- by Apple
- Last Updated: 2019-12-23
If foreign travelers are planning to go to Tibet, the first thing to do is to apply for a Chinese Visa. Tibet Autonomous Region is a part of China, so you surely need a Chinese Visa to visit Tibet. Before you apply for your Chinese Visa, you may hear a voice from any experienced tour consultants - not to mention Tibet when applying for your Chinese Visa. But why it is so?
Why Not Mention Tibet when Applying for Your Chinese Visa?
It is because if you mention that you would travel Tibet during your stay in China, China Embassy would require you to present Tibet Tourism Bureau Permit (also called Tibet Travel Permit, short for TTB); but here in Tibet, Tibet Tourism Bureau would NOT issue TTB until your Chinese Visa copy is provided. To sum up they are contradictory policies of different government departments which never get fixed, somehow.
It’s annoying, to you as well as to us, but we don’t see it be fixed any time soon. Thus to avoid unnecessary trouble, we suggest you NOT MENTION TIBET. When applying for your Chinese Visa, you might find there's a section on the visa application form about where to visit in China. You may list any other destinations such as Beijing, Shanghai, Xián, Chengdu, etc. Do remember not to list Tibet or Tibet related areas such as Amdo and Kham. Or your visa application will be rejected.
When you avoid mentioning Tibet but only indicate that you will travel China in general, sometimes China Embassy may require you to provide more information about your stay in China, e.g. daily itinerary, hotel, round trip flight tickets, etc.
For the proof of the daily itinerary
When this occurs, Great Tibet Tour will provide you with a Visa Supporting Doc with a fake China tour program avoiding Tibet, which will do the trick. For Visa Supporting Doc, we need below information from you:
*When & Where will you first land in China
*When & Where will you last depart China
For the proof of hotel booking
The Chinese Embassies in different countries may not require the same proof for your Chinese Visa. Some of them may ask for your hotel booking confirmation. Well, it's gonna be tricky since you can't list your hotel in Tibet. A simple way to resolve this problem is to book a hotel in mainland China via some online platforms like booking, trip, etc. where you can cancel your booking for free. Then make a screenshot of your booking confirmation page and print it, submit it with your Chinese Visa application form. After that, please remember to cancel your booking soon. You don't have to worry about if any staff of the Chinese Embassy check your booking or not, cos they will never do that. There're so many channels to book a hotel in China and it's difficult to confirm one by one.
For the proof of round trip flight tickets
The last but the most important requirement is to ask you to show your flight tickets to and from mainland China. For many travelers who will enter and leave Tibet from mainland China, there's no such problem. While for travelers who are going to Kathmandu from Tibet, it's a dilemma. As you only have the domestic flight tickets from a mainland city to Lhasa or an international flight ticket from Lhasa to Kathmandu, both related to Tibet! In this case, we suggest you try to submit your daily itinerary first and let the embassy know that your travel agency will help you buy the flight tickets out of China. If it still can't work, you can buy a flight ticket from Kunming to Bangkok at a cost of USD60.
Different routes require different visas
If your general route is as HOME → China → Tibet → China → Home, you only need to show China Embassy your international flight booking of HOME → China & China → Home. The domestic flight/train to & from Tibet, within China, must be left unmentioned.
But if you were to travel as HOME → NEPAL → TIBET → CHINA/NEPAL → HOME, you do not need to apply for Chinese Visa at home by yourself, but have us applying for you China Group Visa in Kathmandu upon your arrival with your original passport, 2 passport-sized photos with white background, and an invitation letter from Tibet Tourism Bureau, thus no such concern of Tibet. Read more info about it here: China Group Visa from Nepal.
Both route as their pros & cons, if you don’t take the trouble earlier at home, you will go through some trouble later at Kathmandu, so don’t let this decide your general route. Then, after getting your Chinese Visa, another question may come to mind.
Can I Go to Tibet with a Chinese Visa?
Well, apart from your Chinese Visa, your Tibet Travel Permit(Tibet Visa) is also a mandatory document for your Tibet trip. Your Tibet Travel Permit only can be applied by your Tibet Travel agency from Tibet Tourism Bureau - a national administration under Tibet Autonomous Region, instead of by individual travelers. And you need to book a Tibet tour in advance so that your travel agency can process your Tibet visa according to your travel destinations. Eg. If you are going to Lhasa, a Tibet Travel Permit is okay; if you are going to some remote areas outside of Lhasa, such as Mt.Everest, Shigatse, Shannan, Nyingchi, etc., besides your Tibet Travel Permit, an Alien's Travel Permit is needed; if you are going to Mt. Kailash, besides the previously mentioned permits, another Military Permit is needed.
All these sounds rather complicated, but really an experienced tour consultant will guide you one step at a time, just follow our instructions, together we will get it done. Please get in touch with us. Our professional tour consultants are ready to provide you with information that suits your travel plan best.
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