In order to start working in Thailand in a legal, documented way, you need to follow certain procedures and obtain:

4 documents in Cambodia, before you depart:


Passport or travel document
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Overseas Cambodian Worker Card
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Visa (type: L-A)
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Employment Contract
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3 documents, once you are in Thailand:


Work permit book (Blue passport)
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Social Security Card
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Work permit card
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Documents Prior Departure

Before you consider working in Thailand, you need to get in touch with a registered certified Private Recruitment Agency (PRA), whose representative will assist you in securing a job placement and help you in preparing necessary documents. These are the steps you need to follow.

1. Get a passport and Travel Document

In order to get a passport you need to prepare 3 documents. Your Recruitment Agency will process your documents by first apply the Cambodian Overseas Working Card (OCWC) for you and then when you have OCWC you can apply for Travel Document (Passport red or black passport).

  • Birth certificate
  • +

  • Family Book
  • +

  • National ID Card
  • =

  • Passport (red)

  • Black Passport/ Travel Document, a so called ‘black passport’, is a document which allows Cambodian migrant workers to travel, work and stay in Thailand. It costs 35-75 USD and it can be obtained only via Private Recruitment Agency.

You can also obtain a passport by yourself, without assistance from recruiters.
In order to apply for a new passport, you have to visit one of the offices:

Phnom Penh:

If you have an old, expired passport, you have to visit the Passport Office in Niroth district.
If you are applying for a new passport, it is easier to go to the passport sub-office in Aeon Mall Sen Sok City.



Passport in Niroth District: Department of Passport and Immigration

Ta Ngov Village, Sangkat Niroth, Khan Chbar Ampeou, 12357

(+855)0 69 92 38 38

Passport Sub-office in Aeon Mall Sen Sok City

St. 1003, village Bayab, Commune, Phnom Penh


Banteay Meanchey:


52-54, Kilometre number 4, Sangkat Phsar Kandal Poipet City (+855) 061 211 198



F.29, Chumnyik Village, Anglongvol Commune, Sangkoa  District (+855) 070 868688

Koh Kong:


Number 4 village, Sangkat Dongtong , Kamarakpument City (+855) 081 844 812

The cost of a Cambodian passport:

  • 100 USD, processed in 15 working days
  • 150 USD, processed in 7 days
  • 200 USD, processed in 1 day

Validity of the passport: 10 years

TIP: You do not need the assistance of the Recruitment Agency in obtaining a passport. But: passport is not the only document you need in order to work legally in Thailand and you will need assistance of the Recruitment Agency to get the other remaining documents. When you trust a representative of a Recruitment Agency you can hand it to him/her to process the other documents. CHECK THAT THE RECRUITIMENT AGENCY YOU ARE DEALING WITH IS RECOGNIZED BY THE GOVERNMENT AT THE FOLLOWING LINK (add the link of acknowledged PRA)

Travel documents for Cambodian migrant workers is kind of travelling document that the Royal Government of Cambodian issued for Cambodian migrant workers to work abroad and valid only for 5 years. At the moment, the travel document is only valid between Cambodia and Thailand while there is a negotiation process with other countries to validate or recognize this travel documents.

If you want to apply for black passport, first you have to migrate to work in Thailand and you have to have your employer in Thailand in advance. Or you need to register with private recruitment agencies (PRA) in Cambodia to seeking for their service of recruitment and placement in Thailand.

Your PRA will process your document by first apply for the Cambodian Oversea Working card (OCWC) for you. When you have the OCWC, it means you are a migrant worker. So now you can apply for Travel document.

Now you can apply for OCWC in one stop service managed by General Department of Labour and General Department of Passport and Identification. In PHNOM PENH, you can go to PHSAR STEUNG MEANCHEY TMEY Supper market. Or you can go to BATTAMBANG province, KOH KONG province and BANTEAY MEANCHEY province.

2. Overseas Cambodian Worker Card (OCWC)

This document is obtained by the Private Recruitment Agency for migrant workers.



3. Visa Type L-A

There are several types of visas and they look very similar, only the letters are different:

Only the labour visa (letters: L-A) allows you to work in Thailand. It is valid for 2 years and you cannot get it by yourself – a Private Recruitment Agency has to apply for you.

TIP: When you receive your passport from the Recruitment Agency, check what kind of visa you got. Look for the L-A letters. If you find out that your visa is a tourist visa (TR), you cannot go to work. Give your passport back to the Recruitment Agency and demand a correct visa with no additional payment – it is not your fault that the visa is incorrect. If the Recruitment Agency still demands extra money, you should file a complaint with the police. Find the number in the IMPORTANT NUMBERS section of this website.

4. Employment Contract

The working contract is an agreement between you and your employer. It is a very important document, it states duties and obligations of you as a worker and of your employer. Make sure that you understand it before you sign it and that you receive a signed copy back.


