Travel.State.Gov > International Travel > Country Information > Mongolia International Travel Information
See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Mongolia for information on U.S.-Mongolia relations.
Tourism & Business Travel: You do not need a visa if visiting for fewer than 90 days, but your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your date of arrival. For stays of more than 30 days, you must register with Mongolian Immigration within seven days of arrival. Failure to register will result in a fine of $100-$300, even if you extend your stay due to circumstances beyond your control.
Work, Study, Reside: If you plan to visit, work, study, or reside in Mongolia for more than 90 days, apply for a visa at the Mongolian Embassy in Washington, DC, the Mongolian Consulate General in San Francisco, or the Mongolian Mission to the United Nations in New York.
Overland Travel to/from China or Russia: If you plan travel overland to China or Russia, you should carefully research Chinese and Russian travel restrictions and obtain all required visas before coming to Mongolia. The Chinese and Russian Embassies in Ulaanbaatar issue visas for non-residents of Mongolia, but non-resident visa applications are commonly subjected to long processing delays.
Even with an onward visa, overland travel into and out of Mongolia is not always possible. Most of Mongolia’s overland border crossings are closed to foreign travelers. However, the country’s most widely used overland ports of entry and exit--the Zamiin Uud border crossing in the south and the Sukhbaatar/Altanbulag border crossing in the north--are always open to foreign travelers. See the Country Specific Information pages on China and Russia for additional information on the entry, exit, and transit requirements for those countries.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Mongolia.
Mongolia is a relatively safe country for foreigners. However, both street crime and violent crime are on the rise, especially in the larger towns and cities. Crime typically peaks during the Naadam summer festival in July and during the Tsagaan Sar (Lunar New Year) festival in January or February.
Victims of Crime:
Report crimes to the local police at 102 (the Mongolian equivalent of 911) and contact the U.S. Embassy at +976-7007-6001. The emergency ambulance number is 103. Please note that local authorities do not commonly speak English.
Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes. The U.S Embassy is not a law enforcement organization.
Ulaanbaatar has no centralized crime reporting system. If victimized, you should report the crime to the police district having jurisdiction over the locale where the crime occurred. If local reporting is not possible, then report the crime in Ulaanbaatar or the closest city. Before reporting a crime, you may wish to consult an attorney, since police have been known to occasionally question victims in an aggressive manner. If you report the crime, you may be asked to remain in Mongolia for the duration of the ensuing police investigation and prosecution. Mongolian law also provides for the option of appointing a legal representative to do this in your place. It is important to note that, if the victim does not file a complaint, police may refuse to investigate the crime--even if they have probable cause to suspect that a crime took place. See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.
Tourism: The tourism industry is unevenly regulated. Mongolia’s vast area and limited road and communications infrastructure make emergency response challenging for local and national authorities. Mongolia’s severe weather—desert conditions in the summer in many tourist areas and dangerously cold in the winter (-40F) across the country—exacerbates the potential for urgent situations, especially in the event of injury or becoming lost or disoriented outside of city centers. It is not recommended to drive outside of Ulaanbaatar or other city centers after sunset, and winter visitors should always keep high-quality cold-weather clothing in vehicles, even for short trips, to protect oneself in the event of delay or becoming stranded. Routine safety inspections for emergency and medical equipment and facilities do not commonly occur. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and tour guides and tourist attraction staff may not be adequately trained or certified by the host government or recognized authorities in the field. In the event of an injury, basic medical treatment is typically available only in/near major cities, with significant limitations on the availability of medication and quality of health care. First responders are generally unable to quickly access areas outside of major cities to provide urgent medical treatment. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, then you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Customs: Mongolian customs authorities strictly enforce laws regulating the import and export of firearms, ammunition, precious metals, and antiquities. Importation of firearms or ammunition requires prior government approval. All precious metals should be declared on arrival. Exporting antiquities requires a special customs clearance certificate issued by an authorized antique dealer at the time of purchase. For additional information, contact the Embassy of Mongolia.
Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:
LGBTI Travelers: Mongolia’s criminal code prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, nationality, language, race, age, gender, social status, professional position, religion, education, or medical status. There are no laws or legal provisions that criminalize being LGBTI or that specifically target the LGBTI community. However, NGOs continue to report that LGBTI individuals faced violence and discrimination both in public and at home based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. There were also reports that LGBTI persons faced greater discrimination and fear in rural areas than in Ulaanbaatar. The Government of Mongolia does not recognize same-sex spouses for visa and residency purposes.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Major streets in Ulaanbaatar feature textured sidewalks to aid visually impaired pedestrians, but numerous obstacles prevent persons with disabilities from moving freely. Government buildings and public transportation remain largely inaccessible to persons with disabilities. Mongolian elevators are often too small to accommodate a standard-sized wheelchair. Service animals are rare and are often barred from entering public buildings.
Women Travelers: Domestic violence and sexual assault are serious problems in Mongolia. See the Safety & Security section above, as well as our travel tips for Women Travelers.
With few exceptions, Mongolian hospitals do not meet Western standards. Although most doctors and emergency responders are dedicated professionals, their training and equipment are sub-standard. Most modern medical facilities are in Ulaanbaatar, though some public and private hospitals in larger provincial cities offer medical services on par with those in the capital. Medical services may be completely unavailable in remote areas. Mongolia does not have helicopter medical evacuation and those who require medical assistance in remote areas must drive to the nearest major town. Medical evacuation to Ulaanbaatar is conducted by commercial air carriers. Some pharmacies in Ulaanbaatar carry European or U.S. pharmaceuticals, but quantity and variety is limited. Most pharmaceuticals are made in China or Russia, and lack English labels. See our list of medical facilities in Ulaanbaatar.
Air Pollution: Due to the pervasiveness of coal-burning for warmth, Ulaanbaatar and most other Mongolian cities suffer severe air pollution during winter. The U.S. Embassy’s air quality monitor registers Air Quality Indices (AQIs) in excess of 300 most days from December through February. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency describes AQIs above 300 as “hazardous.” Air pollution can cause both short- and long-term health effects and poses an especially high risk to children, pregnant women, the elderly, outdoor enthusiasts, and people with heart or lung disease. Travelers planning to visit Ulaanbaatar during winter should consult a medical professional and should, at the very least, consider carrying an N95 mask to help filter out harmful particulates. For reliable and timely air pollution readings, check the U.S. Embassy’s live air quality monitor.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation. The U.S. Embassy does not provide medical evacuation, but will contact the insurance company on your behalf to arrange medical evacuation if necessary.
If traveling with prescription medication, check with the Government of Mongolia to ensure the medication is legal in Mongolia. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.
The following diseases are prevalent:
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Road Conditions and Safety:
Mongolian motorists are sometimes aggressive, commonly cutting each other off, performing illegal turns, driving through red lights, and/or suddenly stopping in the middle of the road. Moreover, driving while intoxicated is common. Although Mongolia is a right-hand traffic country, more than half of all vehicles have the steering wheel on the right-hand side. Most motorcycle and moped drivers have limited experience sharing the road. Motorists rarely respect pedestrian right-of-way, even in crosswalks.
Ulaanbaatar does not have a metro system, but does have a fairly reliable bus system. Bus maps are not posted in English and buses can become extremely crowded--be alert against pickpocketing. Unofficial, unregistered, un-metered taxis are rampant in Ulaanbaatar, however metered and radio taxis are also available. Radio taxis may refuse service during rush hour, however.
The safety and maintenance standards of rental car companies vary. Local tour companies can provide cars with drivers, but the drivers’ experience, knowledge, and English-speaking abilities will vary.
For more information, please visit our Road Safety page.
Aviation Safety Oversight:
As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Mongolia, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Mongolia’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.