Tibet Travel Permit Tips and FAQs
Since Tibet as a special region in China, foreign tourists must need Tibet Permits to visit Lhasa, Shigatse and other areas of Tibet, along with passport and valid Chinese Visa or Tibet Group Visa. Here are some commonly asked questions by our customers listed into different categories, quite useful to prepare your Tibet visit. If you still have questions about Tibet Permits, please Contact Us without any hesitation.
Tibet Travel Permit
- 1. Why need permit to travel Tibet?
Tibet as one part of China has unique political climate making it different from the rest regions. Therefore, a valid passport and Chinese Visa are no enough to visit Tibet. And a package of Tibet Travel Permits is needed for foreigners to visit here.
- 2. Who needs Tibet Travel Permit?
Only foreign passport holders (including overseas Chinese without Chinese Passport) and visitors from Taiwan to Tibet need to apply for a visa, citizens of the mainland and SAR passport holders from Hong Kong and Macao do not need to apply.
Note: Diplomats, Journalists, professional media photographer and government officials are not able to visit Tibet as Tourists and also can’t issue their Tibet permit through ordinary travel agencies.
- 3. Is there any age-limit for Tibet Permit application?
The answer is No. With an enough preparation to cope with the altitude sickness and join in a tour group, whether you are in the age of 80 or having a family tour with little kids are allowed to visit Tibet, as long as you are in the permitted crowds.
- 4. How does Tibet Permit charge if I don’t book tour?
It’s not allowed for travelers to visit Tibet independently, that is to say, you must join in a tour agency, like Tibet Discovery for Tibet Permit application and other services offered, including tour guide, four-wheel vehicle with driver, hotel reservation, etc to fulfill your lifetime Tibet travel. And the Tibet Permit application service fee will be included in your Tibet Tour. Remember there is No single travel agency to provide "permit-only" service or sell Tibet Permits.
- 5. What kind of Tibet Permits I should need, if I want to visit Lhasa, Shigatse and Mt. Everest Base Camp?
First of all, the Tibet Entry Permit is needed compulsorily to enter Tibet for visit anywhere of Tibet region. For other regions, check the table below to find out which permit(s) you may need:
Top visited areas & featured attractions in Tibet TTB permit PSB permit Military Permit Border Pass Lhasa City √ × × × Shigatse & Gyantse √ √ × × Mt. Everest & EBC √ √ × √ Nyingchi Prefecture √ √ √ √ Ngari Prefecture √ √ √ √
Note: if you travel some border places in Shannan area, you should need all of the permits above. With more info, please contact us to know more details.
- 6. Can I obtain my Tibet Permits on arrival of Tibet?
Most of permits for travel to Tibet must be obtained before enter Tibet, excepting the Aliens’ Tourist Permit (PSB permit). For instance the Tibet Entry Permit (TTB permit), there are check points sited on airports and train stations to check this permit before you getting aboard to Tibet. Without a TTB permit, you can never catch your train/flight heading to Tibet. Also If enter a restricted area without the proper permit, you can be fined, detained and deported.
- 7. How to apply for Tibet Travel Permit?
By visiting Tibet, foreigners need to book a Tibet tour with travel agency, who will help you to apply for Tibet Permits and other tour service provided. All you need to do are sending your scanning copy of your valid passport and Chinese visa 10-15 days before your visit, with personal info attached, including your name, nationality, passport number, sex, date of birth, occupation, etc. With all truly necessary documents supplied to us by email, we’ll offer you all-in-one Tibet Tour without worries. Some detailed steps you need to do before we applying:
a. Work out a detailed itinerary in Tibet and book a tour from a China travel agency.
b. Pay for a tour guide for your every day tour (your travel agency will arrange for you).
c. Hire a vehicle (normally a 4WD) for your transportation outside Lhasa (your travel agency will arrange for you).
d. Send a deposit to your travel agency through Paypal or bank transfer.
e. Send a scan of your passport information and China visa.
f. Arrange a detailed address in China (hotel, guesthouse or local agency) to receive your posted TTP permit.
- 8. How long can I get the Tibet Travel Permit?
Generally it takes three days to approve a TTB permit with completed documents. And if your itinerary including Everest Base Camp, Mt. Kailash or Nyingchi Prefecture, the time to get approved will be extend a couple of days. When you get the permits, it may take another 2-4 days to express delivery.
- 9. Can I keep Tibet Permit while visit Tibet?
Once you arrive in Tibet, your tour guide is required to keep all Tibet permits in the group. And you are not allowed to bring any of them along the way.
Chinese Visa & Tibet Group Visa
- 1. Is there any notice to apply for a Chinese Visa?
By preparing all required valid document in advance, it is easily to get a Chinese Visa according to the application procedure by the Chinese Embassy in your country. But if anything related to Tibet, your application would become complicated and arduous.
Here is the thing, if you mention that you are going to visit Tibet, you are very likely get rejected. Actually, there is no need to tell the officer that you have the plan for traveling to Tibet. Or you can just tell them you are going to visit somewhere else of China such as Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, etc.
By the way, it will be helpful to provide your hotel reservation in China and a round-trip air ticket, when applying for a Chinese L Visa.
- 2. What’s the difference between Chinese Visa and Tibet Group Visa?
Tibet Group Visa as a special Chinese Visa used for tourist travel Tibet from Nepal and can be used for inland visit under its validity. Comparing with the Chinese Visa, it has limited usage for tourist to stay in China. With more detailed differences, check Tibet Group Visa.
- 3. If I want to come to Tibet from Nepal, do I need to apply for a Tibet Group Visa, even if I already got a Chinese Visa?
Whether you have already got a Chinese Visa or not, a Group Visa is a must for you to enter Tibet from Nepal, and need to apply though your travel agency. And your existing Chinese visa will be invalid once you got the group visa. Therefore, if you’re intended to enter Tibet via Nepal, do not try to apply a visa for China in your own country, just apply it in Kathmandu.
- 4. If I got the Tibet Group Visa, how many days I can stay in Tibet, or can I visit other cities in China beyond Tibet?
The Tibet Group Visa is valid up to 30 days (cannot be extended) and you can arrange your time in Tibet no more than the period. Or if you want to explore other cities in China, the valid Group Visa still works. It's worth mentioning you can never get back to mainland if you transfer to Hong Kong or Macau as this visa is a single entry.
- 5. I am from Singapore and want to travel Tibet from Kathmandu, do I need to apply for the group visa?
China do has the Visa Exempted policy for passport holders of Singapore, Brunei and Japan, to visit China without visa within 15 days. But traveling Tibet from Kathmandu is an exceptional case and not used for that condition, which means you still need to apply for a group visa.
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Escorted by a skilled private drivers and companied by a professional local tour guide to organize all the activities, all you have to do is to enjoy your fantastic Tibet journey. Time can never be wasted waiting for a group, hopping on and off buses or negotiating unfamiliar destinations.
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