The Tibet Travel Permit, also known as the Tibet Entry Permit or Tibet Visa, is an official document required for foreign travelers to visit the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) in China. This permit is issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau and is necessary to enter and travel within Tibet.
Obtaining a Tibet Travel Permit can be a bit complex, as there are certain requirements and restrictions in place. Here are some key points to know:
- Traveling with a group: Foreign travelers are typically required to join an organized tour group with a registered travel agency. Individual travel is generally not allowed in Tibet.
- Chinese Visa: Before applying for the Tibet Travel Permit, you must first obtain a Chinese visa from a Chinese embassy or consulate in your home country. The type of visa you need depends on your nationality and the purpose of your visit to China. It’s important to note that the Chinese visa and Tibet Travel Permit are separate documents.
- Travel agency assistance: To apply for the Tibet Travel Permit, you need to work with a registered travel agency in China. They will help you arrange your tour itinerary, obtain the necessary permits, and provide a guide for your journey.
- Restricted areas: Some areas in Tibet may require additional permits, such as the Alien’s Travel Permit (ATP) or the Military Permit. These permits are usually arranged by your travel agency, and you may need to provide additional information or documentation.
- Access limitations: The Chinese government occasionally imposes travel restrictions on foreigners visiting Tibet, particularly during sensitive periods or events. It’s essential to check the latest travel advisories and regulations before planning your trip.
To apply for the Tibet Travel Permit, you will need to provide the following documents to your travel agency:
- Copy of your valid passport (main page with personal information)
- Copy of your Chinese visa
- Completed application form provided by the travel agency
- Itinerary details, including places you plan to visit in Tibet
Once your travel agency submits the application on your behalf, it usually takes around 15-20 days for the permit to be issued. The permit will be sent to your travel agency in China, and you will need to collect it in person before entering Tibet.
It’s important to note that the information provided here is based on the knowledge available up until September 2021. Travel regulations and requirements can change, so it’s advisable to consult with a reputable travel agency or the Chinese embassy/consulate in your country for the most up-to-date information regarding the Tibet Travel Permit.
Chinese Group Visa for Entering Tibet from Nepal
The Chinese Group Visa for entering Tibet from Nepal is a unique tourist visa exclusively provided by the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu. This visa allows foreign travelers to enter Tibet through Nepal on a single-entry basis. Rather than the traditional visa sticker, it is issued as a sheet of paper containing the names, nationalities, birth dates, and passport numbers of all individuals in the tour group. Typically, the Chinese Group Visa for entering Tibet from Nepal has a maximum validity period of 30 days.
Difference between a Chinese Group Visa and a Chinese Visa
Chinese Group Visa is not equal to Chinese Visa, there are many differences between them:
|Differences||Chinese Group Visa||Chinese Visa|
|Application||By yourself or via a travel agency||From Where to Tibet|
|Issuing authority||Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu||Any authorized Chinese Embassy in your home country or the third country|
|Number of Entries||Nepal||Mainland China|
|The whole group of tour members||Single-entry visa||Single or multiple entry visa|
|Holders of visa||The whole group tour members||Individual|
When obtaining a Chinese Group Visa, your regular Chinese Visa will become automatically invalid. Therefore, if you already have a Chinese Visa and wish to enter Tibet, it is recommended to enter from mainland China instead. In this case, your Chinese Visa will remain valid.
If you choose to enter Tibet from Nepal and want to keep your Chinese Visa valid, an alternative route is to fly from Nepal to Chengdu and then proceed to Tibet from Chengdu.
Additionally, if you and your fellow travelers are using a single Chinese Group Visa, you must enter and exit China on the same dates. However, if you prefer to travel alone, you can inform your travel consultant, who will assist you in applying for an individual Chinese Group Visa.
How to Apply for the Chinese Group Visa
To obtain the Chinese Group Visa in Nepal, it is recommended to arrive in Kathmandu a few days (at least 3 days) prior to the start of your tour. Here are the guidelines to follow:
- Step 1: Confirm your tour itinerary and send us scanned copies of your passports. We will assist you in obtaining an Invitation letter from the Tibet Tourism Bureau.
