Although Cambodian officials would never admit it, Cambodian land law has followed Thai land law in many respects in recent years. As in Thailand, full ownership of land in Cambodia is restricted to Cambodians. There are however the following ways to control or own law open to foreigners in Cambodia:
- Leasehold. Although Cambodia restricts foreign ownership of land, foreigners may hold total interest in Cambodian land and house leases. Cambodia lease law allows a 99-year maximum lease period.
- Condominiums – Cambodia allows foreigners to own condominiums although the specifics of this are still developing.
- Company ownership – Cambodia registered companies with majority Cambodian ownership are able to buy land in Cambodia. In the past it has been common for foreign national to acquire an interest in Cambodian land as minority shareholders in a Cambodian majority company.
- Company ownership – The Cambodia Investment Board (CIB) and the Cambodia Development Council (CDC) sponsored companies – Foreign companies with CDC and CIB privileges can own or lease land and build a factory in Cambodia.
- Citizenship – A foreigner can become a Cambodian Citizen by payment of $50,000, which is paid to the government and noted as a donation.
- Cambodian spouse: A Cambodian spouse of a foreigner may be allowed to buy land or property in Cambodia in his or her own name. This could be problematic in a divorce case or in settlement of ownership at the death of the Thai spouse if the non-Thai spouse was to live longer. A well drafter prenuptial agreement may assist in this but legally both spouses should understand the risks.