Tibet Travel Permit - A Must for Tibet Tour

According to regulations of Tibet Tourism Bureau, all travelers without Chinese passports must travel in Tibet with a travel agency and let the agency provide tour services and arrange essential Tibet travel permits. Tibet Travel Permit is the most important travel document to be obtained in advance. It is a mandatory travel document for any Tibet tour, and indispensably needed when you take train, flight to Tibet from other cities in China, or get to Tibet from Nepal by overland driving or flight, even when you travel around Tibet. If you travel with us, it’s actually much simpler and easier to get the permit than you think. You only need to send us required documents, we will get it for you to make sure you enjoy trip to Tibet hassle free.

What is a Tibet Travel Permit?

Tibet Travel Permit or Tibet Entry Permit is a regional travel permit issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau in Lhasa, Tibet, which approves non-Chinese passport holders’ traveling to Tibet. It has 2 separate pages, marking your scheduled tour itinerary, travel date and companions, personal basic information, etc.

Who Needs a Tibet Travel Permit?
  • All non-Chinese passport holders planning to visit Tibet are required to get a Tibet Travel Permit, including: foreign passport holders (like US, UK and Canadian citizens…), Taiwan citizens and overseas Chinese.
  • Note: Hong Kong and Macau residents holding SAR passport or Home Return Permit can travel to Tibet independently without the permit.
How to Get Tibet Travel Permit?
  1. According to official regulation, only licensed travel agencies can apply for Tibet Travel Permit on behalf of foreign tourists. You just need to email us simple materials, and we do all the following work.
  2. Step 1: Book a Tibet tour package. Contact our travel consultant and plan a detailed Tibet itinerary based on your needs and interests.
  3. Step 2: Send scanned copies of your valid passport and Chinese Visa (visa required). (passport copy only if getting to Tibet from Nepal)
  4. Step 3: We apply for the permit from Tibet Tourism Bureau, collect and deliver it to the address you provided in China's other regions.
  5. Step 4: Take Tibet Travel Permit and leave for Tibet.
Note: Above application procedure only applies to ordinary foreign tourists. For visitors holding diplomatic passport, service visa, please seek further help from Foreign Affairs Department.
Is There a Cost for Tibet Travel Permit?

Tibet Travel Permit can NOT be applied separately without booking a Tibet tour. There is no application fee collected by Tibet Tourism Bureau. We also don’t charge extra service fee though we spend lots of time and labor, since it’s already included in your Tibet tour package services.

How Long to Get a Tibet Travel Permit??

After emailing us required documents, it usually takes about 20 working days to receive your Tibet Travel Permit. We will arrange your tour guide and other details, submit application to Tibet Tourism Bureau, wait for its processing and issuance, and then collect and deliver to you. It needs about 1 month if you plan to visit Ngari. So, better plan your Tibet tour as early as possible.

Tibet Permits for Different Destinations in Tibet

Tibet is a vast land divinely bestowed with countless natural wonders, impressive religious faith and distinctive ethnic culture. If you travel beyond Lhasa to remote and border areas, such as Mount Everest, Mount Kailash, Nyingchi, etc., you will need some extra permits, such as Aliens’ Travel Permit and Tibet Military Permit. Please rest at ease, Tibet Discovery will obtain all required Tibet permits for you.

