China, Mongolia, Nepal and Tibet

Hi all
Q1 Thought id ask the people that should know, do i have to ask the Int Cell for clearance to these countries for a holiday?
Q2 On visa apps does British Army as an occupation/place of work flag up any unwanted attention on the Great Wall or at the Monkey Temple or bar entry?
Cheers in advance
As far as I'm aware, yes and possibly yes. Just speak to your local security section, they'll be able to brief you up and answer all your questions.
You do need to request permission- these countries are amongst those deemed to be of special security interest. I've been through the process before- I'd suggest that you give six weeks notice to your Unit Security Officer. Everything you need to know is in JSP 440- including a proforma if I remember correctly.

Hope this goes some way to answering your questions.

Living in Shanghai now and spending a lot of time with PLA types I can say you'll get no trouble from the Chinese whats so ever by your occupation, they have a real respect of UKAF. Was in Nepal in January and likewise the RNA is most hospitable, bagpipes, 1850 marching tunes and all - but if your out of the cities and in Maoist areas your a 'trekker'.
You will need to inform the USO, and almost certainly (through the CoC or give them a ring) your local Security Section (best bet ring the Sy Sect first, get a heads up and then inform USO...USOs have a habit of knowing feck all). What type of job do you have in the Army? This can be a little bit important! You will probably be briefed before you go, and debriefed upon your asked whether any strange men offered you sweeties to get into their car? etc etc

Are you purely a tourist? Going with wife...or wishing to acquire one? :D Business interests on the side ?? 8O

As for the Chinese having the utmost respect for HM Forces...yes they do and should, and certainly the one PLA Colonel I had lunch with was most charming!!! through work I hasten to add before the Sy nazis read this You may well not be given grief, unless you choose to cause get pissed up and act like an idiot. I personally wouldnt be advertising my occupation on a visa though.
Thank you everyone for your replies so far.
I now need the number of the Sy Sect looking after the Hants area please (PM of course)
I only turn spanners for a living so i aint some 'Nooclear fizzysist'
Having looked at the Visa form for China it says Occupation and Place of Work, now i dont wanna lie but i dont wanna get anally examined at Peking airport either (had my prostate checked last week thank you very much)(By a Doctor btw)
Thanks again for everyones help.
Mrs Catch might have something to say 'bout me going over there for a wife too!
As Tibet is occupied by China, the same rules will apply to visits there as to the PRC itself.

Mongolia is no longer a Communist country, and has been a democracy since 1992, so I would think that visiting there wouldn’t be a problem. If you can manage it, I recommend timing your visit to include the Naadam festival in Ulaan Baatar between 11th and 13th July each year, and drink some airag – fermented mare’s milk!
I'd be tempted to check the FCO advice as regards visiting Nepal at the moment.....


Go through your chain of command in the first instance: ie, to your Unit Security Officer, who should then point you in the correct direction for the next steps. Going direct to the local Sy Sect may well confuse the issue.
I think you will find that 'Peking' is now referred to as 'Beijing'...

i'll get me coat.... 8O
I'm starting in the Army soon and I love travelling. I wonder just how restrictive is the list of restricted countries? I presume the Army would not give permission for visiting the North West Frontier of Pakistan or Chechyna... but what about milder places such as Syria??? Tehran a year ago??? or maybe Zimbabwe? Anyone any idea whereabouts they draw the line? As I say I'm not in the Army yet so I don't have access to the JSPs...

Do you reckon these countries would automatically deny you a visa because of your occupation - 'army officer'?

Having to apply for permission and go through an interview process doesn't really bother me. Being barred from visiting these places would be a real disappointment.


ps - I automatically wouldn't go to any of the places on the FCO's 'Do not travel here' list...

Edited to add: I'm not sure if its clear but I wouldn't want to go to NWFP or Chechyna - I was just using them as outrageous examples. However I would love to visit Syria, Iran and go back to Zimbabwe sometime - I haven't a 'good' reason for going, just tourism and soak up the culture really.
AF1771 said:
I think you will find that 'Peking' is now referred to as 'Beijing'...

i'll get me coat.... 8O
Yes that's right, latest Int assesses that there are 9 million bicycles there………

I'll join you on that lonely taxi rank :?
There can be some funnies on the list of countries - I once spent a glorious week in Florida on a conference with work which consisted of a weeks drinking tacked loosely around a one hour presentation - and I only had to speak for some of that as it was a joint production. Anyway, one weekend afterwards I was banging on about said trip when I was informed that I should have asked permission - what, for the US ? - no, just Florida. Much lowering of eyebrows and tutting ensued with the ominous promise that Questions Would Be Asked and Actions Taken If Necessary.

It turns out that it was on the list due to the high level of robberies on visitors as those were the days when hire cars had distinctive numberplates. I should have got a leaflet with some good advice.

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