If flying to Tibet through Kathmandu or Hong Kong and not setting foot in the rest of China, is a Chinese visa necessary to enter Tibet, or only the Tibet travel permit?

I do need a visa for mainland China other than under the 72/144-hour TWOV arrangement, which doesn't apply in Lhasa. Since Tibet has autonomy, however, I wonder whether a Tibet Travel Permit alone would be sufficient?

  • 4
    I believe the One China Policy includes Tibet as well...
    – JonathanReez
    Feb 21, 2017 at 8:30
  • 5
    Unlike Taiwan, Tibet is actually physically controlled by the Chinese government, despite its separatist movement. So same laws apply as any other part of China. Only Taiwan actually is an independent government which China refuses to acknowledge. Feb 21, 2017 at 11:50
  • 1
    If you go to Tibet, then you are setting foot in China. Tibet is a part of China.
    – bubba
    Feb 21, 2017 at 12:40
  • 1
    Er, the "Tibet travel permit" he is asking about is issued by the government of China. The question, viewed another way, is whether it "counts" as a visa under Chinese law.
    – Random832
    Feb 21, 2017 at 13:56
  • @Random832 "The question, viewed another way, is whether it "counts" as a visa under Chinese law" I know it doesn't if also visiting other parts of China
    – Crazydre
    Feb 21, 2017 at 14:13

1 Answer 1


Tibet is considered to be inside China, so yes you need a visa for China, plus a Tibet Travel permit. Tibet does not enjoy the special immigration rules that apply to Hong Kong.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.