How to get an Indian visa in Phnom Penh

Indian-visa

While we were in Cambodia we decided to travel to India which meant we would need an Indian tourist visa. It was a bit difficult to find up to date information on getting a visa so here’s a blog post all about how we obtained our Indian visa in Phnom Penh.

The information in this post was accurate at the time of writing but check out the visa section on the Indian embassy website for opening times, requirements etc. See below for the link.

Stage 1: Fill in the online form

Go to www.indembassyphnompenh.org to read about the visa and click on the link http://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa. TIP: if possible use Internet Explorer. If you don’t two of the sections won’t appear on the form (point of exit and address of hotel in India). Don’t worry, we checked at the Embassy and it’s ok to fill these sections in by hand.

On the form you need to give two reference addresses – one in India and another in Cambodia, including telephone numbers. We hadn’t booked anything by that point (and in fact the Indian visa website tells you not to book anything until you get your visa but anyway…). So we just gave the details for a hotel we found on the internet. For our Cambodian reference we gave our hotel name.

You also need to add point of exit but if you’re not sure where this will be don’t worry and just pick any city. We gave Mumbai but in the end we departed India from Delhi and it didn’t matter.

Once you’ve submitted the form online you’ll get to pick a date to hand in the form at the Embassy. We submitted ours at about 5pm and our appointment was scheduled for 2 days time. So if you want to have an appointment for the next day maybe submit the form earlier than 5pm. Or the day before.

Stage 2: Prepare for the visit to the Embassy.

You will need to take:

- Passport photo. You only need one but probably best to take two just in case. If you don’t have the right size with you you’ll have to get them done in Phnom Penh – you usually get about 10 at a time so no problem. The size is larger than the standard passport photo and we found a place on street 93 just north of the junction with Samdach Preah Sihanouk Blvd. It was on the right hand side. You can also ask tuk tuk drivers near the embassy to take you to a photo shop. Our photos cost about $3 for two of us and they were ready within a few hours.

- Visa form with photo attached (if you haven’t got any glue there was some at the Embassy when we went).

- Passport

- Photocopy of your passport and a photocopy of your Cambodian visa

- Visa fee. TIP: take the exact money as the Embassy probably won’t have change. The fee as of February 2012 was $57 for a UK or French citizen and I think it’s the same for most Europeans and Americans. The fee consists of a $40 visa fee then an additional $15 fee because we weren’t Cambodians and another $2 admin fee. The Indian Embassy site didn’t mention how much the visa costs but there is a poster on the wall inside the Embassy outlining fees and who needs to pay them.

Stage 3: Go to the Embassy to apply for your visa.

The Embassy is open from 9 – 11am for visa applications. Your printed form will have your appointment time written on the side but if you want to go when it opens I don’t think it matters. We went earlier and it was ok. When you get to the Embassy you’ll need to check-in with the security guards at the entrance. Don’t turn up earlier than the opening time and expect to be able to sign-in – they turned us away until it opened. You need to enter your details into the signing-in book but if there are more than one of you just one person needs to do it. They need your name, passport number and address in Phnom Penh with tel number. TIP: take a pen with you to the Embassy as there weren’t any available.

Go through to the Embassy (it looks like a house and the visa section is right in front of you). Take one of the forms that non-Cambodians need to fill in – should be in a box to the right of the window. It asks for the same information that’s on your visa form (name, passport number etc).

Join the queue! When we were there there were about 10 people waiting in line. When you get to the front hand the visa official your passport, forms, fee. It took him about 5 mins to process the form. He then hands you a receipt that includes the date you can pick up your passport.

We went to hand our forms in on Wednesday and our pick-up date was the following Monday, so 3 days. I’d advise you get your visa application in asap! When we went there were people in the queue who had been trying to submit their form for 2 days but the system was down so they were told to come back next day.

Stage 4: Pick up your visa and passport.

The Embassy opens between 4 and 5pm for visa pick-up. Sign in again with security. If there are two of you it might not be necessary for both of you to go – I went to collect my passport and my partner’s too and it wasn’t a problem.

Go to the visa window and hand over your receipt. If your application was successful you should get your passport back complete with visa!

TIP: your visa will be valid from that date, not when you arrive in India. We asked for a one month visa but as far as i know you can get anything up to a 6 month visa.

That’s it! A bit of a hassle and lots of paperwork, but hopefully this advice will help you avoid some of the problems we faced. If there are any updates feel free to add them as a comment below. Happy travels!

Mark

Mark loves travel. Everything about it. Even the bad bits. Packing his bags? Every item packed fuels his imagination. Where will those trainers walk? What foreign food will stain that t-shirt? Where will he lose those sunglasses...

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23 Responses

  1. john says:

    Thanks for the excellent article!!! I do however have a question though… Do you know if they were giving out 6 month multiple entry visas there? I read your tip, but I am curious if they are hassling people who want a 6 month multiple.

    • Mark says:

      Hi Joe,
      I checked the link and the link is still correct but the Indian Embassy website isn’t working properly in Google Chrome. None of the side or top navigation appears – not very useful! I tried it in Firefox and it was ok – not sure about Internet Explorer. Anyway I’m sure you’ve managed to sort this by now (apologies for the late reply to your post) and hopefully you got your visa – if you did then good luck in India!
      Mark

  2. HCBC says:

    Thank you very much for the great article. We were today at the embassy and they would like to see a flight ticket in to India. I try to explain, that we book our flight when we got the visa. The answer was: no visa without a fight ticket, come on monday again! Had you or somebody else the same problem? Thank you

    • Mark says:

      You’re welcome! We didn’t have to show our flight tickets but had already booked them anyway. It does seem odd to ask you to show them because if you don’t have a visa there’s no point booking a flight, but there isn’t too much logic involved in the application process anyway…Good luck!

