- by Apple
- Last Updated: 2022-08-01
Apart from citizens of Brunei, Japan, and Singapore, all visitors to Tibet require a valid Chinese visa. Visas for individual travel in China are easy to get from most Chinese embassies, though it’s important not to mention Tibet on your application. For sometimes, the China embassy may request you to present Tibet Tourism Bureau Permit; but here in Lhasa, we have to have a Chinese Visa first to apply for the TTB permit for you. So really, it’s an egg-and-chicken bureaucratic error. Therefore, you'd better not mention Tibet while applying for a Chinese visa. If Chinese embassies request more details of your tour, Great Tibet Tour is happy and capable of providing you with the supporting docs to apply for your Chinese visa.
And here's another critical factor. If you are going to visit Tibet from Nepal, then you need a China Group Visa instead of a Chinese Visa. Yet, it still looks complicated and confusing for many travelers. Here's an image to make it simple and easy to understand.
How to Obtain China Visa?
There're different types of Chinese Visa and you should figure out which kind of visa you're going to apply for. Usually, most tourists will apply for an L visa, it's a tourist visa issued to aliens who come to China for sightseeing or visiting family members/friends. Besides Tourist Visa, Work Visa(Z Visa), Business Visa(F Visa), Student Visa(X Visa), etc. are also commonly seen in the queue of applying for Tibet Travel Permit.
According to various visa policies, applicants can submit a Chinese visa application at the Chinese Embassy, Consulate, Chinese Visa Application Service Center or a specific port of entry. You need to prepare and submit a valid passport with a validity period of at least 6 months and blank pages, a copy of the passport homepage, a completed visa application form with your recent photos (2 colorful photos taken in the past 6 months with a white background, size: 33mm x 48mm ), sufficient visa fees and service fees and other supporting documents if any.
How Long Does It Take to Get a China Visa?
Most Chinese embassies and consulates will issue a standard 30- or 60- day, single-entry tourist (an ‘L’ category) Visa in three to five working days. The ‘L’ means tourist visa. Fees vary according to how much your country charges Chinese citizens for a visa (US citizens pay a lot more than anyone else). Fees must be paid in cash at the time of application, and please remember to take two passport-sized photos. It’s possible to download an application form at the embassy or visa agency websites. Express services cost double the standard fee. Your application must be written in English, and you must have one entirely blank page in your passport for the visa.
Some Chinese embassies offer a postal service for a fee, but this takes around three weeks. Chinese embassies in the USA do not accept mail-in applications, so unless you live in a major city, you’ll have to use a visa agent. In some countries, the visa service has been outsourced to a visa-issuing servicing center that levies an administration fee, which effectively doubles the cost of your visa.
Notes for China Visa Application
1. The visa application form asks you a lot of questions (your entry and exit points, travel itinerary, means of transport, etc.), but once in China, you can reform this as much as you like. When listing your itinerary, consult our experienced tour consultants in case further documents are required, e.g. hotel confirmation, etc.
2. Visas valid for more than 30 days can be difficult to obtain anywhere other than Hong Kong, although some embassies abroad (e.g., US, Uk) often give you 60 or even 90 days if you ask nicely. This saves you the considerable difficulty of getting a visa extension in Tibet. Most agencies in Hong Kong can arrange a 90-day visa. Most Chinese embassies abroad can issue a double-entry visa.
3. A standard single-entry visa will be activated on the date you enter China and must be used within three months from the date of issue. There is some confusion over the validity of Chinese visas. Most Chinese officials look at the ‘valid until’ date, but on most 30-day visas are actually the date by which you must have entered the country, not the visa’s expiry date. Long-stay visas are often activated on the day of issue, not the day you enter the country, so there’s no point in getting one too far in advance of your planned entry date. Please check with the embassy if you are unsure.
4. It’s possible to travel in Tibet with a student (X), resident (D ) or business (F or Z) visa, etc., but not a journalist (J) visa.
Tibet Travel Permit(Tibet Visa)
Tibet Travel Permit/Tibet Visa is a mandatory entry document to Tibet. To obtain it, you need to entrust a Tibet travel agency to apply it for you.
Military Permit is issued by Military office in Lhasa. It's an additional permit besides your Tibet Travel Permit for your visiting Ngrai, Nyingchi, etc.
For US and Canadian citizens, getting a Bhutan visa is an easy procedure by booking a tour prior. For Indian citizens, you can apply for a permit on your own.
China Group Visa
If you enter Tibet from Nepal, a China Group visa is required instead of a China visa. It can be applied from the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu.
Tourists can get a Nepal visa on arrival when reaching Kathmandu airport or road borders at Birganj, Sunauli, etc. $30 for a 15-day entry Nepal tourist visa.
Tibet Visa for Indian
For Indians, if you travel to Tibet except for Ngari, you will get a Tibet visa like other international travelers. If you plan to visit Ngari, you will be considered a pilgrim. If you have a passport from the US or other countries, you will be treated as a normal tourist even if you go to Ngari.
Why Not Mention Tibet During Your China Visa Applying
When you go to Tibet, your experienced tour consultants would advise you not to mention Tibet during your China Visa application. But why it is so? What about the documents for visiting Tibet? Check more for detailed info.
Permit without Tour
Some of tourists want to obtain Tibet Permits without tour while according to the regulations, it is impossible for us to help with Tibet Travel Permits for independent travelers anymore.
Tibet Tourism Bureau
Tibet Travel Permit, which also known as “Tibet Tourism Bureau Permit” or “Tibet Entry Permit”, is the indispensable permit for international travelers to travel to Tibet.
Tibet Border Pass
When tourists plan to travel to Mount Everest, Mount Kailash and other border areas between Tibet and other countries, the Tibet Border Pass is required. While, this pass can not be applied by themselves, and travelers should ask help from the travel agency.
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