Except for those countries summed up under the header visa-free, every visitor to Mongolia needs a visa. A Mongolian tourist visa is designated as J on your passport. It is valid for 30 days in the country and single entry.
A Mongolian tourist visa is valid for 90 days from the date of issue and you can enter Mongolia at any time up to the last day on the visa. The 90 day period does not need to cover the whole time in country, so long as you have entered before the last date shown on the visa. This will be the start of your 30 days inside the country.
60 day tourist visas used to be common but are now difficult to get. A source tells us Astana is a good place to ask for it, if you have good reason. If you do not get 60 days, you can still apply for a 30-day extension once inside Mongolia (see below) or get a different type of visa (no info yet, please let us know how you did it).
A double-entry tourist visa is also available, but only where the traveller is making a side trip from Mongolia and returning within a short time. The double-entry visa cannot be used to make two separate trips to Mongolia.
Transit visas are for train travellers only and you cannot leave the train while in Mongolia, except for the Ulaan Bator train station area.
Officially, a letter of invitation is no longer needed for tourists to visit Mongolia, but each embassy has a different rule concerning that, and those rules tend to change overnight for no apparent reason. The visa on arrival does still require an invitation letter.
See the embassy reports and visa application section below for more info and let us know if you had an experience needing/getting a LOI.
Which countries can travel Mongolia visa-free? Since late 2022, the visa-free list has been expanded.
It is easiest for me at this point to refer to the Wikipedia page, which is always very up to date in this regard.
Mongolia visa on arrival
Holders of a confirmation of a pre-arranged visa can obtain a single entry visa on arrival at Chinggis Khaan International Airport, provided their passport is valid for at least one year on arrival, they are arriving from a country without diplomatic representation of Mongolia and they have a sponsor in Mongolia who has submitted a request to the Mongolian Immigration Authority (and got a positive reply).
You will also need a hotel/accommodation confirmation, a completed visa application form, a passport photo and a return/onward ticket. The fee is 108,000 tögrög and 30 USD.
Passport holders of India and UAE can get a visa on arrival without prior approval. They just need to show up at the border with the documents listed above.
If you have a 30 days tourist visa, you do not need to register. If you are visa free for 30 days or less, you do not need to register either.
If you are visa-free for more than 30 days and are planning to stay for more than 30 days: previously you had to register within 7 days of arrival. In 2018, it was reported this was no longer necessary. In 2019 speculation returned that it would be necessary again. We do not know.
On the other hand, if you have a visa longer than 30 days, you must register your stay with the Mongolian Immigration Agency in Ulaanbaatar within 7 business days of arriving: once registered you will be issued with a residence permit. This will be a different colour depending on your residency status; for example grey for investors, yellow for people with work permits, purple for students and so on.
The permit will include your date of birth, passport number, address, photograph and fingerprints.
You should carry it with you at all times when you are in Mongolia.
1 month extension cost 109,800 MNT Registration cost 1000 MNT Recieved in 30 minutes.
Mongolian Immigration Agency Ulan Bator
Address: Service Hall 1882, Buyant-Ukhaa, 10th Khoroo, Khan-Uul District, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. This is near Chinggis Khaan International Airport, 1km toward UB. Huge sign saying ‘Mongolia Immigration’ shows the way.)
Telephone: +976 11 7011 0481
Opening hours: 9-13 and 14-17. Cafeteria food is good, apparently.
There is also an immigration agency in Olgii (see extensions below)
Until 2019, you could get another 30 days extension on your tourist visa (also if you are visa-free). Once again, the Immigration Offices referenced above in Ulan Bator and Olgii are where you need to be.
But in 2019, extensions have been refused. Instead, travelers were told to simply pay a fine at the border crossing. The fine is around 4$ per day of overstay. After 58 days, you get deported (ugly stamp in your passport, you are not allowed to return for some time).
When to extend
There was some confusion around this topic before, but it has now been cleared up. You can extend your visa up until 4 days before expiry.
A 7-day extension costs 27000 tögrög, then 3600 tögrög for each additional day. If you are late with extending, you pay a 200 000 tögrög fine. You will need to register as well, this costs an additional 2000 tögrög.