  3. Shivananda says:

    Thank you for you good article on the Indian Visa in Phnom Penh. I just got one right now and it was not one of an experience I want to repeat. The total waiting time was about 12 hours (3 days) for no apparent reason. My advise is: get the Indian Visa somewhere else.

  4. Hi Mark,

    We found this post immensely helpful in getting our Indian visas in Phnom Penh. We liked it so much, we’re dropping a link to it on our website. Just wanted to say thanks for doing such great legwork!

    - Skyler

  5. Boah… Thats horrible… I filled in the online form and get a appointment just 4 days later… I try to go on the next day during the normal opening times… There was just one guys waiting at 9:45. My turn. They send me back and told me I cant apply today, because I am not on the “list”.

    So it matter if you got appointment or not. Horrible… Stuck in PP for more than a week just for the Visa -.-

    Hope Other get more luck.

    • Fabien Fabien says:

      Sorry to hear that, I hope it worked out in the end.

      We actually really enjoyed the extra week in PP and can’t wait to go back!!

  6. Vicky says:

    Great article. So helpful.

    To any recent posters, does the fee still remain a flat $40 with the additional $17 for non Cambodian nationals, regardless of nationality?

    I am aware that the cost for UK citizens getting their visa in the UK has almost doubled this year and if its still $57 it appears to be far better value to pick it up in Pnomh Penh!

    Thanks

  7. Jules says:

    Just a wee warning. I went equipped with all docs thinking fee was $40 but alas at the counter the guy told me the Visa fee had gone up to ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY DOLLARS for UK Nationals. So be prepared if you are a Brit. I was so annoyed not only because I had not been told upon applying and the fee is so high but also because I wasted a whole morning to have to now reapply and go back again- so TAKE EXTRA CASH in case. The guy at the counter said it had gone up so much cos they kept it same price for ten years and were making up for lost time! What a rip-off.

    • Allan Michaud says:

      You can thank our prime minister for that one. India, like China and many others simply reciprocate the treatment of their own nationals. When the UK stuck new restrictions on Indians recently they did the same.
      You could also blame us Brits for introducing India to bureaucracy, they just took it to another level.

  8. Jas says:

    Many thanks for this blog, it was very informative.

    I just went today to apply for my visa and it was pretty quick. Just a few notes I have a UK passport and the fee is $147 now which is about the same charge in the UK. I was not asked for proof of tickets in and out of india although I did hand my e-ticket itinerary showing flights in and out. I also handed over a print out of my booking of the hotel for india and cambodia but i wasn’t asked for either.

    I handed in my application today a Wednesday and was told to come back on Monday, so 3 days.

  9. The process to obtain a Visa to India is definitely not easy–maybe it’s to prepare you for the country itself ;)

    Just wanted to add that in 2011, we obtained our visas while in Kandy, Sri Lanka with Aussie passports. At the time, we didn’t have to make an appointment either. in fact, we completed our applications at the internet cafe next door, submitted it, then went into the visa office straight away to wait our turn to submit our passport and photos and money. we even got a 6mo visa despite not being residents. There’s also an office in Colombo.

  10. Allan Michaud says:

    Thanks for taking the trouble to write this, very useful. Not simple, but having experienced getting an Indian visa in London twice before it actually sounds relatively easy.

  11. Hello and thank you very much for your blog it was very helpful and informative. Just a quick question. I have already already booked my flight from Bangkok, Thailand. Would this be ok to still get my visa from Cambodia and fly from Thailand. Thank you for your time.

    • Fabien Fabien says:

      Hi Megan,

      It should be fine. We did exactly the same, booked our flight from Bangkok when we were still in Cambodia and then just got our visa at the border between cambodia and thailand. Have a great trip!

  12. David Roper says:

    There is no comments here about showing proof of having yellow fever vaccination?? Was anyone asked? I have it but no yellow card!!

  13. Paula H says:

    I have just got a single entry tourist visa for India & I wasn’t asked for yellow fever card/certificate. In addition to the documents they ask you to bring on their official website, I also added a copy of my air ticket in & out of India and a copy of my itinerary. As I am based in Siem Reap, I was able to lodge my application in person and arrange to have it collected by a friend/representative, so that I didn’t have to wait around in PP for the 4 days of processing. I added a letter to my application stating who would collect it but they still wanted to meet my representative on the day that I applied. So along with everything else you need to bring, bring your friend too, if you are planning to not collect the passport yourself. Happy travels…..

    • Ingo says:

      Hi!

      Thanks for the information. I”m in phnom penh and will apply for a visa within the next 10 days. So when you filled in the online-application you got this appointment – how many days later was this? And could you just deliver your papers or did you have to talk to someone?
      And is here anyone who got a one-year-visa?

      Thanks and greetings from Cambodia

      Ingo

  14. kh says:

    18-12-2014
    We, two Dutch cyclists, get today a multiple entry for 6 months! We were a little bit worried because we do not have a flight ticket, but we added a detailed travel itinerary. The atmosphere at the ambassy is quiet and they were very friendly. The procedure is still as you described. No asking for yellow fever certificate. An appointment two days after filling in the digital application and a few questions at the embassy (what is your profession?).

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