Updated on 2023 August 5th.
Do not catalog Tibet when completing a China visa Application.
China Tibet Autonomous Region visa
If you are planning to travel to Tibet from cities in China, one of the first things you will need is a China Tourist visa (L category). After that, the travel agency can apply for your Tibet Travel Permit (a Tibet visa does not exist as the Tibet Autonomous Region is part of China).
When applying for your China visa, there is a section on the application that will ask you to put the places in China that you plan to visit. It is best that you do not mention Tibet as one of the destinations.
The main issue is that Chinese Embassies almost always will ask for your Tibet Travel Permit. However, the China Tibet Autonomous Region Tourism Bureau in Lhasa will only issue you a Tibet Travel Permit after you have received a Chinese visa, So you can’t get a Tibet Travel Permit without a Chinese Visa.
Filling Out the China Visa Application
When filling out your Chinese Visa Application, simply list a couple of major cities in China, such as Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai, or Guangzhou.
It is important to understand that you are still able to go to other places in China, including Tibet, even if you don’t list or catalog them on your visa application. The Chinese Embassy is just looking for a couple of main places on your application, not an exhaustive list of places you plan to visit.
Proof of Hotel Bookings
For most nationalities, you will also have to submit proof of hotel bookings when you apply for a Chinese Visa. If you are going to Tibet, it can be tricky as you cannot list Tibet on the application which means you cannot submit hotel bookings for Tibet.
An easy way around this is to book nights at a hotel in Mainland China (again, don’t include hotels in Tibet!) on the Chinese travel site C-Trip.
On C-Trip, you can usually make hotel bookings without having to pay a deposit and without having to submit your credit card information. Simply make a hotel booking at a MAJOR Chinese city, print it out, and then immediately cancel your booking.
Proof of Roundtrip Air Ticket to Mainland China
The last item that most nationalities will need to submit is proof of flight to and from Mainland China. Be sure to only submit your flight to/from a major city in Mainland China. Do not include a flight that shows you are going to Tibet. Just show proof of your flight to Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Kunming, or any other major city in Mainland China. For more information on China Visa, Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org