Getting our 30-day Mongolian Visas in Irkutsk was straightforward, but extending our stay once we’d crossed the border wasn’t. Here’s a quick guide to pay forward the help we received.
If you wish to stay in Mongolia longer than 30 days, you have to register within 7 days of arrival. Registration and visa extension can be done at the same time with the same registration form in the Office of Immigration, Naturalisation and Foreign Citizens (INFC). Note that you can only extend your visa once.
What you need
You must bring the following with you:
- Passport photo – there isn’t a photo booth in the building, so bring one with you
- Money to pay for your registration form and extension: 1000 MNT (Tughriks) per form (required for registration and extension), ~$2.60 USD per day for extension, payable by cash or credit card
- Full address and phone number of your current accommodation in Mongolia – If your accommodation is in Ulaanbaatar, you’ll need the District and Sub-district too
It’ll be faster if you can also bring the following with you:
- Photocopy of Passport and Current Mongolian Visa – these can be on the same piece of paper, and on the reverse of your explanation letter (see below). The front desk does photocopies for 100 MNT
- Explanation Letter (sample below) – a simple letter from you explaining the reason for your visa extension request
- A pen
The right-most blue and white building is the The Office of Immigration, Naturalisation and Foreign Citizens (INFC) in Ulaanbaatar. You can just see the Ulaanbaatar welcome arch to the left, look out for the big red and white building with the circular roof which is next door and clearly visible from the main road
- If you’ve arrived by aeroplane, the office is en-route to the centre of Ulaanbaatar, 1.8km from the airport. Head west along the busy main road (turn right out of the airport), and the INFC office is on your right before you pass under the Ulaanbaatar welcome arch, about 1.8km from the airport. It’s easily walkable, but there isn’t a footpath.
- If you’ve arrived by train, bus, or are already in the centre of Ulaanbaatar, take bus #11 heading south from outside the Bayangol Hotel. Get off at the Ulaanbaatar welcome arch, about 30 to 40 minutes later. The bus costs 400 MNT (Tughriks)
Mongolian Visa Registration and Extension
When you enter the building, the front desk is on your left, and before the stairs in front of you are doors to your left and right. To your left is a branch of the Golomt Bank, and your first stop if you are extending your visa. To your right is the visa registration hall.
- Pay for your visa extension. (skip this step if you’re just registering)I know, it sounds absurd to pay upfront, but you need your receipt of payment to get your application form! Go the Golomt Bank in the left hall. There are 3 cashier windows, and you’re unlikely to get an English speaking clerk. If you’re told you need the form first, try a different window. We hit lucky on our first attempt, but a fellow tourist from Holland was knocked back, tried a different window and paid successfully! All you need to tell them is the number of days you want to extend by (minimum 7, maximum 30) – write it down if necessary.
- Collect an application form. In the visa registration hall (the hall on the right), you’ll find numbered windows facing you as you enter, and down the right-hand side. On this right-hand side is a lowered information window with chairs in front of it, and the first standing-height window to the left of this is where you show your bank receipt and collect a registration and extension form, paying the clerk 1000 MNT in cash.
- Fill out the form. There are plenty of tables to rest on, and there are glue-pens for affixing your photo.
- Write out a simple Explanation letter, if you haven’t already (see sample below). You can ask for blank paper from the front desk.
- Go to window number 4 “Tourist”, and hand over your Passport, copy of your passport, copy of your visa, completed application form with photo attached, explanation letter and payment receipt to the clerk. It’s likely there will be a queue, don’t take a number, just queue (the numbers are for the regular windows)
The clerk will check over your registration form, passport, visa, copies and receipt, and likely won’t read your explanation letter. After a few minutes on their computer, they’ll stamp your passport and return it to you with your payment receipt.
Sample Visa Explanation Letter
The Visa Explanation Letter I submitted
[Home Address – same as on the Registration Form]
To whom it may concern,
I would like to request visa registration and extension of [# Days] days for the purpose of tourism in Mongolia.
Passport # [Passport Number]
Seems to me you’ve turned a walk in the dark to a walk in the park for those who follow your advice! Seems a whole different world is opening up in front of you now… Looking forward to hearing and seeing more from you on this little known country.
