You cannot enter the TAR from Nepal on a regular Chinese tourist visa; it must be a group visa. Only though travel agencies, the group Chinese visa can be arranged. You can’t get it on your own. There is no other way around this. Group Visa can be arranged for any number of people and even for single traveler. Even if you have obtained a Chinese Visa in your passport, it is cancelled when group visa is obtained and therefore you will have wasted your time and money. The group visa is usually a piece of paper. It is not stamped in your passport like a normal visa. The group Chinese visa is valid for the period of travel with us and you have to enter and exit China together. From Kathmandu, Nepal you cannot even buy a ticket to Lhasa on your own.
After TAR, if you wish to split with your group, group visa can sometimes be changed into a standard Chinese visa once you leave the TAR. It is not possible to change or split your visa in Lhasa or anywhere in the TAR. PSB office in Chengdu, Xining, and Beijing could change group visa into individual Visa, but there is no such guarantee. So it is much easier to begin your trip in China and then go to the TAR rather than starting from Nepal. (April 15, 2009 – Visa fees update) Please note the revision of Visa fees for Tibet/China when applying for it from Kathmandu, Nepal in US Dollars. US Nationals cost per person: Regular fee $142, Urgent $164 & Same Day Visa $198 Other Nationals cost per person: Regular $058, Urgent $80 & Same Day Visa $114 Regular or normal processing fee requires 4 working days, Urgent visa is take between 2 but less than 4 working days and Same Day Visa is provided in the afternoon of the same day, when submitted in the morning of that day. The working days of Chinese Consulate in Kathmandu remain same as earlier, i.e Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays.