We talk a lot about Cambodia. Why is it worth investing in this country, about its safety and overall, why this country deserves more interest than just a tourist visit.

We promote staying in the Kingdom, so it is good moment to explain one important thing. Maybe you’ll decide to stay in this beautiful country for longer. Maybe you would even like to live there. If so, should you consider gaining a Cambodian citizenship? Is it hard to get? What should you do? What are the profits and duties? If you ever asked these questions, then this article is for you.

You can just ask for visa to enter Cambodia, or even buy a land or property there. However, having a citizenship may really help you with a long-term stay.

Application process may take two to three months. You can apply to Ministry of Interior. You can have a dual citizenship depending on your homeland laws. For example, Angelina Jolie is able to keep a dual citizenship, while marathoner Kuniaki Takizaki had to denied his Japanese nationality in order to get a Cambodian one.

Cambodia is one of the only Asian countries that offer citizenship by investment programme. Successfully obtaining a Cambodian Passport offers visa-free access to ASEAN and 54 different countries, including Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia.

The rest is just a matter of assimilation. But sending an application is worthless without a reason. There are few ways to get a citizenship.

NATURALISATION

The standard and most common option to become a Cambodian citizen. You need to live in Cambodia for at least seven years with a residence card, being able to speak and write fluently in Khmer, you will also need to have a good knowledge of Cambodian history. These abilities are being tested in special exam.

What is also necessary is a certification of good behaviour and moral issued by the chief of your commune or quarter, and you need to prove that you have no criminal record. Your application must be lodged while currently residing in the Kingdom.

BECOMING A VIP BY DONATION

You can ask for an honorary citizenship being an investor and donor. Officially, an investment of at least 1.25 billion riel ($312,500) in Cambodia or a donation 1 billion riel or more to the national budget will allow you to bypass the seven-year residence requirement. However, you still need to meet the other requirements we mentioned.

Those that have contributed notably to the well-being and development of the country in other ways, such as through exceptional social work, are in theory also eligible for honorary citizenship.

In recent years a lot of people gained a Cambodian citizenship by that way. Mostly Chinese and South Korean businessmen.

This process of application is definitely shorter. It can take between 3-6 months but there is a list of requirements:

Age over 18 years old

A current and valid passport

A current valid visa for entry into Cambodia

Applicant must be of sound mind and in good health

Applicant must be in good health

Investment in Cambodia of at least 1.25 billion riel (USD $311,000) as we mentioned

MARRIAGE

You know how surprising the life is. A lot of foreigners who visit other countries are falling in love, getting married and having families in new homeland. Marrying a Khmer citizen shortens the requirement of naturalisation from seven to three years of living in Cambodia. The proof you need is providing that marriage has been properly registered.

CITIZENSHIP BY DESCENT

No matter the place of birth, if you had a Khmer parent you automatically gaining a Cambodian citizenship. Also, children born in Cambodia from foreign parents are also obtaining a citizenship.

Last June, it was also announced that a working group was drafting a bill to replace the existing immigration law in Cambodia. Sar Kheng, one of the highest Cambodian politicians, said the immigration law was written in 1994 and many changes have been made to it over the years, and Cambodia just revised the law on nationality.

The law on immigration has been changed a lot, so we must form a committee to prepare a proposal to re-arrange the law, he told.

The process of applying for Cambodian citizenship may take a lot of time, efforts and bureaucracy, which is obvious. However, if you plan to bind your future with this land it is really an option you should consider. Knowing the procedures and preparing yourself should really help you if you decide to start the applying process.

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