visas To Be Made Available Online to Tourists Online

Cambodia’s immigration procedures will enter the electronic age on Feb 15, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced Tuesday in an advertisement in a local newspaper.

From that date on, tourists and businessmen wanting to obtain visas prior to arrival in Cambodia will be able to log onto the ministry’s Web site, www.mfaic.gov.kh, to submit applications for an “e-visa.”

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hem Heng said he did not know if payments would be made on-line or how applicants would receive the visa stamp in their passports.

He also said he was uncertain whether a proposed joint Thai-Cam­bodian visa would be available on-line.

Ministry of Tourism Secretary of State Thong Khon confirmed that the electronic visa has been ap­prov­ed, but said he had not been in­form­ed of how it would work.

Chhay Bunna, immigration police chief at Phnom Penh International Airport, and Nuth Chan Tharith, deputy immigration police chief at Bavet International Checkpoint in Svay Rieng province, both said they had not heard of the e-visa.

Hem Heng said travel agencies currently apply for advance visas for hundreds of tourists at a time, and that the new procedure will eliminate the need to travel to Cambo­dian embassies to submit visa applications.

“That takes a long time and a lot of money,” he said.

Visas are currently available on arrival at all international border checkpoints and airports, but Hem Heng said the system is prompting excessive queues.

“Some don’t want to take the visa on arrival because they need to wait, sometimes hundreds of tourists wait,” he said.

 

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