moving to mongolia

Moving to Mongolia

Mongolia Score
0%
Shithole Paradise

What is Mongolia?

living in mongolia flag

Mongolia is a rather interesting Asian country nestled between Russia and China

The State of Mongolia, also know as the Mongol Nation (yes, really), is a peculiar country in East Asia.

It’s pretty large, covering over 600.000 square miles (1.5 million square kilometers), but its population doesn’t even reach 4 million, half of which live in the severely polluted capital of Ulaanbaatar.

That means Mongolia is the world’s most thinly populated nation.

Most of this area is covered with grassy steppes, mountains in the north and west, and the Gobi Desert in the south.

It borders only two countries: Russia and China.

As you can imagine if you know the history of those two empires, Mongolia spent plenty of time as part of China, and it was a Soviet satellite state until 1990 or so.

At the moment, Mongolia is a semi-representative democratic republic.

It is still heavily economically dependent on its two neighbors.

China accounts for 60% of its foreign trade, and Russia supplies 90% of its energy requirements.

Lately, the country has been seeking relations with other nations – for obvious reasons, but currently it’s still very much reliant on those two dictatorships.

Not a great situation to be in.

Mongolia’s own current economic activity isn’t great, and it is ranked as a low-middle-income economy.

Over a fifth of the population lives on around $1 a day. Yikes!

It is an emerging market however, and it has one of the most promising growth prospects in the coming decades.

30% of the population remains nomadic, which means they travel around with horses … for some reason.

Mongolia is a very sunny country, with over 250 sunny days a year.

That’s a lot, and you can experience truly breath-taking sights traveling across the steppes or through its mountains.

The climate isn’t great apart from the sunshine, though. Mongolia is hot in the summer, and extremely cold and windy in the winter (going to minus 30 C (22 F)).

English isn’t widely spoken at a high level, but it has been gradually replacing Russian as the predominant second language in the last few years.

In fact, English is taught in all secondary schools in the country, which means younger generations will be much for fluent.

You won’t find much organized religion in Mongolia, about half of them are Buddhists, and a good 40% are non-religious.

That being said, other forms of superstition are still prevalent, especially shamanism.

mongolia map

Requirements for moving to Mongolia

Moving to Mongolia comes with several requirements.

Earning a lot of money, however, is not one of them. The cost of living is really low.

You do need to be able to rough it a bit, because Mongolia in general isn’t very developed yet.

Its capital is quite polluted, so keep that in mind.

There are quite a few nationalities which do not need to apply for a visa for stays of fewer than 30 to 90 days, so check beforehand if this applies to you.

In any case, if you’re interested in staying in Mongolia long-term, getting residence through investing is probably the best option.

Start a company (does not need to actually do something), deposit $100,000 in a Mongolian bank (or spread across a few), and keep it there until you have your card.

Citizenship is technically also possible to get, but you cannot have dual nationality, so fuck that.

What is the cost of living in Mongolia?

The cost of living in Mongolia is really low.

A fifth of the population gets by with about $1 to $1,5 a day, but I can imagine you don’t want to live the life these people live.

If you want a somewhat comfortable life, the average cost of living in Mongolia for a single person is around $700 a month, rent included.

Yes, that’s pretty damn cheap.

Anyone with a location independent income of about $1,000 should be able to live here, but as always I strongly advise you to aim for earning at least double or triple that amount.

You don’t want to be poor or barely getting by in Mongolia.

Benefits of living in Mongolia

  • Low cost of living

    Mongolia’s really cheap to live, and anyone with a Western income can manage

  • Grand vistas

    The Mongolian steppes are truly breathtaking, expansive and a joy to explore. There are plenty of mountains and other natural sights as well

  • Economic growth

    Mongolia is growing economically, and it will probably experience a great boom in the next few decades – which you can take advantage of

  • Sunny

    Mongolia is one of the sunniest countries in the world, with over 260 days of sun a year

  • Decent visa system

    Getting to Mongolia should be doable for everyone (many nations do not even need to apply for a visa), and staying there as a resident is possible too if you can invest quite a bit of money

  • Real estate

    Buying real estate in Mongolia could be a potentially interesting investment. It doesn’t cost much now, but the value is rising and the yields are great. However, as far as I know you cannot own land – so only condominiums would be an option

life in mongolia for expats

Downsides of living in Mongolia

  • Cold

    Even though it has hot summers, in general Mongolia is a cold place, with an average temperature of right around the freezing point

  • Shitty neighbors

    Mongolia has 2 neighbors: Russia and China. Both of those countries are led by dictators, and are likely to get involved in wars in the near future. Will Mongolia get dragged into it? Probably not, but it’s not impossible

  • Pollution

    There’s quite a lot of smog in Mongolia’s capital of Ulaanbaatar due to excessive use of coal. It’s really bad, and cuts into the health of its citizens

  • Low quality of life

    In general, Mongolia isn’t a great place to be if you want to experience a high quality of life. While it is improving every year, currently you’d really have to rough it

Moving to Mongolia - by the numbers

Mongolia Score
0%
Shithole Paradise

Climate: 6.5/10

Hours of sunshine (9/10) Temperature (0/10) Rainy days (8/10) Humidity (9/10)
7.6
1 C – 33 F
11
63%

Level of English: 4/10

Low Proficiency

Cost of Living: 10/10

Minimum Annual Wage Average monthly cost single person

Taxes on international income: 7/10

Between 0 and 20%.

You are considered a tax resident when you own a residence in Mongolia and stay there for more than 180 days per year, and then you'll have to pay taxes on all your income.

If you aren't a resident, you only have to pay taxes on the money you earn inside Mongolia.

Economic growth: 8.5/10

Average GDP growth over the last 10 years: 5.6%

Safety: 8.3/10

Global Terrorism Index (10/10) Intentional homicide rate (7/10) Rape rate (8/10)
0
6
12.4

Visa: 6/10

  • Visa (7/10)

    Usually you aren’t required to get a visa for stays of fewer than 90 days. You can also get a Business Visa, but that requires approval or an invitation from a Mongolian citizen or organization

  • Permanent Residence (8/10)

    You can attain residence via being an employee or an investor. Start a company here, deposit $100,000 in a national bank. You just need a company in your name, deposit the money, and you can get an Investor Card. Keep the cash in the bank account(s) until you have your residence, after which you can remove it

  • Citizenship (3/10)

    You can attain the Mongolian nationality after living there for more than five years, and once you meet several additional conditions. However, you must renounce your former nationality, which is a big no-no

moving to mongolia

How is life for expats in Mongolia?

Life in Mongolia for expats isn’t too great, all things considered.

The cold weather and the pollution do not offer a high quality of living, and while you can certainly deal with these and other factors … why would you?

Yes, the cost of living is very low, and you can get and stay here relatively easily … but I just don’t see the point.

Mongolia has a few advantages, but a shitload of disadvantages as well.

As such, I cannot recommend living here – but using it as a Residence Flag is certainly a great option.

If you earn enough money, it’s relatively straightforward to get, and it gives you visa-free access to Russia and China, and some other interesting countries.

In short: visit Mongolia and experience the beautiful vistas outside of the big cities, use it as a Residence flag or profit from the economic growth to come – but I really would advise against living here.

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