JUN 30, 15 .. MONGOLIA .. THE VISA ISSUE ..

The Mongolian visa project.

In my JUN 18, 15 .. Post .. Click on the link below if you wish to see it again ..

http://babakaps.net/?p=13240

I ended with the below Post Script.

WHAT! I got an e-mail saying that I need a visa to go to Mongolia? Oh come on! You say that it is easy in my home country to get a visa to Mongolia? I am NOT home .. I am IN Hong Kong. I will go to the U.S. Embassy in the morning.  I did. The Embassy guard out front told me to go home and go on-line and make an appointment. Then come back and see us! I shall and I will .. more to follow .. bet-on-it ..

Here we go. Why-on-earth would I go to the U.S. Embassy to discuss with them a visa to travel to Mongolia? Because the U.S. is my home country and I thought that they would know-the-ropes.

Now for a quick aside ..

ODD how things work out isn’t it?

My current passport expires in September of 2016. Just over one year away. Many foreign countries get ‘testy’ about short term expiration passports. Having less that 6 months of validity is the usual ‘death-sentence’ for being able to use a passport.

SO I DECIDED .. ‘WHAT THE HECK’ ..

Since I am going to the trouble to get an appointment at the U.S. Embassy .. I will just apply for a new passport that would be good until 2025. I went on-line .. made an appointment to meet with officials at the U.S. Embassy .. down-loaded the six pages of forms and instructions .. got six (6) passport photos .. went back the next day after agonizing about it all night and got six (6) more because I wanted a different photo .. and showed up at 8:45AM Monday to stand-in-line for my 9AM time-slot appointment.

I had a lot of trepidation about the process. I am a non-registered foreigner living in Hong Kong. I feared they would tell me to mail my application to the U.S. because I cannot produce a Hong Kong Identification Card. I tried to get one and there was NO WAY!

The instructions also stated that payment would be by check and the check MUST have your full legal name and legal address printed on the face of the check. I had one such a check but the address was a .. to put it mildly .. non-conventional address .. I live in a Cabin and its address is the NE Corner of USS 3314 in Alaska. That is my legal address period.

All of my trepidation was 100% for NAUGHT!

First they just zipped me through the application for a new passport process with no hitches. My forms were all correctly filled out .. the passport photo met the requirements .. when it came time to pay .. with much trepidation .. I fished out my blank check and the lady politely said .. “We don’t take checks. Have you a credit card?”

“Have I a credit card? Yes I have a credit card.”  She ran it through and smiling some more she said ..

“Your passport will be ready to be picked up on or after July the 20th.”

I GASPED!

“I have a paid-in-full ticket to fly to Mongolia on July the 16th.”

She smiled and said .. “Have you another passport photo.” .. I gave her another photo and she disappeared and mounted the second photo to another form .. had me sign in blue pen .. and then said to me .. “Come back on July 15 between 4PM and 6PM .. that is the best we can do.”

I GASPED AGAIN!

I will be flying to Mongolia on July the 16th and my new passport won’t be ready until the evening before!

“Sir this is the very best we can do.”

THEN she handed my passport back to me and said .. “Good Day Sir.”

Gulping I said .. “In the U.S. you have to mail your passport with your application. Aren’t you going to keep my Passport?”

“No .. we don’t take your old passport because you are in a foreign country and you need to have your passport with you.”

“Well then I have no problems .. I will just use this passport to go to Mongolia!”

Reaching over and taking my passport from me she flipped it open and said .. “I did not notice it expires in 2016 so sure .. you are good-to-go.” Then she shredded the second rush application.

Why worry?

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

MONGOLIA VISA ..

When this opportunity to go to Mongolia first arose .. I was told I needed a visa to travel to Mongolia. Questioning this I was then told that as a U.S. citizen I did not need a visa to travel to Mongolia. So I was faced with two answers. Yes and No.

In 1997 I was in Bangkok and I wanted to go to Australia.

I was told by some other travelers that I did NOT need a visa to go to Australia. So I made my plans to go to Australia. With my paid-in-full-ticket in hand I got to the check-in counter on flight day at BKK (Bangkok). When it was my turn to check-in I handed my passport to the ticket agent.

She looked through my passport. Then she looked very carefully and very slowly .. one deliberate page at a time .. back through it a second time. Then she said .. “Sir. I cannot find your visa for Australia.” .. I said .. “I don’t need one do I?” ..

I will never forget the groans in the line behind me as she reached up and turned on a light that flashed .. This Line Is Closed.

I had to go back into Bangkok .. I had to make an appointment with the Embassy of Australia .. and one full week later .. with a very official visa in my passport .. off to Australia I flew.

Mention the word visa to me and my antenna rise to attention!

So off I went to the Mongolian Embassy in person. The Embassy did not open until 10AM and it was 9AM. There was a very clear letter posted on the door that said .. Citizens of Forty Two (42) Countries do NOT need a visa to visit Mongolia for up to 90-days. To the right of the letter was a list of the Forty Two (42) countries. I scanned down the list and the United States was NOT LISTED.

I ran my eyes back up to the A’s looking for America. NO LISTING.

Then .. with my finger going down the line .. one country at a time .. all Forty Two (42) Countries .. NO DICE!

“So I do need a visa to visit Mongolia!”

Two of a sizable list of visa requirements were:

– You must have a valid Hong Kong Resident Card. I don’t have one.

