Visa on Arrival – airport Siem Reap
You can easily get a visa on arrival at the airport. At Siem Reap airport it is at the right hand side. It might be unclear because of the lack of signs. It seems somewhat disorganized with confusion about where the application forms are. Once you’ve filled the form you get to a desk and there you pay in dollars, and walk to the end of the desk. A long row of eight employees sitting in line, all get your passport in hand for some reason. The last one is the one who returns it to you. Then you walk to customs.
Strange Immigration officers
These are the most unfriendly and strange immigration officers you can meet. The officer sending you somewhere else in an unfriendly and unclear way to fill in a card, if you have something to declare. The cards are often nowhere to be found just as with the visa application forms. Many tourists are wandering around, when someone suddenly brings the cards and you can write it. Walk back to one of the many customs desks again, but be prepared that the officer sends you to another desk to wait in line for your turn. Reason unclear.
When the person in front of you passes customs and it should be your turn, the officer on duty calls someone waiting as first in the line next to yours, in front of another desk, to come to his desk, ahead of you. That’s not all, he might call 4 more people, as if you aren’t standing there waiting for your turn. This is amazingly annoying. You can reconsider about which line you will go to get finally a stamp. With officers with such behavior, you won’t feel welcome right from the start. A bad first impression you can call it.
Keep in mind that this tourist visa on arrival is valid for one month and can only be extended one time with one month. This extension takes 10 working days! Important to know in case you’re planning to travel around in Cambodia.
Visa at Land border
The visa at land border of Cambodia with its neighboring countries can be small, tricky and corrupt. The only border you probably won’t be asked to pay $2 for stamp, flyer about health, or whatever reason, is the busy land border with Thailand at Poi Pet. Only there you might get an exit or an entry stamp and walk away. The border at Bavet (called Moc Bai at the Vietnamese side) charges between $2 and $5 extra on top of your visa price in order to pass more quickly.
The border with Laos charges twice $2. One for a yellow flyer and short explanation that you should bring the flyer with you to a doctor in case you get sick, and one time to get your arrival stamp. Up to you if you want to make a fuss about the $2. You’ll be at the losing end anyway, because they just take it more easy and can easily let you wait another few hours.
EI-visa does not mean a visa which you got online. Don’t get confused. That’s called an E-visa too but this EI-visa we talk about is something else than a tourist (TF) visa. The tourist visa can only be extended one time with one month and then you need to leave the country (but can try to return next day or so and apply again for TF or EI-visa).
The EI-visa is called ordinary visa on the border and ‘Long holiday visa’ at agencies by extension. It can be extended after a month through a (travel) agency with 3 months single entry or 6 months multiple entry for around $160. This can only be done once. This means that you can’t do the same process again (at least the same year). When you’re planning to stay longer in Cambodia, apply for an EI-visa at the land border. But in case you want longer than 6 months, apply for a EB visa (business). Get the conditions for that before you decide.
Too be more sure at borders, you can opt to let one of the several guys offering it to you handle the process. Fill the application form. Let you sign. Give a photo. Pay him $5-$10 and another $5-$10 for the officer and you’ll have your visa within 5 minutes.
An impression video of the Bavet border can be seen here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0qpFhcMzUg