From July 22, 2022, foreigners looking to invest in Cambodia will be able to apply for the new 10-year (so-called golden visa) which falls under the Cambodia My 2nd Home (CM2H) program, an initiative which was discussed at the Realestate.com.kh EXPO in July 2022.
We look at what it offers successful applicants and how you can benefit from the CM2H program.
What is the ‘Cambodia My 2nd Home’ program?
The Cambodian Ministry of the Interior (MOI) has collaborated with the Khmer Home Charity Association (KHCA) to launch the CM2H program which is intended to attract foreign investment to the Kingdom and compete with similar initiatives in the region.
The Cambodia My 2nd Home (CM2H) website says the program is promoted by the Cambodia Ministry of Interior to allow foreigners to stay in the Kingdom of Cambodia with a Golden Visa of 10 years. CM2H holders can apply for a Cambodia passport after 5 years. This is the only pathway for one to apply for a Cambodian passport. The CM2H program is open to all countries recognised by Cambodia with a certain investment and financial requirement. Successful applicants do not have any entry or exit restrictions in Cambodia.”
What this will allow, is for foreigners to gain access to business-friendly conditions which have few restrictions for entering or exiting Cambodia. It is worth mentioning that the Kingdom already has among the most accessible and easily obtained visas in the region and has few barriers to foreign investment in Cambodia, even allowing businesses to be 100% foreign-owned.
In total, around 10,000 golden visas with 10-year validity will be issued to eligible foreign investors.
Realestate.com.kh EXPO 2022 – Seminar Talk on ‘Cambodia My Second Home’ – 10-year Golden Cambodian passport
Zeus Lam (CM2H Project Director) & Sharens Liew (CM2H District Director) gave presentations at the EXPO 2022 on the topic of “Invest Cambodia – ‘Cambodia My Second Home’ – 10-year Golden Cambodian passport”.
At the seminar, Liew said the Cambodian government has been putting together the plan for the CM2H for two years after consulting with all relevant stakeholders. In addition, she said the objective of CM2H is to “attract more foreigners to call Cambodia their home” and to increase investment in Cambodia. They believe this will create more opportunities for Cambodians by generating more jobs.
Those who are eligible to join CM2H join the KHCA as a member, which Liew says is beneficial as they fall directly under the Cambodian Ministry of the Interior (apparently the only association to do so).
The benefits of the membership, according to Liew, are that members will be kept up to date on any significant changes to regulations and they will have regular events with government officials presenting which will allow members to interact and find out about changes from the highest levels, as well as networking with other industry professionals.
CM2H has representatives in Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia, Korea, Japan, and China and they are looking to have representatives in more regions.
They also wanted to make clear the difference between the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) and the CM2H, whereas the program in Cambodia is targeting investors but retirees who still meet the criteria and can also apply.
Who are the Khmer Home Charity Association (KHCA)?
The KHCA) is the only association recognised by the Ministry of the Interior (MoI) to process the CM2H program and the group consists of accountants, statisticians, lawyers, government representatives and members of the private sector.
The KHCA states it “will be working closely with the minister to develop Cambodia by combining resources from both parties to stimulate the country’s economic growth and upgrade every Cambodian lifestyle.”
H.E. Nov Sokpheap is the Chairman of Khmer Home Charity Association (and one of the guest speakers at EXPO 2022) and said “I am glad to lead “Cambodia My 2nd Home” as the first charity initiative and we will offer full support on it. With our long-term commitment to aid “Cambodia My 2nd Home”, our association will lead all the donors and other organisations to show the value of sharing and caring to society.”
Unlike foreigners seeking citizenship in Cambodia, the CM2H beneficiaries won’t be required to achieve certain Khmer language proficiency. So with the possibility of acquiring Cambodian citizenship through this program after five years, it offers fantastic advantages such as the right to own land in Cambodia and the benefits of being an ASEAN citizen.
What are the requirements for the CM2H Programme?
According to the Cambodia My Second Home website, there are seven requirements to apply for membership, which are:
- The applicant must be a citizen of a country or region recognised by the Cambodian government, regardless of race, religion, or gender,
- The applicant must obtain approval from the Ministry of Interior,
- The applicant must be 18 years old and above,
- The applicant must have an investment capital not less than USD $100,000 in Cambodia,
- The applicant must own a real estate project approved by the government in Cambodia,
- The applicant is eligible to apply for a personal bank account and a trust account,
- The applicant does not require to submit proof of language competency test or academic qualifications.
In total, there are five steps to the process (see below).
CM2H Verification Process – What you need to provide
In addition, to apple with the KHCA, applicants need to provide the following in the verification process:
- Complete the registration form and application form
- Submit a copy of identity & background proof such (Academic certificates – Professional certificates)
- Origin country’s identity card /Origin country’s passport
- 5 passport size photos
- The same details need to be provided for any family members (if any)
CM2H Application Process- What you need to provide
- Certificates or licenses for all companies held by applications (if any)
- Bank statement with a detailed transaction for one-year
- Proof of income
- Assets titles or certificates (if any)
- Marriage certificate (if any)
- Children’s birth certificates (if any)
- Receipt for the application fee (in USD)
- Medical Check-up report from the origin country’s hospital
It will take between 7-14 days to approve the applications, and the KHCA can assist with the preparation to move to Cambodia if successful.
Benefits of Cambodia My 2nd Home program?
- CM2H members will be auto-granted a 10-year KHCA membership which provides entrance to all networking activities and events organised by KHCA and MOI.
- 10-year Golden Cambodian Visa (Eligible for Cambodian Passport after 5 years)
- Receive professional (free) assistance on Company Registration, Opening Bank (ABA) Account, Obtaining Cambodian Driver’s License, Opening Trust Account from KHCA
- 1 Shophouse/Shoplot Investment Asset (GC Orussey market)
- 1-year (free) Medical Insurance with VIP Medical Treatments
- Cambodia International Airport (free) VIP Access
How does the Cambodia My 2nd Home visa compare to Thailand’s 10-year Long Term Resident visa?
The announcement of the CM2H gained much local media coverage and in the region, with The Pattaya Mail reporting that “A spokesman said that the program was aimed at foreign professionals working for Cambodian or overseas companies, but wealthy retirees would be considered as long as they made the minimum investments.
The scheme does not require compulsory medical insurance nor details of foreign bank accounts. Cambodia My Second Home, unlike the 10-year visa proposals for the new Thai immigration initiative, does not spell out bureaucratic detail.”
Thailand offers a 10-year Long Term Resident” (LTR) visa and the fee was halved from 100,000 baht to 50,000 baht in 2022. The criteria for the Thai golden visa seem more stringent than the Cambodian CM2H program but the Thai visa also recognises foreigners who are nomads and highly skilled.
Recipients of the LTR also benefit their dependents.
Thailand’s LTR visa is aimed at foreigners who fall under 4 categories which have different requirements:
- Wealthy foreigners (Holding at least USD $1 million in assets)
- Retirees (Aged 50 years and older who have an annual pension or stable income)
- Work From Thailand Professional / Nomad (Remote workers working for well-established overseas companies)
- Highly Skilled Professional (Professionals or experts in targeted industries working for business entities or higher education institutes, research centres, or specialised training institutions in Thailand or Thai government agencies)