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Complete guide to obtaining a retirement ER visa for Cambodia, the required documents, the application steps, and the best places for retirees

If you want to spend your retirement in a country where nature and culture collide, then you do not have to look further than Cambodia.

Cambodia is a relatively cheap country to live and visit and one of the best places in Asia to live as a retired expat, making it a popular destination for retirees.

To retire in Cambodia, you must apply for a Cambodia Retirement ER Visa. This type of visa comes under the ER class sub-type visa and is issued to retired foreigners who want to move to Cambodia and grants its holder residency for one year (12 months).

NOTE: A Cambodian retirement visa does not allow you to work therefore, if you break the laws, the Immigration official can fine you, and you will risk jail time or deportation.

Who Can Get a Cambodia Retirement Visa?

To obtain a Cambodian Retirement Visa you must:

  • Be 55 years old or older. However, there may be cases where candidates younger than 55 can be accepted.
  • Prove that you are retired in your home country. Retirement can be proven by providing a pension or social security documentation or a

Requirements for a Cambodia Retirement Visa

Enclose the following document when applying for a Cambodian Retirement Visa:

  • Passport. You must have an original and valid passport.
  • Three photographs. Provide three passport-sized photos taken recently according to the visa photograph guidelines (white background, neutral facial expressions, etc.).
  • Means of subsistence. Proof that you have enough money to support yourself during your stay in Cambodia through a bank statement.

NOTE: Any error or falsification of the presented papers can lead to the immediate rejection of the visa.

How to Apply for a Cambodia Retirement Visa?

The application process for a Cambodia Retirement visa is pretty straightforward.

  1. First, you need to apply for and obtain a Cambodian visa from a Cambodian embassy. Make sure that you apply for a regular type E-class visa first and then choose the ER Retirement Visa option. 
  2. After you enter Cambodia, you can extend your retirement (ER) visa at the Immigration Department of the Cambodian National Police. 
  3. Fill out the application form, pay the visa fee, and submit the application for processing.

Cambodia Retirement Visa Fees

The fees for a Cambodian retirement visa are presented below:

Application typeFee
Cambodia Retirement Visa$290
Extension of Cambodia Retirement Visa$275

Cambodia Retirement Visa Validity

The Cambodia Retirement visa (ER) is issued for a period of 12 months and grants your residency in the territory of Cambodia for the same period (one year). You can also apply to extend it for another year with multiple-entry after it expires.

Healthcare in Cambodia

The Ministry of Health is responsible for governing healthcare in Cambodia, the healthcare industry, public health, and health-related NGOs. The Ministry controls and regulates the activity of medical professionals, hospitals and clinics inside the territory of Cambodia. But, healthcare in Cambodia is not free for everyone.

Cambodia has created the Health Equity Fund (HEF) scheme to help citizens who cannot afford medical treatments have access to free healthcare in public health facilities. Therefore, to have access to public healthcare, you have to pay a monthly tax.

For private coverage, you should expect to pay a yearly amount of around $1,140, which can be rounded up to $95 per month. But, prices can vary depending on the insurance company you decide to choose.

Benefits of Cambodian Retirement Visa

The benefits of obtaining a Cambodia Retirement visa are:

  • It grants you residency in Cambodia for a period of 12 months (one year) and can be extended for another 12 months.
  • You will have the same right as a Cambodian resident.
  • You can rent and own a property (you can buy property starting from the second floor and above).
  • You can purchase a car.

How Much Does it Cost to Retire in Cambodia?

Living costs in Cambodia are relatively cheap compared to most Asian countries. As a retiree, you can live comfortably for $1,000 to $1,500 per month, depending on your lifestyle.
The most expensive residing area in Cambodia is Phnom Penh, where the price ranges for monthly rent go around $350 to $2,000 for apartments inside the city and $200 to $1,100 for apartments outside of the city center. 

For cheaper accommodation options, you can move to Battambang, where rent can cost an average of $200 to $450 for apartments inside the city and $80 to $300 for apartments outside the city center.

The price of groceries in smaller cities is around 5% lower than in big cities such as Phnom Penh or Sihanoukville.

Here is a presentation of the average living costs in Cambodia:

ACCOMMODATIONMonthly Cost
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre$450
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre$260
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre$1170
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre$670
FOODCOSTS
Milk$2.15
Rice $1.10
Eggs$1.75
Tomato$1.45 
Potato$1.40
Apples (kg)$3.90
UTILITIESMONTHLY COSTS (85m2)
Electricity, Water, Heating, Cooling, Garbage$100

Why Retire in Cambodia?

Here are a few reasons why Cambodia should be your first choice for retirement:

  • Friendly people. Cambodians are simple people and very kind to outsiders. They are known to be kind, caring, sweet, and always smiling. You will feel welcomed and part of their community everywhere you go.
  • The warm weather. The weather in Cambodia is hot all year round, with high temperatures during the summer. This type of weather is perfect for everyone who is tired of long and cold winters and enjoys sunbathing and spending time on the beach.
  • The low cost of living. In general, Cambodia is a very cheap country to live and retire in. The prices of groceries, meals and hotels are lower than in developed countries, which makes life in Cambodia very affordable for everyone.
  • The life quality. The quality of life in Cambodia is good, which explains the average life expectancy of Cambodians. Life in Cambodia is considered to be very peaceful and quiet, and you can get things done really easily during the day.
  • The delicious food. Cambodian cuisine is very diverse and famous beyond the country’s borders. The food is a combination of sweet, bitter, sour, and salty flavors. The most popular dish is Samlor korkor.
  • The culture and biodiversity. The country is rich in culture and home to many temples and is one of the most biodiverse countries in Southeast Asia. Cambodians hold many traditional festivals like Khmer New Year and the Sea Festival, which are the most important festivals in Cambodia.

Best Places to Retire in Cambodia

Cambodia has many beautiful places where thousands of expats reside in. Depending on your preference, you can choose to retire to bigger cities and enjoy a more vibrant and dynamic life or go to the northern side of Cambodia to enjoy a more quiet and peaceful retirement. Here are some of the best places for expats to retire in Cambodia.

Phnom Penh

Known as the pearl of Asia due to the scenic beauty and temples, Phnom Penh is one of the most popular places for expats to live. Although it is not the cheapest alternative to live in, Phnom Penh has over 100,000 expats residing in it. 

Siem Reap

Located in northwestern Cambodia, Siem Reap will serve as a getaway to the greatest mountain temple Angkor Wat. Siem Reap is one of the safest destinations in Cambodia, and people are very cheerful and welcoming toward foreigners. The city is very affordable, and you can live well for $800 a month.

Sihanoukville

Sihanoukville is a popular retirement destination in Cambodia and has one of the most affordable costs of living for a beach destination. The beautiful coastal city has something to offer everyone. What characterizes Sihanoukville is the diverse choice in food, low-priced accommodation, sandy beaches, and consistently wild nightlife.

Kampot 

Retirees choose Kampot to live in a relaxed atmosphere and beautiful scenery. You can go around the city easily by walking, biking or renting a motorbike. It is the perfect place if you like outdoor activities such as paddle boarding, kiteboarding, kayaking, and rock climbing.

Kep

Kep is located a few kilometers from the Gulf of Thailand and has the best seafood in Cambodia. The beautiful capital is located in southern Cambodia and has many beautiful beaches. It will not take you long to discover the beautiful gems Kep has to offer. 

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