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PARLIAMENT REVIEWS VISA CHALLENGES AT FREE TRADE ZONES


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PARLIAMENT REVIEWS VISA CHALLENGES AT FREE TRADE ZONES

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A number of draft laws were discussed at yesterday’s  Parliament session and meeting of the Legal Committee regarding the legal status of foreign citizens, state registration of individuals and businesses, and the law on border ports. It was decided that proposals on the draft laws would be delivered to the Economic Standing Committee.  

A key issue up for discussion was 30-day visas for foreign citizens becoming a barrier for conducting business, and that visas have to be extended repeatedly.

In the case of an investor from Russia looking to build a factory, 30 days is not enough time to carry out projects.  The investor will have to extend their visa several times. Which complicates business and leads to disputes.   

As stated by Minister of Industry D.Erdenebat, as stipulated in the regulation of free trade zones, "An investor has the right to freely enter and exit the free trade zone.  If we will limit the visa to only 30 days, it will be very difficult to build up industry.” He added, “The investor should not become a permanent resident.”

Member of Parliament Ts.Oyunbaatar mentioned, “The visa status for travelers who are going to permanently work at the free trade zone should be different, and also for travelers who are coming for temporary commercial purposes.” He stressed that these visas should not be similar, and the limitations of visas issued for 30 days will create critics.  

According to an explanation from the Head of the Immigration Agency, "In the first stage of negotiations with China and Russia, it was agreed that travel without a visa would be valid for 30 days, so we have to pursue international travelling rights.”

In the case that a foreign citizen is going to be in charge of business at a free trade zone, that individual should follow international travel procedure approved through bilateral agreements. On an annual basis, almost 1.2 millions foreign citizens visit Mongolia, of which almost 50,000 travel with 30-day visas.

Source: news.mn


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