Under Article 261 of the Cambodian Labour Law, all foreign workers must possess a Work Permit and Employment Card issued by the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training (“Ministry of Labour”). While this law was passed in 1997, the government has only recently begun to strictly enforce these requirements, particularly with regard to visa extensions. The Ministry of Interior recently announced that “from now on, no foreigner may extend his or her visa to stay in Cambodia without a Work Permit.”
To obtain a Work Permit and Employment Card, a foreign worker must first show that he or she:
- has legally entered the country with an eligible visa;
- possesses a valid passport;
- is qualified for his or her job; and
- is medically fit.
All businesses and organisations employing foreign workers must apply for Work Permits and Employment Cards for each of their foreign employees, on an individual basis, through the online one window services system at https://fwcms.mlvt.gov.kh with the requisite documents and information.
The Visa Type E and Work Permit and Employment Card must be extended each year during the employment term of the individual worker. These 2 documents are issued by different authorities: the Visa Type E by the Ministry of Interior, and the Work Permit and Employment Card by the Ministry of Labour.
With regard to the extension of the Visa Type E, the Immigration Department of the Ministry of Interior will become more stringent in its processing requirements. Notably, it will require that the applicant holds a valid Work Permit and Employment Card in order to be eligible for the extension.
The applications for extension of these two documents are made separately. The application for the extension of the Visa Type E must be made at least 1 month prior to its expiry, while the application for the extension of the Work Permit and Employment Card must be made no later than the end of March of each year.
This alert is for general information only and is not a substitute for legal advice.