Lhasa + Namtso Mount Everest Shigatse Mount Kailash Nyingchi Shannan Nagqu Chamdo
  • Tibet Permits for Lhasa Tour
    Julie from France visited Potala Palace, Lhasa
    Tibet Permits for Lhasa Tour: Tibet Travel Permit
    If you simply want to tour Lhasa, so Tibet Travel Permit is the only travel permission you should get. It usually takes about 15 working days to get it. With it, you can fly to Lhasa from Nepal or get to Lhasa from Chinese domestic cities, Beijing, Shanghai, and Chengdu and so on by train or flight. And you can take it to tour all scenic spots in Lhasa, visit majestic Potala Palace, view unique religious monasteries and pilgrimage, and even make a side trip to beautiful Namtso Lake in northern suburb of Lhasa.
  • Tibet Permits for Mount Everest Tour
    Tibet Discovery’s Customized Mount Everest Tour for Joe
    Tibet Permits for Mount Everest Tour: Tibet Travel Permit, Aliens’ Travel Permit
    Mount Everest (elevation: 8,848 m /29,029 ft - the highest mountain in the world) is located at China-Nepal border area. For traveling to its north face and EBC in Tibet side, tourists must get both a Tibet Travel Permit and an Aliens’ Travel Permit. The former needs to be got before your departure while the latter is applied after your arrival in Lhasa. But, it’s no bother at all, because your Tibet tour guide will take your original passport and related material to get it quickly. You don’t have to spend any time or effort to handle it by yourself.
  • Tibet Permits for Shigatse Tour
    Silva and Her Group Friends Went to Tashilhunpo Monastery
    Tibet Permits for Shigatse Tour: Tibet Travel Permit, Aliens’ Travel Permit
    Shigatse Prefecture is situated in south Tibet, bordering India, Nepal and Bhutan in the south. If you solely visit Gyantse and Shigatse City (the capital, Tibet’s second largest city) in central area, Tibet Travel Permit and another Aliens’ Travel Permit are two compulsory permits you must get. For visiting border counties in Shigatse Prefecture, including Gyirong (pass of Nepal Tibet overland ride), Zhongba, Saga, Nyalam, Tingri (Mount Everest), Dinggye, Kamba, Yadong and Kangmar, Tibet Discovery will also help you go through relevant procedures as well.
  • Tibet Permits for Mount Kailash Tour
    Mount Kailash Trekking Trip Tailor-Made by Tibet Discovery
    Tibet Permits for Kailash Tour: Tibet Travel Permit, Aliens’ Travel Permit, Tibet Military Permit
    Mount Kailash is located in Ngari, western border area of Tibet, is one of the world’s sacred destinations for pilgrims. Whether you plan to have a holy Kailash Mansarovar Yatra or trekking trip or take a sightseeing tour in Ngari, you must get two extra travel documents besides Tibet Travel Permit, namely Aliens’ Travel Permit and Tibet Military Permit. It costs approximately 1 month long to get all of them. Tibet Discovery will get them in advance to let you travel smoothly, your only task is to contact us as early as possible, leaving enough time for applying for those documents.
  • Tibet Permits for Nyingchi Tour
    Richard (USA) and Hamad (Arabia) Enjoyed Nyingchi Tour with Visit of Lulang Forest
    Tibet Permits for Nyingchi Tour: Tibet Travel Permit, Aliens’ Travel Permit, Tibet Military Permit
    Lying in southeast Tibet and adjoining India and Myanmar in the south, Nyingchi owns the most colors in Tibet and best famous for “Nyingchi Peach Blossom Festival” and “Swiss Style” natural scenery. Non-Chinese passport holders can visit Nyingchi with a Tibet Travel Permit and an Aliens’ Travel Permit. Those who intend to capture lovely peach blossom in Bomi during early spring should still get a Tibet Military Permit. 15 working days and more time is demanded before starting your Nyingchi Peach flower tour.
  • Tibet Permits for Shannan Tour
    Yale University Tour Group Stayed beside Yamdrok Lake
    Tibet Permits for Shannan Tour: Tibet Travel Permit, Aliens’ Travel Permit, Tibet Military Permit (flexible)
    For a Lhasa tour with the famous holy Yamdrok, Tibet Travel Permit and Aliens’ Travel Permit are completely enough. If your itinerary covers Samye Monastery, Yumbulakang and other attractions in unopened areas in Shannan, you need to get Tibet Military Permit before departing to Tibet.
  • Tibet Permits for Nagqu Tour
    Tibetans Were Dancing in Nagqu Horse Racing Festival
    Tibet Permits for Nagqu Tour: Tibet Travel Permit, Aliens’ Travel Permit
    Nagqu in northern Tibet is one of the Tibet destinations off the beaten track but has splendid landscape and local customs. If you are interested in the famous Nagqu Horse Racing Festival held in summer (usually in August), you only need to get Tibet Travel Permit and Aliens’ Travel Permit. Before driving to Nagqu, your tour guide will apply the Aliens’ Travel Permit for you, and take you to see many local activities and view vast plateau scenery along the ride journey.
    • Top Places to Visit: Namtso Lake, Nagqu Grassland, Nagqu Horse Racing Festival…
    • Recommended Travel Time: about 1 ~ 2 days
    • Best Time to Visit: May to September
    • Popular Nagqu Tour:
  • Tibet Permits for Chamdo Tour
    Turquoise Ranwu Lake in Chamdo
    Tibet Permits for Chamdo: Tibet Travel Permit, Aliens’ Travel Permit, Tibet Military Permit
    Known as “A Pearl in Eastern Tibet”, Chamdo (or Qamdo) is a mysterious region keeping original nature and extreme tranquility. Tourists usually drive from Lhasa to Chamdo via Nyingchi, to see the fantastic Ranwu Lake, which requires Tibet Travel Permit and another two supporting travel approvals - Aliens’ Travel Permit and Tibet Military Permit.

