Contacting Fulbright Alumni
The Public Affairs Office at the US Embassy in Mongolia has responsibility for maintaining information about current and past Fulbright Fellowship recipients. However, ACMS staff has regular interactions with fellows and alumni, making it an additional place to seek information about Fulbright related activities.
Safety and Security
It is common for visitors to Mongolia to become complacent about safety and security issues because of the generally warm and open treatment they receive from Mongolians. Visitors to Mongolia should take the same precautions they would in their own home countries when visiting urban and rural areas. Ulaanbaatar, the capital city, is a major urban area with nearly one million residents. It has crime, both petty and violent, and other dangers present in urban environments such as heavy traffic and pollution. In addition, many areas have crumbling infrastructure and lack clear warnings about dangers such as uneven walking areas or missing manhole covers. Those who become complacent are more likely to experience theft, abuse, or injury. For more information about safety and security visit the US Embassy website.
In addition, all visitors to Mongolia should have emergency medical evacuation travel insurance. Local hospitals and clinics are not equipped to provide adequate trauma care. Injuries and illnesses that require intensive treatment generally require medical evacuation to Korea. Medical evacuation is expensive, ranging from $10,000 to $40,000 depending on the severity of the medical condition. University students and faculty generally have SOS International coverage through their institutional medical plans. However, check with your medical insurance provider to make sure you are covered for international travel.
Applying for Visas
The process for applying for a student or work visa involved the following steps to complete. These must be completed with assistance from a host institution:
- The applicant and host institution discuss the applicant’s intended affiliation with the host institution (e.g. student or faculty member), and the host insitution prepares a formal letter similar to a contract outlining the conditions of the applicant’s affiliation and his/her intended purpose for residing in Mongolia.
- The applicant sends a copy of the photo page of his/her passport and current HIV blood test results to the host institution.
- The host institution then sends a letter of request along with the contract, passport copy, and HIV blood test results to the Ministry of Education for a permit to apply for a student or work visa. Upon approving the request, the Ministry of Education issues a letter of request to the Office of Immigration, Naturalization, and Foreign Citizens.
- The host institution sends another letter of request to the Office of Immigration, Naturalization, and Foreign Citizens to receive a permit to apply for a student or work visa. Upon approving the request, the Office of Immigration issues the permit to the host institution.
- The host institution then forwards the permit to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which sends a letter to the Mongolian embassy authorizing the consulor’s office to issue a student or work visa.
- After the embassy receives the letter, the applicant must send his/her passport to the embassy with a complete visa application form and results of an current HIV blood test. The passport and application should be sent with a pre-paid self-addressed stamped envelope which can be tracked. UPS and FedEx are two options. Call the embassy directly for current instructions and visa fees.
- After receiving the visa in his/her passport, the applicant is prepared to enter Mongolia as a student or faculty member on a non-tourist visa.
This process can only be completed with the assistance of a host institution, so identifying an appropriate host institution early on in the application process is very important. Without the proper visa, Fulbright scholars must apply in-country to change their visa status from tourist to non-tourist, which requires going through the same process outlined above, with the addition of having to exit Mongolia and reenter it on a new visa issued at a consular office abroad (usually China).
Preparing for Arrival in Mongolia
Gathering information about necessary preparations prior to arriving in Mongolia is another challenging aspect of developing research proposals from abroad. Although many of the government regulations and statutes relevant to internationally directed research are available on the internet through ministry websites, much of the information is not in English, incomplete or difficult to find. Moreover, regulations and statutes change, but the published information or the knowledge of the responsible civil servant may not, further adding to confusion about the proper steps in acquiring official clearances.
Our Frequently Asked Questions section with answers to more common questions about acquiring clearances, which include visas, registration, travel or research permits, and exportation of specimens. Scholars may also contact firstname.lastname@example.org with specific questions.
In general, US citizens planning to reside in Mongolia longer than 30 days must register with the immigration office within one week of arriving in Mongolia. If visitors plan to stay longer than 90 days, then they must also obtain a long term residency permit from the immigration office, as well as register with the local district in which they reside. The entire process is described in the Frequently Asked Questions section of this website. It is a good idea to come with several passport sized photos and smaller 2cm x 3cm identification photos for applications and permits. The government offices expect applicants to provide these photos.