Do you know that Mongolia visa is required for UK Citizens? Here’s our guide on how a British Passport Holders can get a tourist visa to Mongolia.
You’ve probably known about Mongolia as the land of Genghis Khan, the founder of the largest contiguous empire in the world which was called the Mongol Empire. Growing up with the Mongolian nomadic lifestyle helped shape this man to become one of the greatest and most ferocious leaders history has ever seen.
At present, this nomadic lifestyle is still very much a part of the Mongolian culture. Even with the constant development of the country, it still hasn’t forgotten its nomadic roots and has managed to preserve it, together with its beautiful and abundant grasslands and mountains.
The nomadic way of living is also one of the most sought-after experiences tourists who wish to visit Mongolia would like to take part in. Visitors are curious as to how it feels like living in a ger (a tent), riding horses, hunting with eagles, and all those century-old traditions present-day Mongolians inherited from their ancestors.
If you’re one of those who’d like to give this one-of-a-kind experience a shot and are curious as to how you can start planning your travel to the “Land of the Blue Skies” with your UK passport, keep on reading.
Facts About Mongolia
Languages spoken: Mongolian, Russian, Mongolic languages Oirat in the west and Buryat in the far north, German (some Mongolians studied in Germany in the past), English (it is widely spoken in the country and has already replaced Russian as the most spoken foreign language)
Country Area Code: +976
Currency: Mongolian Tögrög (MNT)
Emergency numbers: +976 102 for the police
Mongolia has a list of countries that exempted from applying for a tourist visa or can stay for a considerable amount of time including Canada, USA, Thailand, Philippines, Russia, and China. For UK Passport citizens, a tourist visa must be obtained before entering the country.
There are two ways for someone to apply for a visa– either by submitting your details to a Mongolian consulate or embassy near you or by applying for one upon arrival to the country. The latter, however, is only applicable to residents or citizens of a country where there is no Mongolian consulate or embassy.
Primary Requirements for Mongolia Tourist Visa
- Fully accomplished Application Form
- A passport with its validity exceeding your last day in Mongolia by at least 6 months
- Most recent 3.5 x 4.5 centimeter photo, glued to the application form
- Supporting documents such as hotel booking confirmation, train or airplane tickets, any other confirmation from places where you’ll be staying at while you’re in the country
- Visa fee and service charge
Note: If you are a Mongolian applying with a UK Passport or any other foreign passport and is on your way to visit family and friends in Mongolia, your type of visa must be a Family Visit one and not a Tourist one. There is a different process in obtaining this than a typical tourist visa.
It’s also important to remember that you cannot work in Mongolia using a tourist visa. Instead, you must apply for the appropriate visa type that’s better suited for your needs.
Don’t forget to provide your personal documents to the embassy in either Mongolian or English languages only.
Once the form has been filled out, you may submit it to the nearest Mongolian Embassy or Consulate.
Where you can Apply for Mongolia Tourist Visa
Embassy of Mongolia
8 Kensington Court
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Phone: +44 0207 937 015
Fax: +44 0207 937 1117
Office Hours for Visa Section: Mondays to Fridays
Opening hours from submitting applications: 10 AM- 12 PM (except Mongolian public holidays)
Opening hours for collecting visas: 11:30 AM- 12 PM (except Mongolian public holidays)
Note: You do not need to make an appointment for submitting your visa application.
In case you are applying for a Mongolian visa in Ireland, you can submit one to:
Honorary Consul of Mongolia in Ireland
Oakfield Bellevue, Delgany C
Wicklow A63 V978
All applications can be submitted by the applicant themselves, an authorized person by the applicant with a signed authorization/ consent letter, and agencies that comply with the embassy’s visa requirements. The Embassy in London does not accept applications sent through post so it should be submitted by any of the people mentioned earlier in person.
However, as of May 2019, companies and individuals wanting to invite British citizens over to Mongolia from the UK can request for entry permissions online via evisa.mn so their British guests can get a visa upon arrival to Mongolia.
To do this, the necessary documents such as application and invitation letter must be submitted to the website for it to be reviewed by authorities and granted permission. This only applies to those who will be traveling with visas under the tourism and business categories.
Mongolian visa application costs around £40 (£60 for expedited service) for a single entry-exit visa which takes about 5 working days to be processed at the Mongolian Embassy in London. The single entry-exit visa is valid for 3 months from the date it was issued and allows you to stay in the country within 30 days.
Name of payee: Embassy of Mongolia
Payee sort code: 40-50-37
Payee account number: 12322550
Name of payee’s bank: Bank of China
Payment description: Visa fee
IBAN number: GB29BKCH40503712322550
Once done, you can bring the bank receipt or printed confirmation of your payment when submitting your documents.
Frequently Asked Questions about Mongolia Tourist Visa
1. Does the Mongolian Embassy issue a refund in case my visa application gets rejected?
No. Any payments made for a visa application are final. The Mongolian Embassy reserves the rights to approve your application or not.
