Tibet Group Visa vs Chinese Visa

Tibet Group Visa and Chinese visa by Explore Tibet 
Depending on which way you enter Tibet depends on which type of visa you will need. Currently, there are two types of visa for entry into the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, the standard Chinese Entry Visa and the Tibet Group Visa for those entering from Nepal.
 
Each visa type has its pros and cons, and which you choose largely depends on your preference of travel route into Tibet. However, if you have no preference, and are happy to enter from either direction, then you need to look at which visa and entry port will suit your needs and requirements best.
 
Tibet Group Visa Chinese Individual Visa
Enter Tibet from Kathmandu Enter any cities in mainland China
Single Entry Can be either Multiple or Single Entry
Can’t extend Can extend in certain cities in China
30 days or length of Tibet tour if it is more than 30 days Depends on the different Embassies, usually 3 months
Only can apply at the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu Can apply at any Chinese Embassy
Should applied through Explore Tibet and its Nepalese representative Can apply by yourself or through a visa agent
Everyone on the Group Visa should enter and exit China at the same time through the same immigration. You can travel individually
 
 
Chinese Individual Visa
 
The Chinese Entry Visa for foreign nationals is the main type of visa issued by the Chinese Embassies, and is the one most issued to foreign travelers to Tibet. Currently, all visa applications for Chinese Entry Visas should not actually state that you will be traveling to Tibet, as this normally cause issues with your visa assurance, as you are required to provide your expected itinerary in China on application. Stating that you will be visiting Tibet will prompt questions as to whether you have the correct permit to enter Tibet, and the Tibet Travel Permit is not available until you have your Chinese Entry Visa, it causes something of a paradox.

Chinese visa by Explore Tibet 

Requirements
 
Applications for the Chinese Entry Visa require your original passport, with at least six month’s validities remaining at the expected time of travel and two blank, facing visa pages as well as a photocopy of the data and photo pages. You are also required to provide a completed application for with your passport-sized photo attached, proof of legal stay or residency in the country of application if you are not a national of that country, a round-trip or onward travel ticket booking confirmation, a full itinerary of your planned travel in China with entry and exit dates, and a confirmation of booking of a hotel in China.
 
How and Where to apply Chinese Visa:
 
China does not have an online visa application system, nor a Visa on Arrival service, so all visas must be obtained from the Chinese Embassy in your country of origin or residence. All applications must be made through a Chinese Embassy or Consular Office in your country of origin or residence in person, with all the completed documentation and the appropriate visa fee in the correct payment format.
 
If your country of origin or residence does not have a Chinese Embassy or Consulate, you can make the application in the nearest country with a Chinese Embassy prior to your trip. If making the application in a neighboring country, you will need to provide proof of entry to that country, such as a visa or other related documents that allow you access and entry.
 
There are a few countries around the world - such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia - where applicants can mail their applications into the Embassy or Consular Office, and receive the visa by return mail in a pre-paid registered mail envelope provided by the applicant on application.
 
how to obtain the Tibet group visa by Explore Tibet

Tibet Group Visa
 
The Tibet Group Visa, also known as the Group Tourist Visa, is the only other type of visa issued to tourists, and is only issued to those traveling to Tibet direct from Kathmandu in Nepal. Currently, this visa cannot be issued direct to an applicant, and certain rules on its application and issue apply.
 
All foreign travelers, including Nepalese citizens, are required to apply for the Tibet Group Visa for entry into Tibet for means of tourism. The Group Visa is a special kind of single-entry visa that is issued for a maximum of 30 days from the date of issue by the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu. Only issued for those intending to tour in Tibet, the Group Visa can also be used for the remaining period for travel onwards into mainland China.
 
Different to the Chinese Entry Visa, which is a stamp or sticker in the applicant’s passport, the Group Visa is a separate sheet of paper, which details the length of the tour in Tibet and lists all the members of the group visa on each copy. All members of a group must carry a copy at all times, and it is a requirement that all members of the party enter and exit Tibet and China at the same time and through the same place.
 
You will get two copies of the Tibet Group Visa from Explore Tibet’s Nepalese representative, one will be collected by the Chinese Immigration at Kathmandu airport when you board the flight to Tibet and the other copy will be collected by the Chinese Immigration when you leave China.
 
Requirements
 
The Group Visa requires that, primarily, all members of an applying group or individuals first book a tour in Tibet with a registered tour operator such as Explore Tibet, which must include the addition of a registered tour guide, private vehicle, and driver, to accompany the foreign tourists at all times.
 
