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 for more than 30 days, 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. It has become increasingly difficult to obtain visas at the Chinese or Russian embassies in Ulaanbaatar.
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.
HIV/AIDS: Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors to and foreign residents of Mongolia. Travelers with HIV/AIDS may be required to declare their status on a health declaration form and to present themselves to health control monitoring units at the border. Please verify this information with the Embassy of Mongolia before you travel.
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 or +976-9911-4168. The emergency ambulance number is 103.
Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.
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. Before reporting a crime, however, you may wish to consult an attorney, since police have been known to aggressively question victims. You should consider the possibility that you will be required to remain in Mongolia for the duration of the ensuing police investigation and prosecution.
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.
For further information:
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, 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, and antiquities. Import of firearms or ammunition requires prior government approval. 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: Mongolian law does not specifically prohibit consensual same-sex sexual conduct. However, there is no law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The Mongolian National Human Rights Commission has reported that LGBTI individuals frequently face violence and discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. LGBTI persons also have reported harassment and surveillance by police. The Government of Mongolia does not recognize same-sex spouses for visa and residency purposes. See our LGBTI Travel Information and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Ulaanbaatar has 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. Many incidents involve alcohol. See the Safety & Security section above, as well as our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Most Mongolian hospitals do not meet Western standards. Although most doctors and emergency responders are dedicated and professional, their training and equipment are sub-standard. Most pharmaceuticals are made in China or Russia, and lack English labels. Modern medical facilities are heavily concentrated in Ulaanbaatar, although some public and private hospitals in larger provincial cities offer medical services on par with those in the capital. In the countryside, medical services are not available. See our list of medical facilities in Ulaanbaatar.
Air Pollution: Ulaanbaatar suffers from severe air pollution in the winter. The U.S. Embassy’s air quality monitor registered hourly Air Quality Indices (AQIs) in excess of 300 for 56 days during December 2016 and January 2017. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency describes AQIs above 300 as “hazardous” – anyone exposed to such heavily polluted air is likely to experience serious health effects. 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.
If traveling with prescription medication, check with the government of Mongolia to ensure the medication is legal. 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 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 under the influence 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.
Metered taxis are available in Ulaanbaatar. Drive rental cars with caution; the safety and maintenance standards of rental car companies varies. Local tour companies can provide cars with drivers, but the drivers’ experience, knowledge, and English-speaking abilities will vary. Public transportation within the capital is widespread, cheap, and generally reliable, but also extremely crowded – be alert against pickpocketing.
Mongolia has more than 1,100 miles of train track, most of which runs from south to north along the Chinese and Russian borders. Buses share the country’s rough, remote roads with private automobiles and commercial trucks.
For more information, please visit our Road Safety page.
Aviation Safety Oversight: Due to limited road and rail infrastructure, air travel remains the easiest and fastest mode of travel. Mongolia has more than 40 airports. In addition, Ulaanbaatar’s new international airport is scheduled to open in 2018.
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.