Unlike the Caribbean nation of Dominica, Cambodia lacks a formal, well-structured CBI programme. Cambodia’s Law on Nationality does, however, make provision for foreign nationals to obtain citizenship of Cambodia following an investment in the country.
Investment Options in Cambodia
In Cambodia, economic citizenship is afforded to persons who either invest KHR 1.25 billion
(KHR- Khmer Riels which is equivalent to about US$312,500
) into the country (to be approved either by the Cambodian Development Council or by the royal Government) or donate KHR 1 billion
for the restoration and rebuilding of Cambodia’s economy.
|Required Official Approval
|KHR 1.25 billion
|Cambodian Development Council or royal Government
|KHR 1 billion
Applicants who seek to obtain citizenship of Cambodia will face a less clear and more complex process, than those who choose a more transparent and established CBI programme.
, for instance, has a Citizenship by Investment Unit (CBIU) – a body dedicated to managing and processing citizenship by investment applications. The CBIU maintains up-to-date websites containing all the information an applicant will need during the CBI process, including a list of agents authorised to submit an application on their behalf.
, on the other hand, has no such dedicated body nor official website and applications are instead reviewed by the Ministry of Interior. This results in a process that is both a lot less efficient and uncertain.
|Citizenship by Investment Unit
|Approved Agents to Guide Applications
Cambodia Citizenship by Investment Requirements
Additional hurdles faced by applicants in Cambodia
include the fact that they must undertake a Khmer language and history test. Applicants must also fulfil a travel requirement to Cambodia to obtain good behaviour, police, and health certificates, and sign the citizenship oath.
Additionally, although there is no requirement to actually reside in Cambodia, applicants choosing the KHR 1.25 billion investment option must register a place of residence in Cambodia upon application. Under the Dominica
CBI Programme, applicants need not undergo onerous requirements, such as language tests, history tests, or travel and residence obligations.
|Applicant must obtain good behaviour, police, and health certificates, and sign the citizenship oath
|Applicant must register a residence in Cambodia (KHR 1.25 billion investment option only)
Stability and Reputation of Dominica’s Programme
Over the years, Dominica
has implemented highly streamlined processes that meet the needs of investors. This is due to the fact that the CBI Programme of Dominica is one of the most longstanding in the industry, being implemented in 1993
By contrast, Cambodia
’s CBI provisions, in their current form, were implemented in 2013
. Longevity plays an important role in ensuring both reputation and stability, but also in ensuring a programme develops the initiative to keep abreast of industry trends. In Dominica this initiative is reflected in recent changes to the programme.
Detecting increasing investor interest in family reunification following Covid-19, Dominica
expanded the scope of family eligibility under its programme and it is now one of the most family-friendly CBI programmes in the world. On the contrary, Cambodia
makes provision for only the spouse of the main applicant and children under 18 years of age.
• Children under 18 years of age
• Children of the main applicant or of the spouse, if:
– Under the age of 18
– Aged between 18-30 and substantially supported by the main applicant or the main applicant’s spouse
– Aged 18 or over, physically or mentally challenged, and substantially supported by the main applicant or the main applicant’s spouse
• Parents or grandparents of the main applicant or the main applicant’s spouse who are substantially supported by the main applicant or the main applicant’s spouse
• Spouses of qualifying parents or grandparents who are themselves substantially supported by the main applicant or the main applicant’s spouse
• Siblings of the main applicant or the main applicant’s spouse, aged 25 or under, single, childless, and, if under 18, in receipt of consent to make an application from all persons with parental responsibility
, Cambodia is a member of a free movement regime. Thanks to membership of ASEAN, citizens of Cambodia
in certain professions are afforded greater mobility opportunities among member states. Despite this, however, citizens of Cambodia are limited in terms of the number of countries to which they can travel without a visa. Indeed, citizens of Dominica can travel to more than double the number of countries.
|Free Movement Regime
|Visa-Free or Visa-on-Arrival Destinations
|Less than 55
|More than 140
Professional Due Diligence
Finally, CBI applicants in Cambodia
are subject to lax due diligence, with no external checks and a lack of emphasis on an applicant’s source of funds. The due diligence process in Dominica
is far more stringent, with initial checks by agents, internal checks by the CBIU, and external checks by specialist firms and regional and international entities, including Interpol and the JRCC. Dominica’s multi-tiered approach to due diligence is one of the key reasons the island is a highly reputable destination for second citizenship.