2. Which nationalities are allowed to enter Mongolia without a visa?
Here is the list made by the Embassy of Mongolia to the UK. It also includes a list of all diplomatic and official passport holders who can get in their country without a visa for a certain period of time.
3. Is it safe to travel to Mongolia?
Mongolia’s a pretty safe place to visit for most travelers as crime rates are low and most of them are non-violent. However, it is still important to keep in mind the travel advisories imposed by the government of the UK about this place.
According to the most recent update, you still have to be vigilant when visiting as petty crimes are a common occurrence, just like in other places. They are also advising British tourists to avoid roaming around at night alone because they can be targeted by thieves in the streets. Also, be wary of large groups of kids or teenagers who tend to harass people for money.
4. Does that mean I need to purchase travel insurance when getting there?
For your safety, the UK government advises that you take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before leaving your home country.
5. Do I need to get a translator/tour guide when traveling to Mongolia?
You probably don’t! The number of English speakers in the country has grown over the years and you’ll most likely find someone who understands you in public places like restaurants, hotels, etc.
However, if you are interested in exploring the countryside, it’s still advisable to find a guide via an agency (there are tons of them operating in Ulaanbaatar) although they could be a bit pricey. Some places are not accessible through public transport which is pretty intermittent in this side of the world.
6. Can I work using my travel visa to Mongolia?
The Mongolian government encourages companies to fill their need for employees with foreign workers, but they should be able to do so with an HG visa. That means no, you are not allowed to work with a type J visa in Mongolia.
7. Can I extend my stay in Mongolia?
Yes, visitors can extend their stay on a per-week basis for up to 30 days in Mongolia. A one-week extension costs around T20,000 and a month extension costs around T108,000. Overstaying will cost you a fine for T108,000.
You are also only allowed to extend your stay once at the Immigration office and are not allowed to change your visa type.
8. When is the best time for me to visit?
You’ll make the most out of your trip to Mongolia if you visit in the summer (mid-June until the last week of August). This is when the weather condition is most ideal for traveling with just enough amount of rainfall and sun.
July is also when the Naadam Festival- the Mongolian Olympics- take place. It’s also around this time when it’s perfect to explore the Gobi desert and travel to Northern Mongolia.
It’s also nice to visit during autumn. This is when the nomads start to prepare for winter so there are plenty of dairy products available if you plan to stay with them. Mongolian countryside in autumn is also a sight to behold.
9. How can I get there and how do I go around?
Since Mongolia is a landlocked country, there are 2 ways to get there– by land or by air.
There are no direct flights coming from the UK to Ulaanbaatar’s Chinggis Khaan International Airport. To get there, you have to get connecting flights either via Hong Kong (MIAT or Mongolian Airlines), China (Air China), or Seoul (Korean Air).
You can also go the longer route and get on board the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway. It will take you as little as 28 hours (via China) or a whopping 5 days (via Russia) if you choose this route.
Whatever your choice of entry might be, you must keep in mind that traveling to Mongolia can be costly due to its distance.
Once you’re there, you can get around by riding taxis, trolleybuses and buses. You can purchase a U-money swipe card at a kiosk near a bus stand to make paying for the rides easier.
If you’re planning to visit the Mongolian countryside, your choice of rides are either a minivan or a jeep. This method of transportation is often shared among a lot of people, so you will have to deal with waiting for hours and sitting in a tightly packed vehicle should you decide to go this route.
10. How do I pay for my expenses in Mongolia?
Most banks and exchange offices within and outside Ulaanbaatar can exchange your currency to their local ones (MongolianTögrög or MNT). There are also establishments accepting US Dollars or Euros as a mode of payment.
There are plenty of ATMs where you can withdraw money, but some are saying there have been instances where these machines don’t accept debit cards with microchips. Credit cards, on the other hand, are widely accepted in numerous establishments.
Please remember to change all your remaining MNT before leaving the country as this is a closed currency meaning you can’t really use this outside of Mongolia.
11. Why should I visit Mongolia?
As one of the last remaining nomadic cultures in the world, you definitely do not want to miss trying this kind of lifestyle at least once in your life. Mongolians are definitely some of the most hospitable and friendly people in the world. And though a lot of them may not speak an ounce of English, they will still welcome you inside their house and will allow you to live among them to get your own taste of the nomadic lifestyle.
Its landscape is also widely untouched by modern times, so you will get to experience nature at its finest once you get there. From the majestic mountains of the west to the breathtaking Gobi Desert, Mongolia’s nature is truly a sight to behold.
If you’re also someone who’s up for some real adventure, the Mongolian countryside would most definitely give you the thrill of a lifetime. You’ll reach places where there are no concrete roads. You’ll find yourself living off the grid for days with no real toilets to relieve yourself at or shower stalls to take a bath. If that isn’t enough to pique your interest yet, then I don’t know what else will!
If Mongolia isn’t on your travel bucket list yet, then you’re definitely missing out on a lot! Go ahead and plan that trip to the Land of the Blue Skies as early as now!
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