Deported from Cambodia

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Getting angry and screaming before Cambodian authorities is useless. In general, Cambodians don’t shout and consider it very childless. Even if you are right, it will not help your case. Keep calm, smile a lot and they will be more supportive. In any case, if you do not have the due procedure, you have to follow the law, so do it.

       Cambodia, as any other country, has the right to expel aliens from its territory in a lawful way. The conditions to expel an alien is described in the Law on Immigration (1994) and aliens are under the control of the Ministry of Interior.

       Any visitor to the Kingdom of Cambodia must complaint with the national legislation. This condition happens in all countries around the world, therefore, if you have to pay a fine for situations like overstaying, don’t come out with the argument that “it is a corrupt” country. Your own country will do similar actions or even worst procedures with any alien overstaying in your country or breaking the law. 

Reasons to expel aliens from Cambodia

  • Overstaying: of course, it has its circumstances  If you overstay in Cambodia for some days due to situations out of you will (you were in a hospital, the bus had to stop for hours before reaching a border, there is a delay in your flight, etc.) authorities can understand if you show to them documents (the hospital bill, the bus ticket, the delay notice, etc.) If you overstay in Cambodia less than 30 days, you have to pay a fine of 5 USD per day. If you overstay more than 30 days, it reaches 6 USD per dayNotice: It is not a bribe, it is lawful, so you have to pay it to the immigration authorities.
  • You enter Cambodia in an illegal way: for example, you cross the border without presenting yourself to the immigration authorities; you do not have a visa or passport while you are in Cambodia.
  • You get a job without a work permit: You came to Cambodia as a tourist, but suddenly gets a job and don’t mind to request a permit. The company that contracts you, will be also punished by authorities.
  • You show disrespect for the Cambodian society: You offend Cambodians in their religions, believes, respect for the Monarchy, monuments, history… you go naked in a public place, etc, authorities can follow the Article 11, numeral 1 of the Immigration Law to conclude that you do not “demonstrate an aptitude or talent which benefits the economy, social affairs, technical affairs or science, or culture of the Kingdom of Cambodia” and thus order your expel.
  • You did a crime in Cambodia: In this case, you can be arrested, prosecuted and expel from Cambodia after the penalty. The most known crimes made by aliens in Cambodia are in relation with drugs, human trafficking, child molestation and political intervention. Notice: Please be aware that Cambodian authorities keep the sovereign right to establish when an alien is doing intervention into politics or putting in danger the National Security. As it is very relative, it is better to be careful. In principle, in any country, a foreigner is not allowed to lead activism in a foreign country.
  • You are searched for a crime in another country: In this case, the Cambodian authorities can extradite you, if it has extradition agreements with the requesting country.  

Punishments

       According to the Law on Immigration, aliens can face the following punishments if they do not complaint with the Cambodian legislation (Articles 29-34):

  • If you enter Cambodia in an illegal way, you can be in prison up to 6 months, then expelled.
    • People who assisted a foreigner to enter Cambodia illegally, get the same punishment.
    • A Cambodian authority that helps a foreigner to enter the country illegally, get prison up to one year, including negligence, lack of attention or fail to follow due procedures.
    • Transports use for illegal entering of aliens into Cambodia, are confiscated.
  • You have to pay fines for entering illegally the country or for overstaying. Paying fines means also you have to leave the country.
  • If you fake documents such as residence cards, visas, passports, etc, you can get prison up to 15 years. Persons who help you to fake documents, can get the same sentence.

If the Ministry of Interior orders your deportation:

  • You have the right to file a complaint to the Court within the two months of the signature of the Ministry for the expulsion.
  • You have to leave Cambodia within 7 days of the signature of the order – remind that you have to pay your own transport. Only a Court decision can stop the expulsion order.
  • In some serious cases, such as criminals, you can be placed in a retention center.

Recommendations

  • If you overstay in Cambodia for some days, make evident to the authorities the reasons (present some documents that help your case). In any case, you have to pay some fine, but it will not be much and, in some fortunate cases, authorities will not ask you money at all.
  • If you overstay for too many days, don’t discuss with authorities. Keep calm and just pay your fine. There is nothing to do, because you are guilty of overstaying. The best recommendation is to recognize your “crime” and follow the authorities’ order. There is not space for bribe, because you have to pay anyway – nobody bribes to be except of a fine.
  • There is not a limit of time to return to Cambodia if you are deported. Normally it is established by a Court according to the case. If your passport is stamped with a deportation stamp, it is recommended to renovate your passport, because such stamp will bring you a lot of questions with the authorities of other countries. If there is not a special notice, you can apply for a new Cambodian visa and follow the instructions.
  • If you are deported and don’t have money to buy your ticket, you will be in a retention center until your relatives or friends can get you the ticket. Normally Cambodian retention centers are relative okay. They are not suite, but also you will not find yourself in a prison of high security. Keep your consulate’s contacts if you think you will need to notify your case to your embassy.

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Last recommendation: If you love Cambodia and want to stay, follow all rules, as you would like any foreigner follow rules in your own country.

Justin deported

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About Albeiro Rodas

Albeiro Rodas (in Cambodia Sky Ly Samnang), is a MA in Digital Communication, independent journalist and a Salesian of Don Bosco from Amalfi, Colombia, based in Cambodia since 1999. He is the creator of the Don Bosco schools of journalism in Sihanoukville and Kep with young people from poor communities and the founder of the Don Bosco Kep Children Fund. Medal for Social Commitment UPB (2010); among the 100 more upstanding Colombians abroad (Marca Colombia, 2012, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X39xwdGtVXI) and among the 12 Colombians that are making this a better world 2013 (http://www.colombia.co/en/culture/colombians-that-are-making-this-a-better-world.html).

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