  • The contract should be written in Khmer and Thai
  • The contract has to be signed by you and signed and stamped by your employer or his representative whom you will work for
  • Never sign an empty paper or a text written in a language which you do not understand
  • If you have difficulties in understanding the text, ask somebody you trust for help
  • Make sure you have a copy of the contract

At a minimum the contract should include:

  • Information about you and your employer: your name, name of your employer, name of the company and its address
  • Type of work and your duties: what are you going to do
  • Salary and benefits: how and when are you going to get paid
  • Working hours: how many hours you will work and how overtime hours are paid and calculated (usually it is 8 hours/day)
  • Leave entitlements: how many days of holiday and special leave you will have
  • Information about the coverage of the health insurance, which is very important in case of an accident
  • Details about the employment contract termination

This is an example of a working contract:

Documents obtained once in Thailand

5. Work Permit Book

is issued by Ministry of Labour for migrants already in Thailand. The employer needs to bring the migrant workers to proceed the document at the Ministry of Labour and the migrants need to get the document by themselves. The required documents are​​ Identity Card of the employer, House Registration of the employer, Map of workplace, Copy of Passport of the migrant worker, Photo 3*4 of the migrant worker, Working Contract and Certificate of the migrant’s health.

It costs 3,000 Baht/ year. It is valid for a year.

6. Social Security Card

Social Security Card is issued by Social Security Office. Currently the office does not issue this card and the worker can check the social security by providing the identity number with the Social Security Office. The employer will inform the Social Security Office for their workers to register to social security. The cost will be contributed monthly by the employer, the worker and government based on the worker’s salary. As a result, the employ will pay 5%, the worker will pay 5 % and the government will pay 2.75 % based on the worker’s monthly salary. The worker who applies to social security needs to do Nationality Verification and needs to have work permit/passport or a document for their identity. The Rights to Social Security covers in case of occupational accident, disability, pass away, giving birth, child benefits, unemployment, retirement and illness.

7. Work permit card

a. Work permit card is the result of MOU process between Cambodia and Thailand. It is issued by Department of Employment in Thailand and the migrant will receive it after they are trained at the Sakeao Post-Arrival and Reintegration Center for Migrant Workers, Sakeao province (at the border).

The required documents for the agency to proceed are​​ Identity Card of the employer, House Registration of the employer, Map of workplace, Copy of Passport of the migrant worker, Photo 3*4 of the migrant worker, Working Contract, Certificate of the migrant’s health and name list of the migrant workers under the employer. It costs is 15,000 Baht. It is valid 2 years.


When you are recruited and sent to work in Thailand by private recruitment agency (PRA), the PRA is responsible to provide assistance and help you prepare all documents, including travel and working documents both in Cambodia and Thailand, provide pre-departure training, skills/job orientation, taking you to the workplace and providing assistant to you for the period of 3 years while you are working in Thailand.

You need to be sure that the amount of money you pay to your PRA is reasonable for you as there is not a standard price set up for recruitment and placement service for Cambodian migrant workers to Thailand. There are plenty of PRAs -allowed by the government to recruit and sent Cambodian migrant workers abroad- therefore try to check opportunities with multiple recruitment agencies that operate in Cambodia.

Not all agencies operating in Cambodia are legally registered. To make sure you approach the legally registered agency, you can contact MOLVT or Provincial Department of Labour and Vocational Training at provincial level to verify their registration status or you can contact the Association of Cambodian Recruitment Agencies, ACRA. From Cambodia 023 67 9999 6. (From abroad, +855 23 67 9999 6)

If a PRA approaches you to offer you a job in Thailand or you approach a PRA to work in Thailand, please ask the name of the agency, the location where you will be working, the type of job, the process of documentation, and the cost of such services. Ask this information to multiple agencies and then compare the price.

In according to the sub-degree 190 on Sending Cambodian migrant workers abroad through Private Recruitment Agency, the PRA has the obligation to provide assistant to Cambodian migrant workers while they are in Cambodia, while they are in Thailand and upon their arrival to Cambodia. Therefore you can call your PRA​​ for assistance during the whole period of job placement.


When the contract signed in Cambodia is different from the one you sign in Thailand, it called contract substitution. Many Cambodian migrant workers experienced the contract substitution while working abroad. When you encounter this problem, first call your Private Recruitment Agency to solve the problem for you and ask them to be given the job you signed for once in Cambodia. Do not sign any employment contract in Thailand which offered by Thai agency or employer.

If PRA does not provide any assistant to solve the problem of contract substitution, please contact the Cambodian Embassy in Thailand or Labour counsellor in Thailand for assistant.

Do not sign any documents in language that you do not understand both in Cambodia and Thailand. When you sign an employment contract mean that you agree with obligations in the contract. Therefore it is important that you read and understand all words of the contract. If you do not understand, do not hesitate to seek help from an NGO and make sure that you understand and agree to the terms in the employment contract before you sign. None can force you to sign. If your employer forces you to sign, then you need to report the fact and seek for help.


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