Cambodia Legal Alert: Foreign Employee Work Permit Application Deadline is Approaching

The deadline to apply for 2024 foreign employee work permits from the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training (“MLVT”), being 31 March 2024, 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 up to KHR12.6 million (approximately USD 3,150) by the MLVT and/or up to KHR18 million (approximately USD 4,500) by a court.

Guideline 517 on Administrative Fines for Enterprises Employing Foreign Employees without Work Permit dated 17 January 2023 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 working without work permits, the labour inspector may impose a maximum administrative fine of KHR 63 million (approximately USD 15,750), being five times the administrative fine imposed by the MLVT. 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 us at [email protected].