Cambodia’s Foreign Employee Quota Application: November Deadline Approaches

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  • Businesses in Cambodia have until November 30, 2020, to submit their annual foreign employee quota applications for 2021.
  • Under Cambodia’s labor law, the number of foreign employees working in Cambodian-based companies must not exceed 10 percent of the total workforce.
  • The government does allow businesses to exceed this quota under certain conditions.

Cambodia’s Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training (MLVT) has reminded companies operating under Cambodia law to submit their annual foreign employee quota applications for 2021, by November 30, 2020.

Under the quota system, a Cambodian-based company can only have 10 percent of its total workforce by foreign employees. This is comprised of:

  • Three percent office employees;
  • Six percent skilled labor; and
  • One percent unskilled labor.

Enterprises who exceed the quota can expect a fine ranging from US$610 to US$900 by the MLVT.

Once a company has received its quota, it can then apply for work permits through the Foreign Workforce Centralized Management System (FWCMS) between January 1, 2021, to March 31, 2021.

How do you obtain a work permit?

Foreign workers looking to work in Cambodia will need a valid business visa (E-class visa). The E-class visa is initially valid for a period of 30 days. The visa can be extended for a period of one month, three months, six months, or a maximum of one year at a time, by filing an application at the immigration department of the Ministry of Interior (MoI).

The six- and 12-months visas allow applicants multiple entries into Cambodia, while the one month and three-month visas permit single entry.

E-visas can be obtained at the employee’s nearest Cambodian embassy as well as upon arrival at Phnom Penh international airport.

In addition to an E-visa, a foreign worker must also obtain a work permit and employment card. This is the responsibility of the employer who will apply through the MVLT.

The company will need to provide the following information to the MVLT:

  • Certificate of incorporation with company stamp;
  • Registered business address;
  • Tax patent with company stamp;
  • Foreign employee quota approval;
  • An approval from the Ministry of Commerce; and
  • An article of incorporation of the company.

The documents required at the employee level:

  • Three sets of the application form as issued by the MOI;
  • Copy of passport with a valid visa;
  • Three photographs (4×6);
  • Health certificate; and
  • Written work contract from the employer.

Can employers exceed the quota?

On August 14, 2020, the MLVT issued Prakas No. 277/20, which permits businesses to exceed the 10 percent quota cap.

Businesses that are unable to find qualified Cambodian nationals or sufficient numbers of qualified Cambodian nationals can request for an increase in the employment cap.

Directors or owners will need to adhere to the following procedures:

  • Submit a request to the MLVT to employ foreign employees with their employment contracts attached;
  • Apply for work permits through the FWCMS website;
  • Pay the official fees for the issuance of the work permits; and
  • Submit visa or residence permits to the MLVT.

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