Lhasa is the economic center of the region of Tibet and the region surrounding Lhasa has an economy centered on traditional agriculture, mainly barley and wheat. The tourism industry has grown greatly over the past decade and is expected to continue to grow now that the travel permit requirements have loosened up a bit.
This industry has begun to contribute a significant amount to the economy, but Lhasa is also the trading center of Tibet. Lhasa has its own supply of raw materials, such as copper, zinc and lead, and the city is currently working towards promoting a healthy environment to businesses, to counter the damage done by chemical plants and car factories. Now the authorities in the area are focusing on renewable forms of energy for the manufacturing industry (which mainly produces textiles, plastics and leather products).
The numbers of opportunities for expatriates looking to start working in Lhasa are growing, but the majority of these positions are still volunteer positions. Teaching Tibetan students English is a popular option along with working in orphanages, but even the teaching positions are usually voluntary, and there are few options for paid work in the city of Lhasa.
There are not many jobs advertised online for expats looking to relocate to Lhasa, so a good way to find employment is to contact schools and universities and see if they know about any job openings. A bachelor's degree will often be a requirement for teaching positions, particularly at universities, but schools have fewer requirements. When looking for any position in Lhasa, whether it is volunteering or teaching, being proactive is the best way to go about it, and contacting potential employers directly is the best way to seek out positions that may not be advertised online.
If you will be working in Lhasa, you will need to apply for a multiple entry visa, which is usually for either six or twelve months. These are only available for either work purposes or educational purposes. The standard tourist 'L' visa is usually only valid for up to 30 days, where the 'x' or 'z' visas are available for work and education. These visas are more expensive, and will require a certificate of employment or studying from an employer or an educational institution, but will secure your stay in Lhasa, and will allow you to enter and leave the region as you please.
For more information on Chinese visas, please refer to our dedicated section on Visa and Administration in China.