Bring your passport, and a copy of your passport and your Mongolian visa and entry stamp (they can do this for a small fee), a passport photo and an explanation letter about the reason for your extension with the address you’re staying at (unless you camp in the bush, in which case you should explain that). Basically you pay the fee, then get an application form to fill out, and hand it in along with the above mentioned documents.
When extending in Olgii, your documents may or may not be sent to Ulan Bator. You need a good reason why you want to extend in Olgii (not planning to go to UB, I am cycling, …), otherwise they send you to UB.
In the past, extensions took days, but these days it should be done the same day or the next day. Olgii visa extension updates reported here.
Location of the immigration office is in the center of Olgii at „Энх тайваны гудамж“ street (corner with „Зуха баатарын гудамж“ street) south side of the big square. It is a small 2-storey building, „Mongolian immigration“ is written in big blue letters on the facade. (map). Opening times unsure, but open at 9am. Payment is at Golomt Bank (Голомт банк), eastern side of the big square (map).
Ulan Bator reports
There’s an information point with an English-speaking staff member. You take a ticket from the machine by the door and wait til your number pops up on one of the screens above the row of clerks. Address, see registration chapter above. Open until 17. Updates and questions reported in this forum topic.
It all seems quite efficient, English is spoken and registration and extension together should not take longer than 2 hours.
Visa application and LOI providers
The process is generally very straightforward. Hand in your application form at the embassy, together with a number of passport pictures (ranging from 1 to 3), your passport, (possibly passport copies) and pay the processing fee. That’s it!
Application forms can be downloaded in advance from http://consul.mn/ -> Visa -> Download visa application
There are probably many, but for now, we only know of one operator: Zaya Hostel in Ulaanbaatar offers the LOI for 10 USD, or free if you book a room with them. This is good for those who still need a LOI for tourism purposes, but not for other visa types.
All Mongolian embassies are closed for a week around the Nadaam festival.
Location of the consulate is in the South of Almaty near Sain Street / Al-Farabi Avenue, at Musabaev Street 1, between the Hungarian consulate and the Health City Hospital – map.
Opening hours are from 9-13u, 14-18u; telephone number is: 8 727 247 2535. Make sure you have a phone with you as the gate is closed and there is no bell. Passport, copy of passport (B&W is ok), filled out and printed application forms, 2 passport photos glued onto the form.
You cannot pay in tenge, so bring some dollars.
Over the past few years, visas have been delivered on the same day or next day, with a maximum of 3 days wait. Latest reports indicate 20 minutes wait. Almaty consulate updates posted here.
Opening hours: 9:30 to 12:30 every day except for Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday
Address: AK-Bulak-2, ul. Daraboz 35
Opening hours:10-17, Monday-Friday. Updates collected here.
Address: located in the Van Phuc Diplomatic Compound at 298 Kim Ma, Ba Dinh (Villa 6). Monday-Friday business hours with lunch break from 12-2.30pm. Recommended to get there in the morning. The bank for visa payment shuts at 4pm. Updates collected here.
Address: 呼和浩特蒙古国领事馆，东影南路10号附近 ; near 10 DongYing Nanlu (South rd.) , Hohhot, Inner Mongolia. +86(0)4714902262 (no English is spoken). Working days and hours: Monday to Thursday, 9am-5pm.
Embassy reports gathered in the Irkutsk consulate forum thread.
Kathmandu, Nepal embassy
Address: Phulbari Road, Kathmandu 44602. It’s 8km away from Thamel area. To go there : take a taxi or tempo to Tinchuli (go to Jamal crossroad and ask any tempo if they go to Tinchuli).
Open from Sunday to Friday, 9 to 12. They answer to +97714915534 and [email protected].
Updates in the Kathmandu forum thread.
You need travel insurance, in English and some hotel bookings to get a Mongolian tourist visa at the embassy in London. Normal processing: 40GBP and 2-day turnaround. Same day processing is 60GBP, takes a few hours. It seems to be possible to pay online, but take cash just in case.
Updates in the Moscow embassy forum thread.
Opening hours 10-12, no need to come early. Updates in the Ulan-Ude consulate forum topic.