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Working in Mongolia?

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Henrik Olsen

Living in Mongolia, from Norway

"When I first moved to Ulan Bator, I had so many questions and apprehensions, but the InterNations network helped me find the support and answers that I needed!"

Sabine Baumeister

Living in Mongolia, from Germany

"Having a network of expats in Ulan Bator has made the long move from Germany much easier."

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Mongolia at a Glance

Working in Mongolia

Ulaanbaatar is the center of the Mongolian economy outside agriculture and livestock, and as a result, is the choice destination for most expatriates looking to live and work in Mongolia. Read this guide for an introduction to jobs in Mongolia, work permits, and more.

Job Hunting in Mongolia

The range of jobs on offer for expatriates looking to move to Mongolia is actually very wide. Mongolia’s main industries revolve around construction, mining, oil, and textile production. The country is slowly opening up to foreign investment and has a steadily growing tourism industry.

The best salaries are in jobs related to the mining industry, and the country is looking to grow this sector so now is a good time to get involved. If you're qualified in either the health or teaching sector, you can expect to be paid far above the local average, too.

There is plenty of work available for native English-speaking expatriates looking to teach English as a foreign language, although the salaries leave little room for saving after living costs and rent. Media-based positions in English-language publications are also available with similar salaries.

Work Permits for Mongolia

In order to work in Mongolia, foreign nationals must obtain a work permit. Work permits are only available if you are sponsored by your employer, which must be a local Mongolian business. The Mongolian Government also sets annual quotas on the number of foreign nationals who may be employed by a company, typically between 5% and 20%.

Obtaining a work permit can be frustrating on account of the bureaucracy involved; you must obtain a Letter of Invitation from your prospective employer, which must be verified by the Mongolian Immigration Agency, the Labor and Welfare Agency, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Your prospective employer can then arrange a 30 day visa, and on arrival in Mongolia, you will have to register your address before you will be issued with a work permit.

It may be long-winded, but the process is certainly easier to navigate when compared to obtaining a work visa in other Central Asian countries.

Remember, you must register with the Mongolian Immigration Authority within a week of arriving in order to extend your visa past 30 days; if you have a work permit, this will likely become a year-long multiple entry visa.

Taxation in Mongolia

If you are working in Mongolia and live in the country for over half of the year, you will have to pay social insurance tax, which is usually around 10% of any income derived from Mongolia.

The Mongolian tax system can be hard to navigate at first. It's worth studying it to make sure you're paying correctly. There is a certain amount you can earn in a year tax-free, but the system is liable to change so make sure to check regularly with the General Department of Taxation.

InterNations Expat Magazine