Tibet Visa and China Group Visa: what you need to enter Tibet from Nepal

Not only does Nepal border with Tibet, but it boasts the tourist hub of South Asia. So, a great number of tourists every year enter Tibet from Kathmandu by air or by overland.

According to the Chinese immigration regulation, travelers who enter Tibet from Nepal are required to apply for both of China Group Tourist Visa and Tibet Visa (also named Tibet travel permit). For both travel documents, individual travelers can only get them through a local Tibetan travel agency.

In this article, we will focus on how to get Tibet Visa and China Group Visa successfully for your once-in-a-lifetime Tibet Tour from Nepal.

Online Apply for Permits Entering Tibet from Nepal

Latest Notice: (updated on March 10 2020)

Given the current spread of Coronavirus and the global recommendations and measure of the WHO, the government of Nepal has decided to temporarily suspend visa-on-arrival for the following the nationals: (effective from 10 March, 2020 to till the date of further notice)

A. The people’s Republic of China, including Special Administrative Regions
B. Islamic Republic of Iran
C. Italy
D. Republic of Korea
E. Japan
F. France
G. Germany
H. Spain

However, nationals from the above countries, willing to visit Nepal can obtain a visa beforehand from the Nepali missions abroad. Besides, for all visa applicants to Nepal now must submit a recently issued health certificate (produced maximum 7 days earlier before your arrival in Nepal) stating that they are not infected by Covid-19 along with their visa applications. And Tribhuvan International Airport is currently the only entry-exit point for the arrival and departure in Nepal.

1. How to Get Tibet Travel Permit and China Group Visa to Enter Tibet from Nepal?

Step 1: Confirm Your Tibet Trip
Discuss your Tibet tour with our travel consultant; agree with the proposed itinerary and sign the tour contract by paying the deposit; Email the photo image of your passport to us.

Step 2: Submit Tibet Travel Permit Application 
We will gather your travel information and submit your Tibet Permit application to Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB); 8-9 business days later TTB will issue Tibet Travel Permit and send the Visa Invitation to the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu. Read more about Tibet travel permit and how to get Tibet travel permit successfully.

Step 3: Arrive in Kathmandu and Give Your Original Passport to Our Staff
You need to arrive in Kathmandu at least 4 days earlier before you enter Tibet either by flight or by road; give your original passport and personal photo and visa fee to our staff in Kathmandu and fill out the application form.

Step 4: Get China Group Visa
After our staff gets your China Group Visa, he or she will give it to you in person in your hotel in Kathmandu.

A Sample of China Group Visa

Step 5: Fulfill Your Tibet Trip
Use your China Group Visa to take the flight or travel by road to Tibet; our Tibetan guide will have the Tibet Permit ready for you and take you for a mesmerizing journey.

2.What Are Needed to Apply for A China Group Visa and Tibet Visa?

You Prepare: Travel Agency Prepares:
*Original Passport (valid up to 6 months)
*Photo for Group Visa (1)
*Fill out an application form
*Pay the visa fee (check below)
*Tibet Travel Permit
*Visa invitation

Since the processing of China Group Visa takes at least 3-business days, you are advised to arrive earlier in Kathmandu.

While for Tibet Permit, you need to start preparing at least 20 days before you for Nepal. All you need to do is emailing the photo of your passport information to us.

3.How Much Does a China Group Visa and Tibet Visa Cost?

Nationality Times of Entry   Normal Visa Fee(4 working days)(US$)  Semi Urgent Visa Fee(3 working days)(US$) 
Nepali Citizens Single 76 115
US Citizens Single 182 217
Canadian Citizens Single 126 161
Israeli Citizens Single 85 120
Romanian Citizens Single 127 162
Serbian Citizens Single 62 97
Albanian Citizens & Micronesian Citizens Single 64 86
Other Citizens Single 94 129

(Updated on Feb. 15, 2020)

Additional $20 is charged for handling China Group Visa Application in Chinese Embassy in Nepal on your behalf and delivering it to your hotel.

As to Tibet Permit, you may enjoy free service for getting your Tibet Permit.

