My Failed Attempt At Extending A Cambodian Ordinary Visa On The Cheap

Encouraged by a post on stackexchange, I decided to give it a try and go the DIY route. Although the most upvoted answer was from a person that extended a tourist visa, there was another answer from somebody reporting having successfully extended an ordinary visa (aka E visa or business visa). According to that post, a six month visa extension was just $100 – almost $60 cheaper than good ole Lucky Motors! So, not only would I get to save a good chunk of money, I would equally enjoy the satisfaction of being able to by-pass the visa agents altogether. Being cheap can be a real joy at times!

So, armed with the knowledge that the office is open from 2pm to 4pm in the afternoon, I decided to set out at about 12:45pm. Since this was to be the thrifty way of getting the visa extension, I of course also decided to take the public bus, just like the adventurous traveler that answered the stackexchange question. So, I jumped on the bus somewhere not too far from Big New Market and around 45 minutes later, arrived at the airport.

The immigration department was really easy to find. It was just behind the bus stop. Once you enter the area, walk straight down, ignoring the sign saying “Visa Service” pointing to the left, and walk all the way down to the end of the building. There, on the left corner, you will see the visa extension office.

So, with huge anticipation, I entered the office, which was void of people, and approached the lonely guy behind the counter at the far side of the room. After letting him know my intention of getting an extension, he asked me to show him my passport, which I immediately procured. He then wanted to know for how many months I wanted the extension. Since I wasn’t sure yet, I asked how much a six-month visa cost. Then came the first surprise: he quoted me $160 – even a few bucks more than good ole Lucky Motors! But the worst wasn’t over yet. After I inquired about the expense for a 3-month visa, he kindly asked me to go to – get this – a visa agent to get the extension! Because, apparently, they only accept people that “run a business in Cambodia” there.

Very disappointed and a bit confused, I turned around and made my way back to the bus stop. So, that’s the truth then. Unless you have a business here, you are actually supposed to go through an agent. Did something change since that stackechange post in 2015? Or did I just not have the air of a business man? I guess I will never know. Lucky Motors it is, then!

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