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What is required for Cambodian Citizenship by Investment



Specifically this is an investment by residency, in which the timeline for residency which is normally 7 years, or 3 years if married is eliminated and citizenship can be immediately applied for. Please see translated text of citizenship act below at the bottom of this section.

  • • An investment of 1.25 billions Riels (approx USD300,000) in a qualifying investment in Cambodia (If the investor chooses make a donation, there is a method where via a loan only $50,000 of the $300,000 is required) however, the fees will total 50,000 and the deposit will NOT be recouped.

  • • Obtained a Police Clearance letter from their home country

  • • Obtained a Police Clearance letter in Cambodia; and

  • • That they are of sound mind and physical health

  • The family of the applicant may apply for citizenship once the main applicant has been approved. The family is considered as the legal spouse and children under the age of 18.

  • • The application takes between 3 and 6 months to process

  • • Applicants may choose a local Khmer name for their new citizenship documents (name change)

  • • Once approved, applicants need to take an oath

  • • Successful applicants will be issued with a Royal Decree of Naturalization (certificate), National ID Card and Cambodian passport


  • What is the cost of the process in total?

    USD85,000 in fees plus the applicant must make an investment of USD300,000 or more. The fees are payable as follows:
  • • USD5,000 Deposit

  • • USD25,000 Before the application is submitted

  • • USD40,000 When the application is approved by the government

  • • USD15,000 when the passport is ready for collection


  • The whole procedure can be completed in 3 – 5 months.

    The 1996 Law on Nationality, which describes how foreigners may acquire Cambodian citizenship, and in particular Articles 10 and 11 which describe how foreign investors may qualify for Cambodian citizenship. On the 31st May 2013, the government authorities of the Kingdom of Cambodia passed Sub Decree 287 into law, “Forms and Procedures of Proposed Naturalization”. Sub-Decree No. 287 deals with the Application and Procedure for Nationalization, stating that a foreigner has to submit an application and pass an exam of Khmer Literature, determined by the Prakas of the Minister of Interior.

    Are there multiple ways of investment, or one existing route?



    Most applicants choose to invest in land, however it does not specify in the citizenship act what the invesment class must be. It may also be possible to gain citizenship through the following ways:
  • birth (jus sanguinis)

  • birth (jus solei)

  • marriage (and 3 years of residency)

  • 7 years of residency

  • investment - letter of authorization for investment from the Cambodian Development Council (CDC), spent initial capital of from 1,250,000,000 riels and up

  • donation - 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 rebuilding of economy of the Kingdom of Cambodia

    What are the benefits of becoming a Cambodian citizen?



    Ability to live in Cambodia without having to obtain visa
    Ability to work
    Ability to buy land freely
    visa free access to about 50 countries
    Visa free in Asean
    Apply for concessions and licenses from the government that are only available to Cambodian nationals.
    Who are the most common investors for the Cambodian citizenship-by-investment program?

    Persons who travel in the region but not able to travel visa free.
    Travel Benefits
    As a Cambodian passport holder you can enjoy visa free (including visa-on-arrival and e-visa)
    Key Countries include:
    • Singapore
    • Malaysia
    • Indonesia
    • South Korea
    • India
    • Thailand
    What are the relevant aspects of the 1996 law?

    A foreigner who may apply for naturalization shall fulfil the following conditions:

      1- shall have a paper certifying that he/she has good behaviour and moral conduct issued by the chief of the commune (Khum) or quarter (Sangkat) of his/her own residence.
    2- shall have a letter of certification of the past criminal record which stated that he/she had never been convicted for any criminal offence before.
    3- shall have a paper certifying that such person has his/her residence in the Kingdom of Cambodia and who has been living continuously for seven (7) years from the date of reception of a residence card which was issued under framework of the Law on Immigration.
    4- shall have residence in the Kingdom of Cambodia at the time when he/she is applying for naturalization.
    5- shall be able to speak khmer, know khmer scripts and has some knowledges of khmer history, and prove clear evidence that he/she can live in harmony in khmer society as well as can get used to good khmer custom and tradition.
    6- shall have his/her mentality and physical aptitude which will cause neither danger nor burden to the nation.

    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 legetimately from the Royal Government and who had spent initial capital of from 1,250,000,000 riels and up, the period of living as stated in the sub-para 3 of the 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 rebuilding of economy of the Kingdom of Cambodia, may have right to file an application for khmer nationality, in case when upon he/she has fulfilled the conditions as stated in the sub-paragraphs 1, 2, 5 and 6 of the article 8 of this law.

        Article 13:
    A foreigner who has shown evidence that he/she had offered any special merit or achievement for the interest of the Kingdom of Cambodia, may file an application for khmer nationality and with no need to fulfil the conditions as stated in the sub-para.3 of the article 8 of this law.

  • National Flag of
    ព្រះរាជាណាចក្រកម្ពុជា (khm)
    Currency
    KHR
    Area Code
    +855
    Capital
    Phnom Penh
    Region
    South-Eastern Asia
    Native Languages
    Khmer
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    Citizenship Act of Cambodia

    LAW ON NATIONALITY IN CAMBODIA

    This law was adopted by the National Assembly on August 20, 1996, during its extraordinary session of its first legislature.

    CHAPTER I : GENERAL PROVISIONS

    ARTICLE 1: The objective of this law is to determine the Khmer nationality/citizenship for those persons who fulfill the conditions under this law and who are living on the territory of the Kingdom of Cambodia or abroad.

    ARTICLE 2: A person of Khmer nationality/citizenship is a Khmer citizen. Khmer citizen shall not be deprived of nationality, exiled or extradited to any foreign country, unless there is a mutual agreement.

