New Work Permit Rules for Foreign Employees in Cambodia
Cambodia’s Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training (MLVT) recently issued Notification No. 110/23 that specifically clarifies the parties that are required to apply for work permits and employment cards.
Notification 110/23 states that the following foreign individual must hold a work permit or employment card to work in Cambodia:
- A foreign employer whose name is stated on a company’s patent tax certificate must hold a work permit;
- A foreign employee whose name is stated on a company’s patent tax certificate must hold a work permit and employment card; and
- Self-employed foreign nationals must hold a work permit and employment card.
Requirements to apply for 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 30 days. The visa can be extended for one month, three months, six months, or a maximum of one year at a time, by applying to the immigration department of the Ministry of Interior (MoI).
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.
All applications for work permits and employment cards can be submitted through the MVLT’s online portal. Further, they must be accompanied by the following documents.:
- Certificate of incorporation with company stamp;
- Registered business address;
- Tax patent with company stamp;
- Foreign employee quota approval;
- Approval from the Ministry of Commerce; and
- An article of incorporation of the company.
The documents required at the employee level:
- Three sets of application forms 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.
Foreign quota application
Businesses – foreign-owned or domestic – are restricted in the number of foreigners they can employ under the quota system.
Under the quota system, the number of foreigners employed in a company is subject to a maximum of 10 percent of the company’s total workforce.
The quota system is calculated in the following way:
- Office employees – three percent;
- Skilled labor – six percent; and
- Unskilled labor – one percent.
Can a company exceed the foreign employee quota?
Businesses in Cambodia can exceed their foreign employee quota if they adhere to the following rules:
- The owners or directors of the company shall submit a request to the MLVT to employ excess foreign employees, with their employment contract attached;
- Complete the work permit application through the FWCMS;
- Pay the work permit fee; and
- Obtain a valid visa or residence permit for the foreign employee.
Foreign worker permit inspections
Foreign businesses operating in Cambodia should be aware that the government conducts inspections of foreign worker permits through the Joint Foreign Workforce Inspection Team (JFWIT). This can be done with or without notice.
The inspectors can request copies of key documents, such as:
- Articles of incorporation of the company;
- Quota approval to employ foreign employees;
- The foreign employee’s work contract;
- The foreign employee’s passport and visa; or
- The foreign employee’s work permit and employment card, among others.
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