- Step 2: Upon your arrival in Kathmandu, submit your original passport, a personal photo, and the visa fee to our staff. It is important to arrive in Kathmandu at least 3 days in advance to allow sufficient time for processing.
- Step 3: Receive your Chinese Group Visa. Once our staff has obtained your Chinese Group Visa, they will promptly deliver it to your hotel in Kathmandu.
By following these steps, you can successfully obtain your Chinese Group Visa in Nepal for your journey to Tibet.
Please note that if your tour date coincides with a traditional Chinese festival, it is advisable to apply for your Chinese Group Visa well in advance to avoid any temporary suspension of the application service during that period.
While the visa application process may seem complex, we are here to simplify it for you. Our Tibet Nepal tour packages include comprehensive assistance with all the necessary permits and visas required for your trip. Our dedicated travel expert will guide you through the entire procedure and maintain regular communication with you to ensure a smooth experience.
Chinese Group Visa Application Fee
|Nationality||Times of Entry||Ordinary (US$)||Urgent (US$)||Extreme Urgent (US$)|
|Albanian Citizens & Micronesian Citizens||Single||50||55||75|
Tibet Travel Permit Entering Tibet from Nepal
If you plan to enter Tibet from Nepal, you will need to obtain a Tibet Travel Permit, also known as a Tibet visa. This permit is a necessary document for traveling in Tibet, regardless of whether you enter from Nepal or mainland China.
In addition to the Tibet Travel Permit, there are other permits you may need depending on your specific travel destinations within Tibet. If you’re visiting Mount Everest, you will also need to apply for an Aliens’ Travel Permit. This permit is required for entry into areas outside of Lhasa, including Mount Everest Base Camp.
If you plan to tour Mount Kailash, you will need to obtain additional permits. These include the Military Area Entry Permit and the Foreign Affairs Permit. These permits are necessary because Mount Kailash is located in a sensitive border region.
It’s important to note that these permit requirements may change, so it’s advisable to consult with a reliable travel agency or the Chinese embassy/consulate in your country for the most up-to-date information and guidance on the specific permits you’ll need for your Tibet travel.
How to Apply for a Tibet Permit when Entering Tibet from Nepal
Regardless of whether you enter Tibet from Nepal or mainland China, the process of applying for a Tibet Travel Permit remains the same. Here is a step-by-step guide:
Step 1: Confirm your Tibet travel plan and book comprehensive tour services with a local travel agency.
Individual applications are not accepted by the Tibet Tourism Bureau or the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu. To apply for a Tibet Travel Permit, you must go through a registered travel agency. When you book a Tibet Nepal tour with us, we will handle the permit application on your behalf prior to your departure.
Step 2: Email the necessary documents to your travel consultant.
You will need to email scanned copies of your passport information page, Chinese Visa page, and a recent photo image to your travel consultant. These documents are required for the application process.
The application procedure for the Tibet Travel Permit usually takes around 8-9 business days. It is recommended to apply for the permit approximately 10 or 15 days before your planned travel to Tibet. This will allow sufficient time for the application to be processed and for you to receive the permit before your departure.
Entering Tibet through Mainland China
To begin your journey to Tibet via Mainland China, start by consulting a travel specialist to discuss your vacation plans and preferred schedule. Once you have finalized your travel itinerary, proceed to make the necessary bookings.
Next, you will need to apply for a Chinese visa at the Chinese Embassy in your country of origin. The most common type of visa for tourists is the “L” visa, also known as the Chinese Tourist Visa (Mainland Only). After submitting your application and paying the visa fee, you will receive your Chinese Visa.
In preparation for your trip, it is essential to email your travel consultant important documents at least 20 days in advance. This includes scanned copies of your passport and Chinese Visa. Your travel consultant will then collaborate with the Tibet travel partner to apply for a Tibet permit from the Tibet Tourism Bureau on your behalf.
Prior to entering Tibet, the Tibet Tourism Bureau will review your documentation. After a thorough review, they will issue a Tibet Travel Permit to your travel consultant within 7 days.