– Payment was ONLY by a Hong Kong Bank direct monetary transfer with a receipt proving the fee had been paid. I don’t have a Hong Kong bank either.

I said to myself .. “I will come back with my passport .. my photos .. my proof of purchase of my Mongolian Airline round trip tickets and we shall see what happens.

All in the rain.

Back I went at 1:45PM knowing they close at 2PM. No security check(s). I walked right in like I owned-the-place yet full of trepidation. It is nice to have enough money knowing that the worst that was going to happen was I would have to eat a U.S. $500 airline ticket.

A very stern looking man waved me into his private office.

I said .. He said .. “No problem Sir. As a U.S. Citizen you may visit Mongolia for up to 90 days with NO visa.”

I said .. He said .. “We just completed this agreement with the United States through 2016 and have not yet updated the information on the entry door.”

I AM GOOD TO GO TO MONGOLIA ..

AT LEAST I THINK THAT I AM GOOD TO GO .. THE MAN LOOKED PRETTY OFFICIAL TO ME ..

Smiles .. Still Trepidating a little bit .. Cap ..

Below is a link from my mentor .. taa – daa .. GULLIBLE .. taa – daa ..

http://www.boredpanda.com/reindeer-people-dukha-mongolia-hamid-sardar-afkhami/

Below is another link about life in Mongolia that I found very interesting. I checked it .. it is safe.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-29/mama-asia-sevjid-damdin-mongolia/6085534

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 

I had put up the below photos of rain here in Hong Kong and then worked on my Posts regarding my friend Simon. Rather than just deleting them I am going to leave them in. Some of you may have seen these photos on my other website ..

http://bobbacaps.blogspot.hk/


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HONG KONG CENTRAL .. STATUE SQUARE TO THE LEFT .. HSBC BANK TO THE RIGHT ..

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The rain continues. Oh My Does It.

THIS RAIN IS NOTJUST SOME SILLY ‘IDLE’ RAIN.  

TROPICAL DEPRESSION KUJIRA .. WHO MAY BECOME A TYPHOON OR A TROPICAL CYCLONE .. IS ABOUT 400 KM (240 MILES) FROM HONG KONG OUT IN THE SOUTH CHINA SEA. HONGKONGERS MAY EXPECT WINDS OF 20 TO 40 KM/HOUR WITH GUSTS TO 70 KM/HOUR. 40,000 PEOPLE ON HAINAN ISLAND WERE EVACUATED AND 20,000 FISHING BOATS CALLED BACK-TO-HARBOR.

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Patti just loved the Hong Kong Trams so I slipped a few rainy day Tram photos in here for Patti.

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It is amazing! In the rain .. many of the Tram windows are open and people are sitting basically in-the-rain.

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The below photos were taken from the 6th floor of the Library where I do my Posts.

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In the rain.  Directly across Victoria Harbor on the Kowloon side on the left of these photos is the ICC Building .. the tallest building in the Hong Kong Metro Area and the 8th tallest building in the world.

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On a rainy day I forget what it looks like on a sunny day!

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Panning to my left from the above photos ..

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The tall building on the left of these photos is the ifc (written in small caps) Building. Across Victoria Harbor is the ICC building I mentioned previously.

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What a difference on a sunny day!

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More Hong Kong Trams for you Patti .. The Mongolian Embassy was in the Amiralty District.

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I KNOW .. THIS POST GOT AWAY FROM ME .. I COULD HAVE SAID IT IN ABOUT TEN (10) WORDS COULDN’T I? I AM IN OUT OF THE RAIN .. AND COMFORTABLE .. Now you know .. The Rest of The Story!

Over and Out .. Cap ..

5 thoughts on “JUN 30, 15 .. MONGOLIA .. THE VISA ISSUE ..

  1. Shaddy Peters

    Traveling can be very complicated. Perhaps that’s why I prefer to stay close to home most of the time.

    My aggravation threshold is quite low. I don’t enjoy aggravation so I avoid it at all costs. I’m not proud of that but IT IS WHAT IT IS.

    Shaddy

  2. Al

    Great post Cap! I felt a lot of trepidation while reading it. The rules of traveling can be so confusing, even for the ‘experts’ advising you. Enjoy you’re trip to Mongolia!

    1. cap chastain

      Thanks so much Al. It was clear as a bell .. The United States was NOT on the list of 42 countries. So I figured I had to get a visa. Then when I saw the requirements to get a visa .. I thought .. Oh My ! I simply can NOT comply with two of the requirements. YEARS of doing this has taught me to just doggedly keep-showing-up expecting a miracle. Smiles .. Cap ..

  3. Patti

    Interesting post … did not know about the visa trip to the Mongolian Embassy. The two links you offered us relating to Mongolia are very interesting. Thanks again for the tram pictures…I LOVE THE TRAMS (but would not enjoy sitting on the rain-soaked seats from the rain coming in the open windows). Sounds like you are good to go on July 16th…next new country for you! Love, Patti

    1. cap chastain

      I like to have some news for you here .. so I saved the Mongolian Embassy news for you. Luckily you were so busy with your plans you did not press me for a status report! I can’t imagine how many people would have just said .. “I will not be able to get a visa.” .. Then again .. anyone wanting to go to Mongolia would be a bit of a world traveler and would KNOW to persist .. Much Joy .. and Thank You for proofing this Post .. Love .. Cap ..

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