In Cambodia, landlords have long been required to report the presence of foreign tenants — this is why you’ve always had a copy of your passport made when you check in at a hotel, or lease a new accommodation. Until now, the process has been done on paper, and many small-time landlords ignored the regulations to avoid the taxes that came with it. But no longer — now all foreigners in Cambodia are required to register their presence via app.
The Cambodian government has announced a new mobile app, the FPCS-GDI, or “Foreigner Presence in Cambodia System” for Android, iOS, and desktop. From July 1, 2020, foreigners who are not registered in the database will not be allowed to extend their visas.
“The onus [is] on accommodation owners to register their foreign guests and tenants, but said foreigners would not get visa renewals if they were not registered.,” Keo Vanthan, the deputy director-general of the General Department of Immigration, was quoted as saying in this VOA article about the new system.
“We asked [owners] to report this and if they don’t report the foreigners staying at their places, we will not extend their stay,” he said. “The foreigners may not be aware of that, but the owners must be responsible.”
Despite the minor uproar about this in expat circles, the requirement for all foreigners to be registered with the Interior Ministry’s Department of Immigration is not new — it just used to be an offline process that many foreigners were unaware of. What is new is the tying of visa renewals to the process.
There is no charge to register in the system, but unfortunately your landlord will need to do it for you. If you co-own a home with a Cambodian partner, they can register you as the tenant, or you can register yourself.
It is the responsibility of your landlord or property owner to register you. Moreover, the US Embassy has recommended not to download the app yourself (but they didn’t give any reason why…hmmm).
In a recent update to citizens in the Kingdom, they wrote, “The General Department of Immigration confirmed to the Embassy on May 21 that landlords are responsible for registering information about foreigners living in Cambodia under the new “Foreigners Present in Cambodia System” (FPCS) phone application. We advise Americans to not download the FPCS application and instead to request that landlords supply this information.”
The Department of Immigration has released a tutorial in Khmer on YouTube that you can share with your landlord if they are having any difficulties with the process. And of course you should not assume that your landlord has done this automatically — now that visa renewals are tied to the process it’s your responsibility to check to make sure you’ve been properly registered. Although you are not responsible for your registration, without it you will not be able to extend your Cambodia visa.
The tutorial video is very easy to understand, even if you don’t speak Khmer. First, your landlord needs to make an account, either with a smartphone on on the website, then upload a copy of your passport and verify the information (it would probably be helpful if you did this part together), verify phone number, and submitting accommodation information. Your check-in date should be the start of the lease, and the check-out date is the last day of your lease.
If your phone number is not accepted, you’ll need to check that your SIM card is registered in your name, and that your name has been entered into the app in the same format as on your SIM card registration.
If you’ve successfully registered, please leave a note in the comments, and if you have questions the Cambodia Work Permit and Visa group on Facebook is the place to go.