Tourists can choose to enter Tibet from Nepal or mainland China. But the travel documents required and permit application procedure are quite different. In this post, I’ll offer you the first-hand information on applying for Tibet Visa in mainland China and Kathmandu.
According to the regulations from National Tourism Administration, foreign travelers, Taiwan tourists and overseas Chinese ( except the Hong Kong and Macao residents holding Chinese Special Administrative Region Passports or Home Return Permits ) are not allowed to tour Tibet alone. No matter how many sightseers there are, they must be organized by Tibet travel agency.
Meanwhile, those visitors must get Tibet Travel Permit (TTP) issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB) before entering Tibet. However, neither Tibet Tourism Bureau nor Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu would accept individual applications. Thus, here comes the headache : How to obtain Tibet Visa?
How to Get Tibet Travel Permit in China
Since Tibet Visa cannot be applied by individuals, tourists can only authorize a Tibet travel agency to apply for Tibet Travel Permits. Here I have made a conclusion for travel permits application.
1. You need to provide us some travel documents for obtaining Tibet Travel Permits.
a. If you hold a ‘L’ Visa, your passport and Chinese Tourist Visa are enough.
b. If you are working or study in China, you still need to offer a certificate of employment or schooling.
2. Then, our Tibet travel experts will contact you for China Tibet tour in details, including Tibet attractions, traveling schedule, tour cost, etc.
3. Once the Tibet travel itinerary is confirmed, we’ll submit your passport, Chinese Visa and tour itinerary to the Tibet Tourism Bureau Lhasa Office. The whole procedure usually cost about 15 days.
4.After Tibet Travel Permit issued, we’ll deliver it to your hotel in China. You can board Tibet train with the copy of Tibet visa. But if you plan to take a flight to Tibet, the original permit is needed for check-in.
How to Get Tibet Group Visa in Nepal
Together with Tibet Travel Permit, Group Chinese Visa, also called as Tibet Group Visa, is required for tourists who want to travel from Nepal to Tibet by land or air. As a special kind of Chinese Visa, Tibet Group Visa cannot be obtained by the individual either. However, we can handle it on your behalf. Please see the following steps:
1. You need to work out a detailed Tibet travel plan with us and then send us the scanned copy of your passport information and photo page.
2. Then, our staff in Lhasa will manage to obtain Tibet Travel Permit and Chinese Visa Invitation Letter from Tibet Tourism Bureau, and scan them back to our office in Kathmandu. It often takes you about five to seven working days for this stage.
3. Please get to Kathmandu a few days before visiting Tibet. Because we need to submit your original passport, scanned copies of Tibet Travel Permit and Chinese Visa Invitation Letter to Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu for your Tibet Group Visa. At the same time, you need to pay for visa service.
4.Once Group Chinese Tourist Visa issued, we’ll deliver it to your hotel in Nepal. Please keep in mind that you should obtain 3 documents before going Tibet from Kathmandu, namely, Tibet Travel Permit, Chinese Visa Invitation Letter and Group Chinese Visa.
Important Notes for Tibet Permits
1. Foreign journalists, diplomats and government officials can not go to Tibet as a traveler. And they have to travel Tibet under the guidance of Tibet Foreign Affairs Office.
2. If you are intended to visit some closed areas, like Everest Base Camp, Samye Monastery, Alien’s Travel Permit issued by Public Security Bureau (PSB Permit) is needed. As for Mount Kailash, Ranwu Lake and other military sensitive areas, you are still required to get Military Area Entry Permit.
3. Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu only works on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. And they won’t process visa applications on weekends, Chinese holidays and Nepalese holidays. Therefore, you need spend at least two nights at Kathmandu.
4. If planning to visit Tibet from Nepal, you don’t have to apply Chinese Visa in your country for it’ll become invalid once Group Chinese Visa is issued. Just apply Tibet Visa from Kathmandu.
Actually, you don’t need to worry too much about travel permits applications. Since 2001, Tibet Vista has successfully obtained Tibet visas for tens of thousands of tourists from all over the world. If you still have some concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us for further discussion.