Citizenship by Investment in Cambodia
Cambodian citizenship by investment program was introduced in 1996 when the National Assembly of the Kingdom of Cambodia adopted Law on Nationality. The new law made it possible for foreign investors to apply for Cambodian citizenship based on eligible investment in the amount of 1,250,000,000 riels (311,000 USD) or non-refundable donation in the amount of 1,000,000,000 riels (249,000 USD). Other requirements that are in place for normal naturalization process (like 7 years of residency requirement and knowledge of Khmer language) are waived for investors. The above-mentioned law reads as follows:
ARTICLE 10: For any foreigner who had received a letter of authorization for investment from the Cambodian Development Council (CDC) and who had implemented concretely actual project costing an initial capital of from 1,250,000,000 riels and up, the period of residence as stated in the sub-para 3 of article 8 of this law shall be exempted.
ARTICLE 11: For any foreigner who has no letter of authorization for investment from the Cambodian Development Council (CDC), but who had received authorization for investment legally from the Royal Government and who had spent initial capital of from 1,250,000,000 riels and up, the period of residence as stated in the sub-para 3 of article 8 of this law shall be exempted.
ARTICLE 12: Any foreigner who has made a donation in cash, to the national budget of from 1,000,000,000 riels or more, for the interest of restoration and building of economy of the Kingdom of Cambodia, such foreigner may file an application for Khmer nationality, in the event he/she has fulfilled the conditions as stated in the sub-paragraphs 1, 2, 5 and 6 of article 8 of this law.
Although Cambodian passport is not a very strong document for visa free travel (you can enjoy visa-free travel only to 51 countries) Cambodian citizenship may offer other benefits that can be worth consideration including:
- Privacy, diversification, and asset protection. Investor and his family members can choose a new Khmer name and transfer part of the wealth into the new name). The increasing lack of privacy in many nations is more of a reason than ever to have part of your wealth discretely held through a second citizenship. You can use your new Cambodian documents for banking.
- You will not be fully dependent on your first citizenship and passport. In case of political unrest or war you will be able to travel and to reside in another country with your new documents
- As a Cambodian citizen, you will be able to take advantage of local benefits that are not available to foreigners. You will be able to live and work in Cambodia visa-free at any time and for as long as you want. You will be able to own landed property in your own name (foreigners can only lease land and property for 50 years). And the last but least, you will be able to apply for concessions and licenses from the Cambodian government that are only available to nationals.
- Travel Benefits. Among other countries, as a Cambodian citizen you can travel without visa to Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea, India, and Thailand.
Other Reasons to Invest
- Cambodia is a part of the ASEAN Economic Community, a region with free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labor, and freer flow of capital. ASEAN spans 4.46 million km², which is 3% of the world’s total land area. It has a combined population of approximately 600 million people, which is 8.8% of the global population. In 2015, its combined nominal GDP grew to more than $2,57 trillion US dollars. ASEAN membership offers regional trade benefits.
- Easy repatriation of profits
- Low-cost labor force
- Untapped natural resources and fertile land
- Underpenetrated, growing domestic consumer market
- Well capitalized, conservative banking system
- Political Stability
Qualifications and Requirements
- Investor must be 18 years of age or older, must have a clean criminal record and be of sound mind and in good health
- Qualifying investment in Cambodia of at least USD 311,000 should be made
- The applicant must have a valid passport and a current valid visa of entry into Cambodia
- Language requirement is waived
- Residency requirement is waived
- The processing of application varies from case to case and is between 3 and 6 months
- Family members (spouse and any children under the age of 18) can apply for citizenship once the main applicant has been approved
“Elma Global” does not provide legal services in Cambodia. Please, visit the comparison of passport programs page to see the countries we work with.