Immigration. Travel. Living.

Finding a job in Mongolia as an expat

Expats with a taste for adventure and the desire to live in a country rich with nature and ancient culture, this nation offers all these and more. There are two kinds of places in the country: the city and the steppe. The capital city, Ulaanbaatar is the largest, housing about 46 percent of the total population of people residing within the territory. A major part of its economy comes from this city and all infrastructure is based here. Other parts of the nation live in a nomadic setting. Therefore, most foreigners choose to live in Ulaanbaatar, especially those seeking job opportunities. The only vacancies available to foreigners are for qualified professionals who have much experience or English proficiency.

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If you are an expat looking to relocate to the country for work, or you are simply interested in working while residing here, this article provides information on finding work as an expat living here. 

Finding work as an expat

The range of jobs available to foreigners interested in moving to the nation is very wide. Its main industries include construction, mining, oil, and textile production. Recently, the republic is gradually allowing investments from foreign investors leading to a fast-growing tourism sector. The highest-paying jobs are available in the mining industry, and with the government interested in developing this industry, you can be sure of the need for professionals and qualified workers. Expats who are qualified in the health or teaching industry can expect to receive payments above the local average. Aside from these industries, there are lots of jobs available for native English-speaking expats interested in teaching English as a foreign language. However, the salaries from teaching positions may not be able to cover both rent and living costs. There are vacancies in media involved in English-language publications offering lucrative salaries. 

There are two ways of searching for work overseas. Expats can search for jobs on recruitment portals online or via networking.

Work permits/visas for expats

To work within the territory, foreigners have to acquire a work permit. These permits are obtained by local employers sponsoring foreign nationals. The government has set the annual quotas of employable expats who can be employed by domestic companies between 5 to 20 percent. Obtaining a work permit is a bit frustrating considering the bureaucracy involved. An expat has to obtain a Letter of Invitation from their prospective employer, which has to be verified by the Mongolian Immigration Agency, the Labor and Welfare Agency, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Then the prospective employer has to arrange for a 30-day visa, and upon arrival, the employee must register a legal address before being issued the work permit. This may take time, but the process is easier compared to the same process in other Asian countries.

Note that an expat has to register with the Mongolian Immigration Authority within seven days of arrival, to extend the visa past 30 days. If you have a work permit, then it will likely be a year-long multiple-entry visa.

Taxes for expats working

Employees working in the city and residing for more than half a year have to pay social insurance tax; this is around 10 percent of any income earned from Mongolian sources. Although the Mongolian tax system can be difficult to understand at first, it is worth learning about to ensure taxes are paid correctly and on time. There is a certain amount you can earn in a year tax-free, but the system is subject to change, so always keep up to date with the General Department of Taxation.

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