Cambodian citizenship status offers intriguing advantages, even though it isn’t popular. The economic citizenship program is mainly used by expats living in the country to buy land and other assets. It also allows foreigners easy travel throughout Asian countries.
This is one of the lesser-known citizenship by investment programs in the world. It hasn’t been marketed much, but regardless, it’s clearly stated in the 1996 Cambodian nationality law.
In 2018, the Khmer Times reported in South Korean and Chinese nationals are said to be the main applicants. Between 2015-2018, 1,050 foreigners obtained Cambodia’s citizenship through investment.
Cambodia Citizenship by Investment program
The application for citizenship is processed within a 3-4 month timespan. Naturalization is quick for family and dependents, requiring up to 6 months at most.
Do note that for qualification as a dependent, a child needs to be under 18 years of age.
You must also not have a criminal record, be of good health, and not pose a security risk for the country. Technically there is also a language requirement (Khmer), but it’s believed that this can be waived.
Cambodia Citizenship by Investment Donation option
Under article 12 of the Nationality Law, any foreigner who has donated 1,000,000,000 KHR ($245,000) to the national budget for the interest of restoration and rebuilding of the economy of the Kingdom of Cambodia, may have the right to apply for Khmer nationality without the 7-year residency.
Cambodia Citizenship by Investment Business Investment option
This is the more difficult of the two paths. But if you are planning to make an investment in Cambodia, which most applicants are, it might be the most logical path.
Under article 10 and 11 of the Cambodia Nationality Law, any foreigner who has a letter of authorization of investment from the Cambodian Development Council (CDC), or who has received investment authorization from the Royal Government and who had spent initial capital of from 1,250,000,000 KHR ($300,000) may have the right to apply for Khmer nationality without the 7-year residency.
The investment must be made to a business that is government-approved. The easiest way is to receive an authorization letter to invest from the CDC (Cambodian Development Council). The applicant must concretely implement the actual project.