Every traveler who wanted to visit Tibet from Nepal should obtain Tibet Group Visa (TGV) before the travel date. Based on our experience of operating Tibet tours for more than a decade, we describe everything that you will need to know to process for Tibet Group Visa (TGV).
Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet
Kathmandu is the tourist hub for those planning multi-country tours like Bhutan, Tibet, China, and India. Especially, 3 country tour of Nepal Tibet Bhutan is popular and tourist prefers to start and end the trip from Kathmandu. Also, tourists take side trips to Tibet and Bhutan after completing their trekking in Nepal such as Annapurna Base Camp trek, Everest Base Camp Trek, Langtang Valley Trek, etc. Nepal offers different high-altitude trekking opportunities including the trek to the world’s highest Mount Everest (8848m).
If you are planning to travel to Tibet, we recommend starting the trip from Kathmandu as there are different options like group tours, customizable private tours at a reasonable price. Also, it is easier to process for the Tibet Group Visa (TGV) from Kathmandu and you do not require a Chinese Visa. Therefore, it is important to know how to process for the visa and how long it does take.
Mount Everest from Tibet side (North Face)
When you confirm the tour itinerary with the price, you will be required to send your passport copy to your tour operator to go ahead. The permit for your trip to Tibet will be processed through the local tour operator which takes a minimum of 5-7 working days to a maximum of 2 weeks. Once the Tibet permit is issued in Lhasa, the local Tibet tour operator forwards the confirmation of the invitation letter to the Kathmandu-based tour operator. TGV can only be processed after the Kathmandu-based tour operator receives a Confirmation of invitation letter from Tibet and then apply for TGV along with your original passport.
Tibet Group Visa (TGV) is a special paper visa for traveling to Tibet from Kathmandu. You must have TGV to travel to Tibet from Kathmandu either by flight or road. TGV is a single entry paper visa and valid for approx. 30 days. You can also travel to mainland China from Lhasa with TGV but with conditions. If you are traveling to Tibet from Kathmandu, you do not require obtaining a Chinese visa in your home country – TGV has equal validity as a Chinese visa but you can not separately travel to China if TGV is issued in a group.
Confirm the Tibet trip along with the tour itinerary, price, and dates through your tour operator (local or international). Make sure you have enough time to process the permit and visa (at least one month before the travel date). You will be required to send your color scanned passport copy to your tour operator.
The local tour operator in Lhasa will process for Tibet Travel Permit which takes a minimum of 5-7 working days to a maximum of 15 working days. Once the permit is issued, the local tour operator will send a Confirmation of invitation letter to the Kathmandu based tour operator. The invitation letter includes your confirmation number and personal information according to your passport.
To process for TGV, you must arrive in Nepal at least 3 working days before the departure date (Saturday and Sunday are off days). Your original passport must be submitted to the Embassy of China in Kathmandu along with your visa application form and Tibet Invitation letter. TGV will be ready within 3-4 working days if everything is in order. The TGV comes in A4 Sized papers (two same copies, one for entry and another for exit); make sure your personal information is correct and the Embassy stamp is made on your paper visa before you proceed for the tour.
Now, you are all set to leave for Tibet either by flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa or by road from the Kyirong border. This is how you complete processing for the Tibet Group Visa (TGV) from Kathmandu successfully.
• Confirmation of Invitation Letter – Your Kathmandu based tour operator will receive the confirmation of the invitation letter from Tibet that includes the Visa number, your approved travel date, your name, DOB, Passport Number, and nationality.
• Visa Application Form – The forms are easily available at the Embassy of China in Kathmandu – the TGV application form is as same as the Chinese Visa form. The visa application form should be filled in by clients themselves or by the agent on your behalf – Make sure all the information given in the form is CORRECT.
• One Passport Size Photograph – You can take a photograph in Thamel or near the Embassy – this can be ready in 10-15 minutes or you can bring it from home.
• Return Flight or train tickets, tour itinerary: Your flight ticket to/fro Lhasa or mainland China along with your day to day itinerary of Tibet tour.
• Photocopy of your Passport – Get ready one photocopy of your passport.
• Existing Chinese visa copy, if you have already – You have to make a copy of your existing Chinese visa. Note that the existing Chinese visa will get canceled and re-issued with a Paper visa as TGV. If you have a multi-entry China visa already – reconsider traveling from Mainland China instead of Kathmandu.
Note: The visa should be processed through the tour operator based in Kathmandu, your tour operator will help you process for the TGV. You do not need to go to the Embassy unless you are asked to.
|Nationality||No. of Entry||Tibet Group Visa (TGV) Fee – Urgent|
|Nepalese||Single||USD 115.00 Per Person|
|American||Single||USD 175.00 Per Person|
|Canadian||Single||USD 155.00 Per Person|
|Romanian||Single||USD 90.00 Per Person|
|Others||Single||USD 85.00 Per Person|
*Updated in September 2020; the Structure of Tibet Group Visa (TGV) Fee can be changed without prior notification.
Please read: While your TGV is under processing at the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu, DO NOT leave the Kathmandu valley. Sometimes, you may need to be present in person at the Embassy if the visa officer wants you to be interviewed. Inform the tour operator if you have a plan to go away for trekking and tours as soon as you apply for the TGV.
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If you are looking for private overland tours to Tibet, trekking in Tibet, Mount Kailash Tour, Lhasa & surrounding tours; there are enough rooms for customization, talk with our travel expert for more information.