Arriving at the location of the Immigration Office (hopefully) at 3pm, my driver waits in his car.
I walk into the building and proceed to amend the opposing instructions that I’ve gleaned from two different websites.
- The registration form is printed on both sides – read both sides first!
- Use the entry date that is on your entry stamp, not the day after that! This is not actually necessary.
- Enter your hostel’s address details into the accommodation section on side B, not into the invitation section on side A! (NZ citizens on tourist visas don’t require an invitation). This is not actually necessary.
- Have proof of sufficient funds to support yourself! This is not actually necessary.
- Know how to map your hostel’s location on to the building and apartment fields on the form! This is not strictly necessary – I just took a random stab.
- Don’t bother photocopying your Mongolian visa before you leave your home country! Because it is invalid without the entry stamp.
It’s fairly bewildering, but the immigration officer doesn’t bat an eyelid at my numerous mistakes. Except for mistake number 6, which requires going to Window 1 to get a new photocopy for 100 Tugrik.
After successfully completing all 6 steps, I’m advised to come back in 5 minutes. Expecting a long wait, I worry about being left high and dry by my taxi driver, but after only 2 minutes the clerk waves me over and hands me back my passport. Wondering if there is a problem, I leaf through it and find that the Registered and Permitted to remain stamps have been added and the process is complete.
Exiting the building, I’m surprised to find that my driver is still there. Somehow the 150 Tugrik per 5 minutes waiting fee has exponentially changed to 12600 Tugrik for 45 minutes! But as this is just half of the cost of the ride out there, and I really want a beer, I let it slide and change my destination to Chinggis Kahn (Sukhbaatar) square.
Sitting back, I enjoy the ride and even the ensuing grid-lock.