If you do a lot of traveling, inevitably you will run out of visa pages. This happened to me here in Mongolia. Luckily, it’s not a trip-ender and it doesn’t mean you are forever stranded in whatever remote corner of the globe you find yourself in. For Americans, adding pages to their passport is a problem which only requires a mildly frustrating few steps and a comically large output of cash to fix.
This whole thing started when I went to get registered to stay in Mongolia longer than 30 days. I’m going to write a different post about that whole… thing. Turns out, while I thought I had room enough in my passport to accommodate a few more stamps, that turned out not to be the case. Since registration has a strict seven-day deadline from when you arrive in the country, I had to move pretty quick.
The first thing you need to do is find out where the US embassy is. If you’re lucky like me and are in the same city, then that’s just great. Use your local knowledge and figure out how to get there. Don’t go just yet, because you’ve got one thing you need to do first.
On a computer with printing access (I made this mistake) head over to the embassy website for your country. You can get where you need to go even faster by searching for: “u.s. citizens services appointment system (country name)”. Click the link and you’re in. Make a new appointment on one of the dates available. This is where I ran into a nice surprise.
Apparently, at the U.S. Embassy in Ulaanbaatar, services for American citizens are only available from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays. FOUR HOURS A WEEK! Ridiculous. Luckily for me, this is a really slow time for tourism in Mongolia, so I was able to make an appointment on the next ‘business’ day.
When you’ve made the appointment, the system will generate an appointment ID and an appointment password. You need to print that page off and bring it with you. I made the appointment on my phone, so wasn’t able to do that. It wasn’t a big deal, it just resulted in me being asked another question or two before being admitted to the embassy.
Once you’ve made the appointment, you’ll need to print and fill out a form to request the additional pages. This form can be found by clicking here. Fill it out using the computer or by hand and print the result. If you do a lot of traveling, you can request for them to add 48 pages to your passport instead of the normal 24. It doesn’t cost any extra… might as well, right?
Finally, you’re ready to go. Just hang out and wait for your appointment. When you go, bring your passport (duh), a copy of your passport, the form requesting additional pages, and the appointment confirmation form. Show up a little early so you can go through security without panicking.
Last but not least, you need to bring money. To get some blank sheets of paper added to your passport it costs (not even joking) $82. You know, because paper is so expensive. I don’t even think my passport cost that much when I got it. Un-freakin-real.