Comprehensive immigration profile on Mongolia for those considering a relocation
As relocation experts, at Move One we understand how important it is to make the transition to your new home as seamless as possible. To that end, Move One profiles a country every month, providing an in-depth look at relocation, immigration, moving and pet transportation issues.
This month’s spotlight focuses on immigration to Mongolia.
The government of Mongolia has a flexible investment policy, open to foreign investment in all sectors of the economy. Mining of natural resources attracts a large amount of foreign capital. The Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold deposit in the Gobi desert, which operates from foreign and domestic investment, is expected to double Mongolia’s annual GDP within the next ten years.
Although local workforce is regularly trained through government initiatives, there remains a shortage of skilled labor in the country for jobs which require advanced degrees. Foreign workforce is therefore attracted to fill these gaps for highly skilled categories.
How to Begin
In order to determine a foreigner’s particular immigration needs, the following information should be shared with a Move One immigration professional:
- Purpose of visit – work or business
- Foreigner’s nationality
- Location of payroll
- Duration of the assignment, arrival date and start date
- Foreigner’s exact job title and job description
- Job location (company’s address)
- Name of sending and receiving company
- Validity of passport
- If there are family members: nationality, age, planned arrival date
Business Travel to Mongolia
Business visitors must generally limit their activities to non-productive work such as attending business meetings, negotiations, participating in exchange programs, conferences, seminars or congresses and taking part in workshops on trade and economic questions. Business visitors may also attend auctions, exhibitions, shows and other events commercial in nature.
Based on bilateral agreements, nationals of certain countries do not require a visa to enter Mongolia for the purpose of business, granted they hold the appropriate passports issued by the country. Visa-free stay has limitation from 14 to 90 days depending on foreigner’s nationality. The detailed list is defined by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Mongolia.
Once visa free period expires, foreigner must leave Mongolia. In case foreigner wishes to stay longer than the allowed visa-free period, a business visa must be obtained before arrival.
These travelers, as well as visa-required nationals must secure a business visit “B” visa in order to enter the territory of Mongolia. Business visa application is only possible with an invitation letter issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, based on a request letter from a sponsoring company or its counterpart in Mongolia.
A single entry business visa allows a visit of up 30 days. For regular business visitors it is possible to have a single entry visa extended to a multiple entry 180/365 days visa, but approval is required from the Mongolia Immigration Agency. Approval is usually issued in case the sponsoring company has been operating in Mongolia for several years.
A double entry business visa is issued to foreigners traveling to Mongolia twice within 90 days. Duration of each stay in Mongolia is up to 30 days.
Upon arrival to Mongolia, visitors staying for more than one month must register at the Immigration Agency within 7 days after arrival.
Working in Mongolia
Foreign employees must be sponsored by a local Mongolian company in order to obtain permits for the country and work legally. Foreigners are only eligible for work permits if they are based on local payroll received form a registered Mongolian entity.
Moreover in order to hire a foreigner, the company must meet the quota set by the government. Foreign-worker quota is issued annually by the government of Mongolia. Generally from 5 to 20% of a company’s workforce can be foreign, depending on the industry and the total number of employees a company employs.
The standard process outlined below is for the common scenario of visa citizen employees of limited liability companies on Mongolian payroll:
- Invitation Letter.
Obtaining a visa invitation letter is quite a complex process and involves various government agencies. A sponsoring Mongolian company must submit a request letter to the Immigration Agency, which will consult with the Labor and Welfare Agency before authorizing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to issue a visa invitation letter. The ministry then forwards this letter to the embassy or consulate in the applicant’s country of residence.
- HG Work Visa.
Next, the prospective employee must apply for a 30-day visa at the embassy or consulate abroad based on a visa invitation letter. With an issued visa, a foreigner may enter Mongolia.
- Address Registration.
Upon arrival to the country, a foreign citizen must register at the Immigration Agency within seven days of arrival, including non-work days.
- Work Permit.
The company must obtain a work permit after the foreigner has arrived to Mongolia. Work permit application is lodged at the Labor and Welfare Agency.
- Visa Extension and Long-term Residence Permit.
Within ten days of arrival, the 30 day visa must be converted into a year-long multiple entry work visa. Conversion is arranged at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and during conversion, a foreigner must also apply for a long-term residence permit which will be valid until the validity of the work permit.
Important to Note
- Foreigners employed in Mongolia are liable for social insurance taxes if they reside within Mongolia for 180 days within a 365 day period.
- Family members may accompany the employee by obtaining dependent “H” visas simultaneously with the main applicant.
- Unmarried partner’s may not accompany main applicant on long term dependent visa.
- Original birth and/or marriage certificates will be required for application of family members.
- Work permits and visas are issued for the maximum validity of one year, with the possibility of extension.
- Investor “T” visa may be issued for a period of one year to investors or foreign executive director of a foreign invested company. Holders of investor visas do not require a work permit in order to take up employment in the country. Application for such visa will involve the Foreign Investment and Foreign Trade Agency in Mongolia.
- Short-term consultants do not qualify as business visitors and they must obtain a work permit in order to conduct consulting activities.
Travelers to Mongolia should note that immigration procedures may vary greatly, depending on the specific circumstances of the transferee his or her family members. Please get in touch with Move One to discuss your specific case by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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