DFDL Cambodia: Foreign Employee Work Permit Application Deadline is Approaching

The deadline to apply for 2023 foreign employee work permits from the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training (“MLVT”), being 31 March 2023, is fast approaching. This obligation applies to every employer in Cambodia employing foreign employees, including representative offices, branches, private or public limited companies, non-governmental organizations and associations.


Failure to comply with the foreign employee work permit requirements could result in fines of up to USD 630 by the MLVT and/or up to USD 900 by a court. Guideline 3005 on Administrative Fines for Owners or Directors of Factories, Enterprises or Establishments that Employ Foreign Employees without Work Permits and Employment Cards further provides that if there are less than five foreign employees working without work permits in an enterprise, the labour inspector may impose administrative fines based on the actual number of foreign employees without valid work permits. If there are five or more foreign employees, the labour inspector may impose a maximum administrative fine of KHR 12,620,000 (approximately USD 3,155), being five times the administrative fine. Fines may be imposed in triple in the event of repeated offenses. Additional sanctions, as imposed by the Labour Law, include terms of imprisonment from six days to one month for any person who hires or retains a foreigner, who does not possess a work permit.


Chapters 5 and 6 of the Law on Immigration provide for a term of imprisonment of up to three months and/or deportation orders for the foreign employees concerned.  


The Cambodian authorities have been enforcing the laws concerning employment of foreign nationals in Cambodia more strictly. Unless you have done so already, we strongly recommend that employers with foreign employees submit the foreign employee work permit applications before the above deadline.


If you would like our assistance with the work permit application or if you have any questions concerning work permits or other labour requirements, please contact DFDL on [email protected]