    ARTICLE 3: Khmer citizens who are living in foreign countries shall:

    1. Be protected by the State through all diplomatic means.

    2. Not lose their nationality automatically.

    CHAPTER II: KHMER NATIONALITY/CITIZENSHIP BY BIRTH

    ARTICLE 4:

    1. Shall obtain Khmer nationality/citizenship regardless of the place of birth:

    Any legitimate child who is born from a mother or father who has Khmer nationality/citizenship,or

    Any illegitimate child who is born from and recognized by mother or father who has Khmer\nationality, or

    Any child who is not recognized by a mother and father (parents), when the court passed a judgment stating that such child was really born from a mother or father who has Khmer nationality/citizenship.

    1. Shall obtain Khmer nationality/citizenship by being born in Cambodia:

    Any child who was born from a foreign mother and father (parents) who were born and living legally in Cambodia.

    Any child who was born from an unknown mother or father (a parent) and a newly born child who is found in Cambodia, shall be considered as having been born also in Cambodia.

    CHAPTER III: KHMER NATIONALITY/CITIZENSHIP BY MARRIAGE

    ARTICLE 5: A foreign man or woman who got married with a Khmer wife or husband, may demand for Khmerm nationality/citizenship, if upon such man or women has been living together for a period of three (3) years, after the registration of a marriage certificate. Formalities and procedures for a request of Khmer nationality/citizenship shall be determined by Sub-decree. The grant of Khmer nationality/citizenship following a request shall be decided by Royal-decree.

    ARTICLE 6: Khmer citizens do not lose Khmer nationality/citizenship because of their marriage with foreigners.

    CHAPTER IV: NATURALIZATION

    ARTICLE 7: Foreigners may apply for Khmer nationality citizenship by naturalization. Naturalization is not a right of the applicant, but only a privilege of the Kingdom of Cambodia. In any event, such application may be rejected by discretionary power.

    ARTICLE 8: Foreigners who may apply for naturalization shall fulfil the following conditions:

    1. Shall have a paper certifying that he/she has good behaviour and moral conduct issued by the chief of the commune (Khum) or district (Sangkat) of his/her own residence.

    2. Shall have a letter of certification of past criminal records which stated that he/she had never been previously convicted of any criminal offense.

    3. Shall have a document certifying that such person has his/her residence in the Kingdom of Cambodia and been living continuously for seven (7) years from the date of reception of the residence card which was issued under the framework of the Law on Immigration.

    4. Shall have residence in the Kingdom of Cambodia when applying for naturalization.

    5. Shall be able to speak Khmer, know Khmer scripts and has some knowledge of Khmer history and prove evidence clearly that he/she can live in harmony in Khmer society as well as can accept good Khmer customs and traditions.

    6. Shall have his/her mentality and physical aptitude that will neither cause danger nor burden to the nation.

    ARTICLE 9: For any foreigner who was born in the Kingdom of Cambodia, the 7 years period of continuously residency as stated in the sub-para 3 of article 8 of this law shall instead be decreased to 3 years.

    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 rails 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 rails 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.

    ARTICLE 13: A foreigner who has shown evidence that he/she had offered any special merit or achievement or the interest of the Kingdom of Cambodia may file an application for Khmer nationality without any need to fulfill the conditions as stated in the sub-para 3 of article 8 of this law.

    ARTICLE 14: A foreigner who has spouse or child/children of under 18 years of age and who also intend(s) to apply for Khmer nationality/citizenship may apply or naturalization as a family as a whole. A family consists of a husband, wife and child/children of under 18 years old.

    ARTICLE 15: A foreigner may apply to change to a Khmer name. In such a case, he/she shall specify such name in writing in his/her application or naturalization.

    ARTICLE 16: Naturalization which is granted to any person shall be decided by Royal-Decree. The formality and procedure for the application for naturalization, shall be determined Sub-decree.

    ARTICLE 17: Those who got authorization to have Khmer nationality/citizenship shall take an oath before the Supreme Court. The substance of this above oath shall be provided in a Sub-decree.

    CHAPTER V: LOSS OF KHMER NATIONALITY/CITIZENSHIP

    ARTICLE 18: Any person who has Khmer nationality/citizenship and who is at least 18 years old may request without coercion to renounce Khmer nationality, if such person has got another nationality. Procedure and conditions for requesting the renunciation of nationality shall be determined by Sub-decree.

    CHAPTER VI: PENALTIES

    ARTICLE 19: Only those person of Khmer nationality/citizenship may have right to receive and hold identity cards of Khmer nationality and passports of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

    ARTICLE 20: Any foreigner who holds or uses identity card of Khmer nationality or passport of the Kingdom of Cambodia shall be punished to imprisonment from five (5) years to ten (10) years.

    ARTICLE 21: Any person who fakes, scratches to erase, rewrite over or lends to someone or write a falsified name on the identity card of Khmer nationality or passport of the Kingdom of Cambodia or who uses these documents shall be punished to imprisonment from five (5) to ten (10) years.

    ARTICLE 22: Any official or government agent or any person who conspires, helps dissimulating or provides identity card of Khmer nationality or passport to any person who has no Khmer nationality citizenship shall be subject to the same punishment term as the case of a person holding illegally the identity card of Khmer nationality or passport as stated in the articles 21 and 22 of this law.

    CHAPTER VII: FINAL PROVISION

    ARTICLE 23: Any provisions contrary to this law shall be hereby repealed.

    This law was adopted by the National Assembly on

    August 20, 1996, during its extraordinary

    session of its first legislature.