Cambodia’s Golden Visa

Cambodia is launching a golden visa program, known as the Cambodia My Second Home visa (CM2H). The visa is designed to compete with Malaysia’s MM2H and Thailand’s LTR visas.

If you have ever wanted to live in Cambodia, then this residency by investment program is worth a look. Not only that, but by becoming a resident with a pathway to citizenship, you will gain access to investment opportunities that aren’t available to foreigners or even resident expats.

Why Cambodia?

Cambodia is an emerging economy in Southeast Asia with a bright future ahead of it. With a young population and a rapidly developing economy, the fundamentals are in place for it to play a bigger role in the region.

Phnom Penh has already experienced massive growth in the last decade. But if the city, and the country continues to develop as many observers think it will, it has the potential to become so much more.

It is often said that Phnom Penh is similar to what Bangkok was 30 years ago. When you look how Bangkok has changed since the 1990s, it’s exciting to think what Phnom Penh could become.

Getting in early on the growth of a city or country by investing or by starting a business is one way that people get rich. Just look at the growth of China and how many billionaires are being minted on an ongoing basis.

Sure, emerging countries have their challenges when doing business. But therein lies the opportunity. If you can navigate these challenges and gain an understanding of how things work there, the high barrier to entry will work in your favor.

The CM2H Program Overview

The Cambodia My Second Home visa offers applicants a 10-year renewable residence permit with multi entry access to the country.

Not only is this a residency by investment program, but the visa also provides a pathway towards Cambodian citizenship and a Cambodian passport after 5 years. Citizenship granted to foreigners is very rare in most of Asia. This feature alone sets the CM2H visa apart from the pack.

You will be allowed to bring your family with you. And you will be granted approval to work in the Kingdom of Cambodia.

The CM2H visa program is administered by the Khmer Home Charity Association (KHCA). The KHCA will also assist visa holders with many professional services at no additional cost, such as:

Incorporation of a Cambodian company
Banking services
Driver’s license
Enrollment of your children in school
Taxation
Insurance
Investments

Cambodia My Second Home Criteria

The main criteria to be eligible for the CM2H golden visa is the required investment component. To satisfy this you must invest at least USD $50,000 into government approved property, plus pay a one-off $50,000 membership fee.

It can’t just be any property that you buy. It must be on the approved list. You can view a list of government approved properties here.

You have to be aged at least 18 years old if you are the main applicant.

And you must be a citizen of country recognized by Cambodia.

To be eligible you cannot have a criminal record in Cambodia.

A medical report has to be provided as part of the application.

If you are applying as a family unit, you need to provide a copy of your marriage certificate as well as copies of your children’s birth certificates.

Proof of overseas income needs to be verified by way of bank account statements. Although there is no income requirement to be eligible for the program.

Documents verifying overseas interests in companies and other assets also need to be included in the application – this could be certificates of title for property, company registration certificates etc.

Siem Reap
Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Taxation in Cambodia

Cambodia doesn’t have an income tax as such, but rather different types of income are taxed in different ways.

Resident employees will pay a monthly salary tax on worldwide salary income.

Non-residents pay salary tax on locally sourced salary only.

The top marginal salary tax rate and the corporate tax rate are both set at 20%.

International taxation is complex. If you would like to learn more about your specific tax situation, please book a call.

Who’s it good for?

The CM2H golden visa program is worth considering for people who would like to gain residence in an ASEAN country with a view towards becoming a citizen.

Cambodia has a lot of opportunities within its own borders but we see this visa offering as much more than that.

Having a passport of an ASEAN country will give you improved access to the region compared to what most nationalities would currently have.

Sure, Cambodia is a growing country with great demographics and economic prospects. But the real kicker in this deal is the pathway towards Cambodian citizenship.

Citizenship by Investment programs are quite rare in Asia. It could be a great opportunity for those willing to make the investment.

The fact that the CM2H golden visa program offers a pathway towards citizenship means that as a Cambodian citizen, you would be able to legally purchase landed property in Cambodia. This is a huge advantage as foreigners are otherwise only allowed to buy condos in most cases.

The investment opportunities that this would open up cannot be overstated. You will have unparalleled access to an emerging market that is on the rise.

Just imagine the possibilities if foreigners were allowed to purchase, develop and subdivide land in Bangkok 30 years ago. That’s the kind of opportunity that may be on offer here.

Next Steps

If you’re interested in moving to Cambodia with a residence permit, a local property and a pathway to becoming a citizen of an ASEAN country – the Cambodia My Second Home visa could be for you. Talk to us to discuss your options and put the process in motion.

Thanks for reading.