Travel from China Gateway Cities to Tibet

Getting from other cities in China is one of the two available transportations to Tibet, and it is considered to be the most convenient and popular tour route. Travel by this way, you can not only have more flexible choices, which city to depart from, by train or by flight, but also enjoy good chance to tour top destinations presenting different type of charm and culture of China.

Chinese Visa and Tibet Travel Permit are the two necessary documents you should have to travel from other cities in China to Tibet. Before we help you apply for Tibet Travel Permit, you must firstly get a valid Chinese Visa, such as a China Tourist Visa, China Work Visa, based on your purpose of visiting China.

How to Get to Tibet from China Gateway Cities

Currently, there are over 20 cities in China running direct flights and trains to Tibet. Air travel is fast and comfortable taking only a few hours, best fits for travelers with a tight schedule. The Qinghai-Tibet Train journey is quite a long travel but offering scenic landscape and unique experience, strongly recommended to leisurely-paced travelers.

Plan Your China Tibet Tour

Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu are the best three gateway cities with frequent schedules and iconic Chinese cultural attractions. You may firstly take a few days to hike Great Wall in Beijing, see adorable Giant Pandas in Chengdu, or explore other charming cities in vast China and then step into holy Tibet full of impressive religious features. More Popular China Tibet Tours >

Tibet Discovery still provides combined tour to Nepal and Bhutan, whose travel destinations, time, theme and budget can be flexibly customized according to your requirements.

Travel from Nepal to Tibet

Bordering Tibet in the north, Nepal is another popular gateway to travel to Tibet either by overland or flight. To realize a Himalayan adventure from Nepal to Tibet, all foreign travelers are required to book a Tibet tour package, and obtain a Chinese Group Tourist Visa (often called Tibet Group Visa) in Kathmandu via an authorized agency, together with the must-have Tibet Travel Permit.

Useful Tips You Should Know:

1. Nepal to Tibet travelers must book a Tibet tour package and entrust the agency to apply for Tibet Group Visa in Nepal.
2. Your already obtained Chinese Visa will get expire (even a 10-year Chinese Visa) once applying for the Group Visa.
3. The Group Visa allows a Tibet trip and extended tour in other Chinese cities. All tourists share one visa and need to travel together.

Plan Your Nepal Tibet Tour

In terms of currently Travelling Documents Application situation, we strongly suggest you travel from Tibet to Nepal instead of from Nepal to Tibet, because: 1) the Tibet Group Visa (from Nepal to Tibet) is only issued for groups with at least 5 members; 2) Tours from Nepal to Tibet usually cost more than tours from Tibet to Nepal. It doesn't mean that you can't travel from Nepal to Tibet. If your group has 5 members or more, or don't mind the cost difference, you can of course travel from Nepal to Tibet.

Tibet Permit Worry-free Travel Stories of Our Customers

As a Tibet travel agency continuously won Certificate of Excellence of TripAdvisor, Tibet Discovery have managed to help thousands of guests obtain travel documents for their tours in Tibet during past years. We commit ourselves to offering professional and cost-effective permit application assistance before your Tibet tour plus outstanding tour service during your entire travel. You only need to focus on the sightseeing journey itself, because we know the permit policy very well and will solve all your concerns! Below are awesome travel stories shared by some of our valuable guests, who obtained Tibet permits successfully and made unforgettable Tibet trips with our help. Check the following most recommended stories or read more Tibet travel stories to get inspired for your Tibet trip planning!

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Recommended Permit Worry-free Tibet Tour Packages

Tibet has too much to offer. And our aim is to bring you the best experience in Tibet. Following are some other recommended Tibet tour packages that you may be interested in. All of our Tibet tour packages are customizable to meet your personal requirements. Click here to get more Tibet tours and you can also contact us to customize a trip if you want.