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. 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.
Mongolia visa free travel
Which countries can travel Mongolia visa-free?
90 days visa free travel: Argentina, Belarus, Brazil, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macao, Serbia, Ukraine (with invitation), US.
30 days visa free travel: Canada, Cuba, Germany, Israel, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Russia, Thailand, Turkey.
21 days visa free travel: Philippines
14 days visa free travel: Singapore, Hongkong
- Holders of diplomatic passports of Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Italy, United Kingdom and holders of diplomatic or official/service passports of Albania, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Kuwait, Latvia, Malta, Mexico, Myanmar, Nepal, North Korea, Peru, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, South Korea, Switzerland, Turkmenistan and Vietnam.
- Nationals of China holding passports for public affairs do not require a visa for a maximum stay of 30 days.
The holders of United Nations Laissez-Passer (UNLP) and the officials of the UN Specialized Agencies travelling to Mongolia for the purposes of business and residency are exempt from visa requirements for 30 days.
Mongolia visa on arrival
Visa on Arrival – Single entry visas (J and B) are available on arrival at Chinggis Khaan (Ulaanbaatar) Airport only. The cost is $US50 plus a service fee of $US3 (prices are subject to change without notice). This service is only intended for travellers who cannot normally obtain a visa at their originating point or who are travelling at very short notice. They are not available at any other border point of entry to Mongolia.
The Mongolian Immigration office requests that travelers wishing to obtain a visa on arrival should email that office in advance of their arrival providing their full name, date of birth, citizenship, passport number and expiry date and arrival date, time and flight number. The Immigration office is near the airport (see Mongolia registration below).
Only when you receive an invitation from the Immigration Office, you can get the visa on arrival at the airport in UB.
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 30min
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)
You can get another 30 days extension on your tourist visa. Once again, the Immigration Offices referenced above in Ulan Bator and Olgii are where you need to be.
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. We have read reports of extensions being given in as little as 3 or as much as 14 days. It seems to be easier now. Latest report: 24 hours. 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.
September 2018: visa issued and paid for on the spot.
Opening hours: 9:30 to 12:30 every day except for Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday
Address: AK-Bulak-2, ul. Daraboz 35
September 2018: Very easy, 3 days turnaround. Astana embassy reports collected here.
July 2016: We opted for going through a Mongolian agency based in Beijing to apply for an express 24h visa at the Mongolian embassy in Beijing. Very expensive (1200 rmb per passport – 180$), but no way. We sent our two passports (an Italian and a Costarican) by express courier (an experience that I strongly don’t recommend) to Beijing on Monday morning. Shipment lasted one day, visa was ready in 24h. They were a bit late sending all back, so we received our passports only Saturday morning. So turns out, Costa Ricans don’t need a LOI.
May 2016: Embassy said, Costa Ricans need a LOI.
Opening hours:10-17, Monday-Friday. Updates collected here.
July 2018: 3 working days turnaround, you can keep your passport.
September 2016: painless procedure. 20 minutes to apply. Applied on Thursday, picked up on Monday. 56$ each.
March 2013: Mongolian visa very easy in Bucharest for 100$. No supporting papers. The honorary consul even issued the validity of the visa not from the moment of issue (issued in march but valid from apr to july)
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.
April 2018: 3 days turnaround, some proof of travel arrangements.
May 2016: You MUST pay the visa fee in USD, the bank will not accept payment in Vietnamese Dong (although there is a small processing fee payable in Vietnamese Dong).
We were told to collect our visas at 4pm in 7 days time. We had plenty of time so didn’t push for them to do it any quicker, although you probably can because our visas were issued the day after we applied.
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.
Working days and hours: Monday to Thursday, 9am-5pm. Updates in the Hohhot consulate topic.
June 2017: 3-day turnaround, they keep your passport.
July 2016: We were told that are available either an express visa (24h, around 800rmb, ) or a regular visa (4 days, around 500rmb, ). As it happens with the Erenhot/Erlian consulate, nobody answers at the phone numbers that can be found online (I guess most of them are too old and ceased to be used), but very few times we found somebody answering at this number:
+86(0)4714902262 (no English is spoken)
July 2018: In Irkutsk they only offered quick processing, 24 hours for 70 dollars.
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.
Opening hours 10-12, no need to come early. Updates in the Ulan-Ude consulate forum topic.
July 2018: In Ulan Ude you can do quick (24 hours, 70 dollars) and normal (72 hours, 30 dollars, weekends count as working days). Eventually denied at the border, reason unknown, but got a new visa then and there for 3$.
August 2017: British and Estonian citizens obtained a single entry tourist visa for Mongolia from the Mongolian Embassy in Vientiane. The location shown on Google Maps is correct. When you get to the Embassy you just need to ring the bell and someone will come out.
They supply you with the necessary forms at the Embassy which you need to complete and submit with a recent passport photo, no information about our return flights was required, just an initial address in Mongolia. The cost was $50 per visa and they were ready within 24 hours. Very easy process and friendly staff.