Issuance of the visa requires the original copy of the applicants passport, Tibet Travel Permit, Invitation Letter from the Tibet tourism Bureau, proof of tour booking and itinerary, and the appropriate fee.
 
How and Where to Apply Tibet Group Visa:
 
Applications for the Group Visa cannot be done individually, and must be done through a registered tour operator in Kathmandu, Nepal. Since it cannot be obtained without the Tibet Group Visa Invitation Letter from the Tibet tourism bureau, this must be applied for on your behalf by the Explore Tibet before applying for the visa once you arrive in Nepal. On your arrival, at least three working days before your expected departure date for Tibet Tour, the representative of the Explore Tibet in Nepal will meet you and collect your passports, completed application form, passport size photo, and Tibet group visa fee from you at your hotel, and proceed to make the application on your behalf.
 
Applications are done through the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu, and are done in person by the Explore Tibet’s representative in Nepal. As well as the documents you provided, the representative will also add the Tibet group visa invitation letter.
 
The Tibet Group Visa processing normally takes two to five working days based on the fees you choose, and once it is approved, our Explore Tibet’s representative will collect it from the Embassy and deliver it to your hotel, ready for your departure to Tibet. It should be noted that the Group Visa is only valid for 30 days from the date of issue or length of the Tibet tour you applied, so it is best to let our Explore Tibet team know if you want to travel into mainland China after the Tibet, so we can apply for the Tibet Group Visa with validity of your China tour.

Yamdrok lake tour in Tibet
 
Some important question and answers about the Tibet Group Visa:
  1. I am travelling alone and can I get the Tibet Group Visa just for me?
Ans: Yes, you can obtain the Tibet Group Visa for you alone, it is just the name and it doesn’t need to have a group to get the Tibet Group Visa.
 
  1. I already have my Chinese Visa and can I still enter Tibet from Kathmandu, Nepal?
Ans: No, you can’t enter Tibet from Kathmandu with your Chinese individual visa, so if you enter Tibet from Kathmandu or Nepal border, then you should have to have the Tibet Group Visa and when you apply for the Tibet Group Visa, the Embassy will cancel your current Chinese Individual visa, no matter it is multiple-entry work visa or single-entry tourist visa.
 
  1. Can I apply for the Tibet Group Visa by myself without using a tour operator?
Ans: No, you have to apply for the Tibet Group Visa through a tour operator in Tibet and Nepal.
 
  1. Can I travel into mainland China after my Tibet tour with the Tibet Group Visa?
Ans: Yes, as long as the Tibet Group Visa validity is available.
 
  1. Can I apply for the Tibet Group Visa far in advance?
Ans: Yes, you can apply for the Tibet Group Visa in advance, we have travelers who had similar situation, they came to Kathmandu earlier and have more time to apply for the Tibet Group Visa, but they have very short time in Kathmandu just before they fly into Tibet tour, so they can obtain the Tibet Group Visa on their previous stay in Kathmandu and the Tibet Group Visa validity counts from the date you enter into Tibet.

Below are the costs of group visas for different nationalities

S/No. Nationality: Visa Entry Type: Ordinary Process:
5 working days
Urgent Process:
3 working days
Top Urgent:
2 working days
1. USA Single Entry $140 $157 $178
2. Canadian Single Entry $84 $100 $121
3. Romanian Single Entry $84 $100 $122
4. Brazilian Single Entry $100 $115 $135
5. Israelian Single Entry $42 $59 $80
6. All Others Single Entry $51 $68 $89
Note: The above Tibet Group Visa cost is subject to be change without prior notice by the Embassy, so please check with your travel consultant for the latest visa costs.
The Tibet Group Visa is only applicable from Monday to Friday.
The Nepal visa agent will charge visa service fee of $10 to $50 per person based on the number people in the same group.
 

How long the Tibet Group Visa Application Process Take?
There are three main visa processing types based on different cost, which are Ordinary, Urgent and Top Urgent,
1. Ordinary Process:
This process will take 5 working days and you must arrive Kathmandu before 5 working days, then submit your orignal passport, color passport size photo and the visa application form to our Nepalese agent.

2. Urgent Process:
This process will take 3 working days and you must arrive Kathmandu before 3 working days, then submit your original passport, color passport size photo and visa application form to our Nepalese agent.

3. Top Urgent Process:
This process will take 2 working days and you should arrive Kathamdnu before 2 full working days, then hand your original passport, passport size color photo and visa application form to our Nepalese agent.

Important Tips: 
Our Nepalese agent will give you the visa application form and request you to fill it when you meet at your hotel or other scheduled place, then the passports and Tibet group visa will return you in the afternoon when it processed.

Tibet group Tour by Explore Tibet
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