4. How Long Does It Take to Get My China Group Visa and Tibet Visa?

Normally, it takes 4 days to process your China Group Visa in the Chinese Embassy (Mon to Fri) in Kathmandu; for an urgent visa, it only takes 3 days.

Though the processing of Tibet Permit takes 8-9 days in Lhasa,you should offer your passport information to us at least 20 days before you leave for Nepal because we need it to apply for Tibet Permit and Visa Invitation.

A Sample of Tibet  Permit

5. Where Can I Get My China Group Visa and Tibet Visa?

The issued China Group Visa will be given to you in person in your hotel in Kathmandu. As to the Tibet Permit, it will be kept by your Tibetan guide throughout your Tibet tour.

6. Where Will My China Group Visa and Tibet Visa Be Checked?

You China Group Visa will be checked as you board the Kathmandu-Lhasa flight or cross the Sino-Nepal border (Gyirong port) by road to Tibet, China.

While your Tibet Permit will be kept by your Tibetan guide and he or she will show it to inspectors at different checkpoints when needed.

7. China Group Visa News and the Difference between China Group Visa and Chinese Visa.

China Group Visa News

According to the latest policy, the China Group Visa will only be issued to a tourist group which consists of at least 5 travelers. And you have to travel together both in and out of China via a pre-arranged tour with a travel agency.

However, to solo travelers, there is no need to worry about getting China Group Visa. As an international travel agency with a large number of global clients from Kathmandu, we promise to get your China Group Visa successfully.

Just tell us your travel date and Tibet tour plan, we help you make it happen.

Difference between China Group Visa and Chinese Visa

Firstly, both two visas allow international travelers to enter and exit China. The major difference is that they are used differently. To enter Tibet (TAR) from Nepal, only China Group Visa will do. Check the following table to learn more differences:

China Group Visa Chinese Visa 
Accepted for Tibet Entry from Nepal Unaccepted for Tibet Entry from Nepal
A sheet of paper A stamp
Single entry visa Either single or multiple entry visa
Maximum Validity of 30 days Maximum Validity of 30, 60, 90 days
Non-renewable Renewable
Issued in Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu Issued in Chinese Embassy in Your Country
Apply via a local Tibet travel agency Apply individually

If you have a multiple-entry Chinese visa, as you apply for a China Group Visa, the previous Chinese visa will become invalid. If you want to keep it, a great solution is to fly from Kathmandu to Chengdu and later get Tibet Permit for Tibet entry.

Besides,please be aware that the China Group Visa is a special type of visa to Tibet, China. Once your name is written with other travelers, you guys have to enter or exit China at the same time.

8. Find Us at Lhasa and Kathmandu

To ensure you a seamless travel experience from Nepal to Tibet (TAR), we are the only local Tibet travel agency that has established an office in Kathmandu. Our Nepali staff in Kathmandu office will secure your China Group Visa for Tibet entry. All you need to do is arrive in Kathmandu earlier (at least 3 days in advance) and later give your original passport to our staff for the visa application.

Sonam Tenphel, our seasoned Tibetan guide, teaches you how to travel from Nepal to Tibet.

Special Tips: The Gyirong Port was not open when this video was recorded in early 2017. However, now it is readily available for international tourists to enter Tibet from Kathmandu or in reverse. You may enjoy the epic Kathmandu to Lhasa overland tour or in the opposite way.

Online Tibet Permit Application Form

Master Kungga Dundruk

About the Author - Master Kungga Dundruk

The Lhasa-born prodigy used to study business overseas, and got his Bachelor of Business in Nepal and India before moving back to his homeland.With pure passion for life and unlimited love for Tibet, Kunga started his guide career as early as 1997.

Responsible, considerate and humorous, he devoted his entire life guiding and serving international tourists travelling in Tibet.As a legendary Tibetan travel guru with 20-year pro guide experience , he once had an exclusive interview with the US media. Currently he is working in Tibet Vista as the Tour Operating Director. Whenever our clients run into troubles, he is your first call and will offer prompt support.

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