Some jobs in Cambodia do require criminal background checks and the police certificate is the official document issued for this.
These checks might be required for teaching jobs, those working in the legal profession, with embassies and consulates, international agencies, non-profit organisations and other professions, and even in certain cases for individuals to travel.
Updated February 7 2023
Here we explain how you can obtain your criminal background check (police clearance certificate) in Cambodia. You may also need one for a job if you leave the shores of the Kingdom.
How to obtain a Police Clearance Report in Cambodia
If you are a foreigner living and working in Cambodia, you should first try and contact your embassy in the Kingdom to see if they have a service to assist in obtaining a criminal background check.
However, we appreciate that many nationalities are not represented in Cambodia with embassies or consulates. You could also try to contact your relevant business chamber who might be able to assist.
If your Embassy is unable to assist in obtaining a police clearance certificate from Cambodian authorities, please follow the guide below.
Police Certificate in Cambodia
To obtain a Police Clearance report required for a criminal background check, foreigners should go to the Criminal Office at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to request a Police Certificate. The MoJ is located at #240 Sothearos Blvd on the riverside in Phnom Penh.
How much does a Police Certificate cost in Cambodia?
There are two different fees for obtaining a Police Certificate in Cambodia. These example fees below are from the Australian Embassy.
- 250,000 Riels (approximately USD $62.5) for regular service – takes around 20 days
- 500,000 Riels (approximately USD $125.00) for expedited service – takes around 12 days.
The British Embassy in Cambodia charges $70 for up to 21 days and $140 for 10 days. Private consulting firms can also be used but their fees tend to be higher so its worth asking around for a good price and reliable service.
What documents do you need for a Cambodian Police Certificate?
You should bring the following documents to obtain a Police Certificate in Cambodia:
- A completed application form – this can be collected from the Criminal Office.
- One photograph (4cm x 6cm).
- A bio-information form.
- A copy of the biographical page of the passport.
- Copies of the first and last Cambodian visas showing dates of arrival.
- A Residence Certification Letter *(see below) from the commune (Sangkat) office where you reside and/or resided whilst in Cambodia.
If you are based in Cambodia, the DoJ requires you to submit the form yourself.
However, if you are not in the country, you also authorise someone to apply for the Police Certificate on your behalf. The applicant should complete an authorization form (available at the Criminal Office at the Ministry of Justice), and submit all of the completed forms.
Online Application – Cambodian Police Clearance Certificate
In February 2023, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) announced the initial phases to allow individuals to apply for their Police Clearance Certificate online.
At this stage, the form can be completed and submitted online via the MoJ website or their app but payments and fingerprints are still required to be done in person at the Ministry.
This system will hopefully add more functionality to allow for online payments etc in the future.
Cambodia Residence Certification Letter
A Residence Certification Letter is required when applying for a Police Certificate in Cambodia.
Foreigners need to go to the local commune (Sangkat) office where they reside/resided in Cambodia to request the letter. There is a no-standard administrative fee for the provision of this letter advises the Australian Embassy in Cambodia.
What documents do you need for a Cambodian Residence Letter?
You should bring the following documents to obtain a Cambodian Residence Letter:
- If you are Cambodian: ID card, family book/ residence book, and house rental agreement (if he/ she did not own a house).
- If you are a foreigner: Passport, house rental agreement, job letter and other related documents to support the claim of residence.
The information in the Residence Certificate Letter should include:
- Name of the resident.
- House address.
- How long the resident stayed/has stayed at that address.
The applicant may authorize someone living in Cambodia to apply for this letter for them You will need to provide an authorization letter for that authorised person if this is the case.
Please note that the acceptance and issuing of a Residence Certificate Letter are dependent on the commune (Sangkat) office. As always it would be advisable to have someone who speaks Khmer and can assist if you do not understand the language.
Foreigners are advised to request a Residence Certification Letter from their local commune (Sangkat) office prior to leaving their Cambodian place of residence.
Thanks to the Australian Embassy in Cambodia for this information.
Notary Services in Cambodia
Although not specific to documents needed for the police clearance checks, expats and those working in the Kingdom, often require to have documents notarized for official business or other legal reasons (academic studies abroad or affidavits for example).
There are several notary specialist firms in Phnom Penh, but law firms and some embassies also offer their notary services for a fee. These fees can range from $50 to $100 per A4 page.