When to Apply for a Visa
Three months before your expected day of travel is sensible to allow time to audit your passport. Pay attention to your "ENTER BEFORE" date.
Usually, you will have 30 days for your stay in China. The number of days will be printed after "DURATION OF EACH STAY"
Where to Apply for a Visa
Foreigner travelers can apply for a visa in person in the visa office of the Chinese embassy or consulate in their own countries. A travel agent or a visa agent can also help you to deal with the visa in the embassy or consulate office.
How Much Does a China Visa Cost?
American Passports in the US:
Multiple entry - 5 days processing US$140
Multiple entry - 8 days processing US$140
UK Passports in the UK:
Single entry £96
Double entry £111
Multiple entry - 6 months £171
Multiple entry - 12 months £261
How to Apply for a Tibet Travel Permit If You're Living in China Now
Expats can easily travel to Tibet with a Tibet Permit and a Residence Permit. Here is an example of the Tibet permit procedure if you travel with us.
STEP 1 Book and confirm a Tibet tour with us
STEP 2 Send us copies of your passport, China Visa(Residence Permit) and proof of employment clear photo
You can send it to us by e-mail or by WeChat.
We will forward you templates to help you prepare these documents. When you get all these ready, send them to us as soon as you can
STEP 3 Receive your Tibet permit
We can post Tibet permits to your home/working address.
How to Apply for a Tibet Travel Permit If You're Outside China
Follow the steps below to get a Tibet Travel Permit.
STEP 1 Book and confirm a Tibet tour with us
In light of these uncertain times, we provide a free cancellation policy up to 24 hours before departure.
STEP 2 Get a China Tourist Visa
If you are from a visa-free country, disregard this step.
STEP 3 E-mail us copies of your passport and China tourist visa
For Taiwan travelers, just send us your MTP copy. If you are from a visa-free-China-access country, just send us your passport copy.
STEP 4 Receive your Tibet permit in your pre-Lhasa China city
We will post your Tibet permit to your hotels in the final city before you enter Lhasa.
For Non-Tourist (L) Visa Holders:
If you are not an L (Tourist) Visa holder, you are required to provide additional information to get a Tibet Permit apart from your passport and visa copies.
Don't worry: we will guide you step by step and forward you a template to help you with arranging the documents. Extra documents needed are as follows:
Business (F) / Work (Z) / Crew (C ) / China Talent (R) visa holders: proof of employment — a letter from your company or employer with their official stamp
Student (X) visa holders: a letter of recommendation from your school with the school stamp and a scanned copy of your student ID card
Private (S-1, S-2) / Family (Q-1, Q-2) visa holders: an invitation letter from your relatives and inviter's passport information
Journalist (J-1, J-2) / Diplomatic visa holders: Apply for Tibet permits through the Tibet Foreign Affairs Office, NOT through a travel agency.
Here we would provide a sample of employment proof so that you may have an idea about it.
How to Apply for Tibet Permit When Entering from Nepal — a Different Procedure
China's cities (excluding Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan) and Nepal are the only entry points for Tibet. To get a Tibet permit from Nepal, the procedure is quite different from traveling from a city in Chinese mainland to Tibet.
First, you must apply for a China visa from the Chinese embassy in Nepal. A visa issued in any other country will not be valid for Tibet travel from Nepal.
STEP 1 Book and confirm a Tibet tour with a travel agent
… for example, us.
STEP 2 Send a copy of your passport to us
We will submit an application for your Tibet permit and send copies to our cooperating travel agency in Nepal when it is issued.
STEP 3 Submit a China visa application in Kathmandu
You can go to the China Immigration office to submit the visa application in person or through an agency.
STEP 4 Collect your China visa at the China immigration offices
Normally it requires 4–5 days. If you have used a travel agency service like ours, the visa will be delivered to you.
STEP 5 Receive your Tibet permit
We will mail the Tibet permit to our local operators in Kathmandu and you will receive it from our guide.
How Much Does a Tibet Permit Cost?
The permit's price is actually zero: it is included in your Tibet tour package free of charge.
Can I Apply for a Tibet Permit without a Tour Package?
Many travelers ask us to provide them with a Tibet Permit only, but no travel agency can provide a separate Tibet permit application service.
Due to the travel policy in Tibet, a Tibet Travel Permit must be "sold" along with a tour package.
In addition, independent travel is not allowed in Tibet, and all who travel to Tibet must book a tour with a travel agent. When you are traveling in Tibet, you must be accompanied by a tour guide.
When Will I Get My Tibet Entry Permit?
A Tibet Tourism Bureau Permit application takes 5–7 working days.
For travelers taking a flight to Lhasa, the original travel permit will be delivered to your guide or your hotel in the pre-Lhasa city. This takes another 3–5 days.
For travelers taking the train to Lhasa, only a copy of the Tibet permit will be checked at the train station. So, no delivery time is needed. Your travel agency will send you a copy as soon as the permit is issued.
Thus, you're suggested to send documents to your travel agency no later than 7 (or 12) working days before your Tibet tour date (depending on your method of travel).
Things Not to Do When Applying for a Tibet Entry Permit
Don't make any change to the departure date from Tibet you have submitted on your Tibet Entry Permit application. Please work with your travel advisor to decide and settle on your itinerary before we apply for your Tibet Entry Permit. You can leave earlier than the Tibet departure date on your Tibet permit, but no later.
Don't change your pre-Lhasa city and Tibet arrival date once the permit has been issued (applied for), otherwise, you'll need to apply for a new one. Please do tell your travel agent as early as possible if you want to make any changes to your Tibet tour plan.
Don't submit an application later than 10 days before departure for Tibet to ensure we have time to apply for a Tibet permit.
Don't book your flight tickets on your own before your Tibet permit is issued. You might find that a Tibet permit is required to confirm the booking, but the permit cannot be obtained until 2–7 days before the tour!
It is better to ask the travel agent to organize your flight tickets (which will be similar in price to the airlines' best deal), as it is easy for them to handle the problems.
Don't apply for a China visa before arriving in Nepal, if you want to travel from Nepal to Tibet, as you must hold a visa issued in Kathmandu from its China immigration offices.
If you already have a China visa in your passport, it will be invalid for applying for a Tibet permit from Nepal (but will not be canceled).
You still need to get another China visa in Kathmandu, which, unusually, is a sheet of paper issued separately to your passport. N.B. the Nepal-China border is currently closed. See above.
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