Updated by the Government of Mongolia, the new rules for Mongolian visa applications will come into force on 1st July 2018. B.Sarantsetseg, a specialist of the Mongolian Immigration Agency’s Department of Visa, gave an interview on the new rules.
-By a governmental resolution, the Mongolia visa application rules were updated. What amendments were included in the new rules and what is the difference from the previous one?
-In accordance with the 145th governmental resolution of 23rd May 2018, the rules on Mongolia visa applications were altered. The previous amendment of this rule was made in 2010, so it needed updating due to the country’s socio-economic situation and other requirements. The altered clauses mostly focus on making the public services more responsive and quicker and extra clauses reflecting national security and traditional norms were added after learning the best experiences of other countries and their laws. For instance, the Immigration Agency used to give 17 types of residence permission depending on purpose, but now the permission increased to 29 types. Moreover, the minimum term of passport validity for Mongolia visa applicants has been shortened to six months. Those foreigners, who changed their passport, for any reasons such as expiration date, had to transfer the visa into the new valid passport. The amended rule allows them to hold their expired passport with the valid visa when they enter the Mongolian border. We just aimed to make our services simpler and quicker. In addition, if a visa applicant was refused a visa, he or she is able to apply for the visa again after 30 days. It was 90 days previously. When a short-time visitor needs to prolong the visa days, he or she can make it after 30 days. This rule will not apply for the people who are travelling as part of governmental and state delegations. The number of documents required to apply for the visa have been minimized as well.
-The Immigration Agency has launched the online visa application programme. What are the main features of this programme developed according to the new rules?
-With aims to make the immigration services more flexible and to introduce paper-free services to citizens, the Immigration Agency began to offer online services from 1st January 2018. Instructions on the online visa application were included in the new rules, and some preparatory work is being done at the moment.
-The tourism season is coming now. Thus, what kinds of amendments were included in the new rule?
-By the amended rule, the “J” tourism visa for travelling up to 30 days will be directly given by the Mongolian diplomatic missions and Honorary Consuls. Foreign tourists also can get the visa at the Chingiss Khaan international airport.
-What criteria are imposed by the Immigration Agency for the tourism visa? What should foreign tourists know if they travel Mongolia?
-Details about this matter are reflected in the amended rule. The following materials should be collected from travellers when they apply for the visa at Mongolian diplomatic missions, Honorary Consulates or immigration offices at border checkpoints:
The Immigration Agency strongly recommends that foreign travellers fully complete the above list of documents, especially if they are part of a tour programme.
-Latest information says the number of foreign tourists has been increasing. Approximately how many people apply for the Mongolian visa through the Immigration Agency a year?
-The Immigration Agency usually accepts visa application forms from foreigners of the countries without Mongolian diplomatic missions, Embassies or Consulates. If those who want to travel here plan to stay for more than 30 days, they must obtain the visa through the Immigration Agency. In 2017, the Immigration Agency gave the tourism visa and visa permission to 1,567 foreign citizens, and this number was 702 in the first half of 2018.
-The governmental action plan reflects a number of actions to boost the tourism industry. Which actions are related to the Immigration Agency’s operations?
-One of the effective actions we have taken was a launch of the online visa application in order to promote the tourism sector and to improve immigration services. Applicants for the Mongolian visas can visit the Evisa.mn website. The most noticeable thing is that they must complete the form fully and accurately. The response is given in three days online or by call. In addition, a group of tourists can enjoy a 50 percent discount from the visa fee in accordance with the stamp duty law.
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