Saturday, March 06, 2010

Mongolia, the missing link

The Consular service of Mongolia offers a section where you can fill in your visa application form online. When you finalize the form it generates a PDF document that you can print, sign and include in your visa application documents. The section on what is required for a visa is rather empty here, but the Embassy of Mongolia in Belgium has more information. It is advisable to call before sending off your documents to check what exactly is required and how exactly to apply.

I have also read that you can get visas on the spot at the Chinggis Khaan International airport in UB (check before you set off). Cool Airport name by the way, right up there with the John Lennon Airport of Liverpool and the Indira Ghandi International Airport of Delhi.

Note to self: When I grow up I want to work as an airport namer. I will start with Seattle and rename the airport to the Kurt Cobain International Airport (Your gate to Nirvana).

adding it up:

applied February 4, 2010, received February 11, 2010, tourist visa for the price of € 35.00
applied February 12, 2010, received February 19, 2010, transit visa for the price of € 20.00
applied February 22, 2010, received February 25, 2010, tourist visa for the price of € 33.00
applied February 26, 2010, received March 3, 2010, tourist visa for the price of € 60.00 + € 10.00 for post

That makes 4 visas in 28 days for € 158.00

worth knowing: The embassies of Russia, Belarus and China are conveniently located in the town I live (The Hague, Netherlands), so I could drop by in the morning on the way to work and bring or pick up my passport. Count in additional days if you need to send your document by mail. That said, I did not opt for express service in any of these embassies, which is offered by all of them, so if you are in a hurry and willing to pay the price: Go for it. The Mongolian embassy that deals with visa applications from the Netherlands is in Bruxelles and I sent my passport by registered mail. I was very impressed by how fast I got my document with the visa back, considering that I did not pay for express service. They do offer express service, but I doubt that it can be much faster.

to be sure, to be sure, to be sure... in advance to be really, really sure that you have all the documents required. up early! I have seen impressive queues at some embassies and people were sent home as the embassy could not handle all requests on that day. A bummer if you traveled from far away.
...get your things in order! Don't expect an employee from, say,  the Russian embassy to accept a statement from your Egyptian health insurance (no offense to the Egyptian health system intended here). They won't understand what it says and hence not accept it. It's civil servants your dealing with after all and they have their rules. Understand them.
...consider hiring someone. Visa support agencies can do the job for you, they know exactly what is required, have priority treatment. It can well be worth the additional money.
...when sending your passport by mail to an embassy in another city or country make sure to send it by registered mail and also make sure that the embassy sends it back to you using registered mail as well. Also, supply them with an envelope or address stickers of the place your passport shall be returned to.


sophia von shakapopolous said...

ni hao axelman,
got my mongolian visa today - nice design, freakin price. happy to see you there, and looking forward to some capital rock'n'roll!
big hugs

sophia von shakapopolous said...

and of course
safe and happy travel

Axelman said...

grrrrreat! see you in the coldest capital!!!