Thanks Dad :o)
As they say, it’s easy when you know how, and we couldn’t find any information prior to extending our Mongolian visas, and there aren’t many people that speak English at the INFC – with the thankful exception of the official at the Tourist window who we found to be very helpful.
Thanks for this post, it really helped us when we were in Ulanbataar ! Everything is really clear and we just had to follow your advises.
Thanks Guillaume & Aline, you have some fantastic pictures of Beijing even through the smog!
I wonder if you had to go back to immigration office again to de-register before your departure?
Does the extension stamp count as de-registration as well?
If you could reply ASAP, I would thank you eternally. My train leaves tmr morning to China and I wouldn’t have time to visit the office again without buying a new train ticket.
Hi Vera – I hope this is quick enough ;o)
I know nothing about de-registration; we didn’t have to de-register either at the Immigration office or before our departure. Is there someone there you could ask to clarify your situation such as your guesthouse or hostel?
Hello Mr. Andrew,
I am a Filipina, I’m here in korea now but I have to go to Mongolia for 2 months. I learned that I can only have 3 weeks there. How can I get the visa and the extension at the same time? how much do I need to pay?
So I just did this today and have two comments. First you need to be very very clear about how many days extension you need. Even if it’s in your letter they’ll charge you the full amount for an additional 30 or 60 days ie. The maximum. So you need to query it many times. Second, and most inconveniently, they don’t issue an extension on the spot any more. You either have to pick it up in 3 days or pay double and pick it up in 4 hours. Very annoying as the office is at least 30 minutes out of town. But otherwise great advice!
Thanks for the extra information Olivia – we’re happy that our advice is still helpful! :o)
How many times in a year can i extend a tourist visa.??
I was refused and told i already applied in march.
So it is 1 a year ??
Hi Jay, we only extended our Mongolian Visa once which was our understanding at the time: i.e. each Tourist ‘J’ visa can only be extended once. If you’re on a new visa since the one you extended in March I haven’t been able to find any information that says if it’s allowed or not.
This is very interesting. Did you try and extend for a second time on the same visa? Or did you have a new visa, i.e you did a visa run to the china/russian border?
I would really appreciate your help as I’m currently planning an extended trip to Mongolia next year.
Your article was so helpful! We have just got back from the office (we took the number 7 bus from Seoul street in the city centre). We ended up being sent back to the Golomt bank next door halfway through to also pay the 1300 tugriks for registration, so I guess we needed to say that at the same time as saying we wanted our visa extended. The numbers are now part of the queuing system, and we waited about 30 minutes to be seen. They were pretty chill about stuff, like not filling in sections of the form that we couldn’t provide info for, and the whole process was done in about an hour and a half. It would have taken a hell of a lot longer if we hadn’t read this first so thank you so much for posting this!
Best wishes from Jennifer, Emily and Alex
Hi Jennifer, Emily and Alex, thanks for your comment and we’re happy the information is still relevant nearly 4 years later! We’d love to hear what happened to Ula – sounds like you’re all on quite the adventure!
Did you manage doing it all in one day ? Someone wrote before you need to wait few days?
Hi Aleks, from Jennifer’s comment it looks like their experience was the same as ours – yes our visas were registered and extended in one visit to the office.
It was fine for us, we had it done in about an hour and a half.
Thanks so much for these details on how to extend a Mongolian visa. Google sent me to the wrong office at first.
Thanks for this helpful advice about registration and visa extension.
It’s still pretty much the same procedure, ti register and extend the visa, with a only few small changes. For example that the windows aren’t numbered and there is no extra window for tourists. You just take a ticket when entering the hall and wait till your number is shown on one of the windows. But there was also a information desk, with a very friendly lady, who handed us the form and explained where we have to go and what to do next. Also the clerk at the desk was very friendly. Rest is the same, bring explanation letter, photo, etc., pay at Golomt bank, etc.
we had it done in about half an hour.
Hi Livii, thank you for keeping this information up to date, sounds like it’s getting easier :o)