Finally, just before boarding your flight or train to Lhasa, your travel consultant will provide you with the necessary travel permit. In some cases, they may also arrange for it to be delivered to your hotel in Mainland China via express delivery.
How long to Obtain the Chinese Group Visa?
The processing time for obtaining a Chinese Group Visa in the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu is typically 4 working days. However, if you require an urgent group visa, it can be processed in 3 working days. Please note that the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu operates from Monday to Friday. To receive your Chinese Group Visa on the third day, the visa application needs to be submitted before 12 am at the Embassy.
Could I Travel to Mainland China with a Chinese Group Visa?
Yes, you can travel to mainland China with a Chinese Group Visa. The Chinese Group Visa is valid for traveling within mainland China as well. However, it’s important to note that the China Group Visa cannot be extended and is typically valid for a maximum of 30 days. Therefore, if you have a valid Chinese Visa, it is advisable to enter Tibet from mainland China. After your trip to Tibet, you can enjoy a tour of Nepal.
In conclusion, if you plan to tour Tibet from Nepal, it is necessary to obtain two permits: the Chinese Group Visa and the Tibet Travel Permit. Additionally, if you intend to visit restricted or military-sensitive areas in Tibet, such as Mount Everest, Shigatse, Ngari, Nyingchi, and others, you will also need to apply for the Alien’s Travel Permit, Foreign Affairs Permit, and Military Area Entry Permit.
It is recommended to apply for your Tibet Travel Permit at least 20 days prior to your Nepal-Tibet tour. Moreover, it is advisable to arrive in Kathmandu at least 3 days in advance to complete the application process for the Chinese Group Visa. Since the Chinese Group Visa has a maximum validity of 30 days and cannot be extended, it is strongly suggested that if you possess a valid Chinese Visa, you enter Tibet from mainland China.
Both the Chinese Group Visa and Tibet Travel Permit can only be obtained through an authorized local travel agency. With the assistance of our professional staff in Kathmandu and Lhasa, you can easily obtain these permits by providing your valid passport and scanned copies.
If you still have any questions or concerns regarding the application process for the Chinese Group Visa and Tibet Travel Permit in Nepal, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below or contact us for further inquiries.
China Implements Stricter Visa Requirements for Foreign Tourists Traveling to Tibet via Nepal
Recent reports from travel agencies based in Kathmandu, Nepal, indicate that China has implemented stricter visa rules and conditions for foreign tourists planning to visit Tibet via Nepal. These measures have been put in place by the Chinese government, which typically restricts access to Tibet for foreign journalists, NGO workers, diplomats, and individuals of Tibetan heritage.
Foreign tourists wishing to visit Tibet must obtain a Tibet Entry Permit, which has been a relatively straightforward process in the past. Many travelers acquire these permits in Nepal, which is a common starting point for those planning a trip to Tibet.
Under the new procedures, individuals planning to enter Tibet from Nepal must now arrive in Nepal at least five days before submitting their visa application. Visas will only be issued to groups consisting of a minimum of four people, according to the travel agencies. However, another source mentioned that a minimum of five people may be required.
Applicants must appear in person at the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu, Nepal, for interviews and fingerprinting. After background checks, the Chinese Group Visa is issued approximately four days later for approved tourists.
Moreover, foreigners who already possess a visa to travel to other cities in China are now required to apply for a special visa specifically to enter Tibet. Individual tourists must provide more detailed personal information, including details of their educational background, and specify the places they intend to visit in Tibet.
It is worth noting that only one applicant who applied through a particular travel agency has been turned down under the new procedures, as per reports.
Previously, foreign tourists were not required to visit the Chinese Embassy in person to obtain a visa for Tibet. Additionally, travel agencies arranged group visas, which were typically issued within two days of application. These visas often covered single travelers, as individual verification was not mandatory.
The reopening of the Tibet Autonomous Region to foreign visitors in April 2023 came after a three-year closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Border restrictions imposed during the initial outbreak in early 2020 were lifted on January 8.
To promote the country’s tourism industry following the pandemic, China’s Cultural and Tourism Ministry issued an announcement on March 31, urging Chinese tour operators to adhere to the new rules and strictly monitor tourist activities through group supervision.