G.Orgil: Foreign nationals must carry their documentations at all times

2017-08-01 13:40:05
G.Orgil, a state immigration inspector at the Immigration Agency of Mongolia, has been interviewed by press department of the Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs, as one of the series of interviews with purposes to educate the foreign nationals residing in Mongolia.
As tourism and construction season sets off, number of foreign nationals visiting Mongolia is increasing. What rights and obligations apply to them? 
In the summer, number of tourists who are visiting Mongolia to see our beautiful nature, culture and traditions and workers to work in infrastructure and construction sectors drastically increases. Number of foreign nationals with tourist J type visa is on the rise and is making up most part of foreign nationals visiting Mongolia.
As for tourists, they need to make a careful travel plan and calculate their traveling period. Most tourists stay for 30 days. So they need to carefully plan what to sightsee and where to visit during this time. If their travel exceeds 30 days, they are allowed to make request to the Mongolian Immigration Agency to extend their visa four working days before their visa expires and get one time visa extension of 30 days. Some tourists visit for 90 days. In this case, they need to complete registration procedure. In specific, according to Law on Legal Status of Foreign nationals, these people need to register at our agency within seven days of entering Mongolian border.
As for foreigners staying more than 90 days, they are required to obtain residence permit in accordance with their visa type within 21 days since entering Mongolian border. There are 15 types of residence permits such as working, investing, studying, immigrating and residing for marriage or for personal purposes etc. Foreigners should bring all necessary documentations according to their permit type and shall be given residence permit. Requests to obtain and extend residence permit is usually processed within five working days or three working days if they choose express service.
Foreigners who are employed in Mongolia first need to obtain work permit from the General Authority for Employment and Welfare Service in order to get their residence permit extended. Therefore they are advised to take this into consideration.
What kind of offences foreigners in Mongolia often commit? What is the punishment for them?
Most cases include overstaying residence permit or visa, working illegally without official permit and conducting different business than their intended purpose. Offenders are fined with amount equaling to 1-10 times of minimum salary in accordance to the related legislations. Amount of fines varies depending on reason of their offence and number of overstayed days.
Moreover offences such as absence of identification and address violation often occur. As stated in 7.4.5. of Article 7 of Law on Legal Status of Foreign nationals, foreign nationals who are staying in Mongolia for business or personal reason are obliged to carry their passport and residence permit provided by the authority at all times. If a foreigner is not carrying passport or identification equaling to that, he shall be fined with amount three times less than minimum salary. Foreign nationals who do not have proper documentation, unidentified, who do not follow deportation procedures, are considered to commit crime or offence and who did not leave Mongolia within 10 days after they got a warning shall be detained for up to six hours with a decision from a state inspector of immigration and 14-30 days with court decision until the case is resolved.
Law on Offence and Law on Offence procedure were commenced on July 1st. What changes were made?
Revised Law on Offence came into force on July 1, 2017. About 1,600 types of offences are regulated by this law which includes several provisions on fining individual who violated the Law on Legal Status of Foreign Nationals.
For instance, violations of regulations on registration, owning and keeping residence permit, carrying passport, equaling identification and residence permit and regulations on employment are fined with amount equaling to one hundred units, for offence of failure to register at a relevant authority within the legal period, an individual is fined with amount equaling to 250 units and a legal entity is fined with amount equaling to two thousand and five hundred units. Moreover, if a foreigner did not obtain residence permit within the legal period and overstayed their residence permit or visa, he/she shall be fined with amount equaling to 10 units for each day of overstay.
Also, the invitee who did not obtain residence permit for foreign national within legal period and whose foreign national overstayed their residence permit or visa, he/she shall be fined with amount equaling to ten units for each day of overstay for each foreign national.
Then how to clear offence charges? Please give us detailed information on how to prevent committing offence.
An offender can write request to resolve offence explaining for what reason they violated Mongolian law. They need to bring violation documents for state officer to inspect and bank receipt for paying fine amount for their offence.
During construction season, foreign nationals who are working in road, construction, agriculture, mining and other sectors with permits from Government order and General authority for Employment and Welfare Service often have inviting entity. Therefore these individuals, entities and organizations that are employing foreign nationals are advised to check expiry dates of their employees’ documents regularly.
Under what circumstances a foreign national is deported?
There are 12 accounts for deporting foreign nationals as stated in Law on Legal Status of Foreign national. Most common cases include overstaying their residence permit or visa for over two months and conducting different business than their intended purpose.
First halves of past three years statistics reveal that 188 people from 18 countries in 2015, 313 foreign nationals from 25 countries in 2016 were deported. As for 2017, 261 foreign nationals have been deported. Number of deported foreign nationals is decreasing in recent years. There are several reasons for that. For instance, due to our economic situation, foreign investment halted and movement of foreign nationals visiting Mongolia slowed down, inspection have improved and information on Law on Legal Status of Foreign Nationals were given to individuals and legal entities on regular basis. Also border inspection has improved and has been deporting illegal foreign nationals from the border.
What measurements is the Mongolian Immigration Agency taking towards preventing foreign nationals from committing offences? 
The Immigration Agency is constantly conducting regular and special inspections. Inspection covers all entities that are employing foreign nationals such as hospitals, schools, factories, service and repair shops and companies in rural areas. During inspections, we provide information and advice to prevent foreign nationals from documents violation.
As the Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs announced 2017 as a “Year to bring legal service closer to citizens”, Mongolian immigration Agency is working on initiating “Online Immigration” system. As part of this initiative, we are providing online legal advice and information and organizing activities to prevent violations.
Source: Immigration Agency of Mongolia