There are three levels of bureaucracy you need to jump through to travel in Tibet: a visa to get into China, a Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB) permit to get into Tibet and an Alien Travel Permit to travel to certain regions of Tibet. The current regulations (which could change tomorrow) state that all foreigners wanting to visit Tibet must be part of a group (though a 'group' can be only one person!). Travelers to Tibet must obtain permits from the Tibetan Tourism Bureau, aside from visas for China. Adventure Club will do this for you.
Only an individual Chinese visa via Nepal you are not allowed to travel in Tibet (your individual Chinese visa such as multiple entry tourist visas, working visas, student visas, etc., all will get canceled once we apply for Chinese visa from Nepal. There is no other way to save your individual visas, only you can save these visas by entering Tibet from mainland China to Tibet, i.e. taking Lhasa to Kathmandu tour instead of Kathmandu to Lhasa tour.)
Travelers must officially be part of a group tour with a guide who will help you dealing with the Chinese authorities at checkpoints en route. So traveling individually to Tibet is officially not allowed.
If you are traveling to Tibet via Nepal, you must obtain the Chinese visa which will only be issued by the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu BUT if you are planning to enter Tibet via mainland China; you need to get the Chinese visa from Chinese embassy in your home country. Chinese Embassy is opened only on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Generally, Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu takes about 5 working days to issue the tourist visa but by paying express fee, we can get the visa in 1 day also. Adventure Club Trek will get a hold of visa for you as soon as possible even by paying extra amount but you will not be charged for the extra fee. Please make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months before travelling. Visa is not provided to the passports with less than six months’ validity. You need two passport-sized photos for the visa application. And all of your Tibet permits can be obtained using photocopy of your passport but you must need your original passport to apply for Chinese visa which is collected by Adventure Club once you arrive in Kathmandu.
If you would like to head out to mainland China after your Tibet travel, the group visa will allow you to enter but once you are in mainland China this visa will be replaced with an individual Chinese visa. (If duration of your group visa covers all your programs in mainland China also, you can use it during your stay in mainland China or it can be replaced by individual visa, it depends on Chinese officials’ decision). Itinerary and the places to visit in Tibet must be stated clearly and finalized in advance because while applying for a Chinese visa from Kathmandu, a copy of this should be attached. The visa is issued accordingly. According to the places mentioned in the itinerary, travel permit from the Tibet Tourism Bureau (Lhasa) is obtained. Adventure Club will do this for you.
Actually it is very hard to get your group visa extended, so better to let us know about your programs very clearly during your trip planning phase so according to that we will try to arrange your visa and permit. However, the rules and regulations regarding Chinese visa and Tibet travel permit get changing very often, therefore we suggest our customers to consult with our travel consultant to be sure regarding the visa issues so that your all programs and plans goes smoothly without any obstacles.
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