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Tibet Permit Tips and FAQs - Application and Using Advice

25 October 2023 Last updated at 15:02

Latest News about Tibet Travel Permit:

Currently Tibet permit application is only open for expats in China. - Dec 12, 2022

Tibet Travel Permit is a must for foreign tourists to visit Tibet. Without it, you can not get on the train/flight to Tibet. Here are some commonly asked questions by our customers related to applying for the Tibet Travel Permit and also on using it. Those typical questions and useful reminders are listed for you, to prepare your Tibet trip. If you still have questions about Tibet Permits, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Tibet Travel Permit Application Procedures Tibet Travel Permit Application Procedures
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Tibet Permit Application Tips

① Who Needs to Apply for the Tibet Travel Permit

Except for Chinese Passport/ID card holders and Hong Kong & Macau Citizens Mainland Travel Permit holders, any other travelers shall travel Tibet with a Tibet Travel Permit.

Foreign Passport Holders (such as US & UK citizens, Australians, Canadians, Malaysians, Indians, Nepalese, etc) require a Tibet Travel Permit.

Taiwan Citizens, who do not have a Chinese ID card need a Tibet Travel Permit.

Useful Links: Do I Need A Visa to Go to Tibet | Tibet Permit for Indian Citizens

Is there any age limit for the Tibet Permit application?

The answer is No. With enough preparation to cope with the altitude sickness and join in a tour group, whether you are at 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 group.

② To Whom Shall I Apply for the Tibet Travel Permit

The only official authority to approve and release the valid Tibet Travel Permit is Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB for short) located in Lhasa, while the travel permit is only given to certain qualified travel agent in China to operate the granted Tibet Tour for foreign visitors. Therefore, it is not possible to have an independent Tibet Trip.

The applicant must find a China-based approved travel agent like us, TibetDiscovery to apply for your Tibet Travel Permit. Besides Tibet Travel Permit, there might be other Tibet permits needed (such as Alien’s Travel Permit) traveling outside the Lhasa region, which will be done soon after your arrival in Lhasa by your agent, and you do not need to worry about them at all.

③ When to Apply for the Tibet Travel Permit

Generally, it usually takes about 15 to 20 workings days to get your Tibet Travel Permit approved and released to your agent in China. And you also need time to discuss and confirm your Tibet trip itinerary with us, please contact us as early as possible to process your application.

Can I obtain my Tibet Permits on the arrival of Tibet?

Your Tibet Travel Permit must be obtained before entering Tibet. For instance the Tibet Travel Permit (TTB permit), there are checkpoints 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.

How long can I get the Tibet Travel Permit?

Generally, it takes about 15 ~ 20 working days to approve a TTB permit with completed documents. And if your itinerary including certain regions such as Mt. Kailash (Ngari Prefecture), the time to get approved will be extended to be about one month since the submitting of your application request. You can choose to have it handed to your as soon as your arrival in Tibet or get it delivered to designated site, and it may take at least another 5 days.

How Much to Apply for the Tibet Travel Permit

Tibet Travel Permit is a pass issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau, and given to certain qualified travel agents in China to operate a granted Tibet Tour for foreign visitors. We, TibetDiscovery regard the application service as our responsibility for our customers who have a Tibet Tour, and the Tibet tour package has already covered this laboring cost and no extra charge is needed. In other words, the Tibet Travel permit has no commission. It is Free!

How does Tibet Permit charge if I don’t book a tour?

Without a Tibet Tour Itinerary, the Tibet Travel Permit will not be approved and released to the agent. Therefore, it’s not allowed for travelers to visit Tibet independently. That is to say, there is No single travel agency to provide "permit-only" service or sell Tibet Permits. Join a Tibet tour agent, like us, Tibet Discovery for Tibet Permit application and other services offered, including your tour guide, a vehicle with driver, hotel reservation, etc. And the Tibet Permit application service fee will be included in your Tibet Tour. 

Useful Links: Tibet Permit Without Tour

⑤ How to Apply for the Tibet Travel Permit

Tibet Travel Permit

Step 1: Contact us to discuss your needs and work out a most suitable itinerary for you in Tibet.

Step 2: Confirm and reserve your preferred Tibet Tour.

Step 3: Send us the required valid documents (copies of your passport and Chinese Visa for general cases) at least 15 working days before your tour starts. If you need the permit quite urgently, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Step 4: Provide your designated address (your hotel, travel agent, friend's home, etc) in China's other regions to receive your permit after it is issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB for short).

Step 5: The permit will be delivered to your preferred address or handed to you at the airport/train station before your trip.

What Documents Needed to Apply for the Tibet Travel Permit

Generally, for Chinese L visa (tourist visa) holders, the application documents of Tibet Travel Permit require the valid copies of your passport and Chinese Visa. For other certain types of Chinese visa holders, besides these items, an invitation letter may be needed, please contact us for help.

Note: Your original passport shall remain valid for at least 6 months, and the scanned copies of your passport and Chinese Visa should be clear, complete, and colored.

Can I Apply for the Tibet Permit Without a Chinese Visa?

The followings are the 3 conditions that you don’t need a Chinese Visa to apply for Tibet Permit: 1. Passport holders from Singapore, Brunei, and Japan do not need a Chinese visa to apply for a Tibet Travel Permit, under the regulation of 15 days Chinese visa exemption policy. Staying China for more than 15 days, these citizens shall also apply for Chinese visa. 3. Foreign Tourists leave for Tibet from Nepal only need valid copies of your passport to apply for a Tibet Travel Permit. (Warning: Once you apply for Tibet Group Visa in Nepal, the Chinese Visa you already got will be regarded as expired immediately.) 3. Taiwan citizens do not require a Chinese Visa. However, a Travel Permit to China's mainland is needed instead. (Note: Mainland Travel Permit holders of Hong Kong and Macau citizens do not require a Tibet Travel Permit for Tibet Entry.)

⑦ Other Permits Need to Apply for the Tibet Travel Permit

With a Tibet Travel Permit, foreign travelers can visit Lhasa and Namtso. If you want to explore more wonderful destinations beyond Lhasa area, Tibet Travel Permit is not enough, extra Tibet permits such as Aliens’ Travel Permit and Military Permit, are needed as well. Detailed type of permits depends on where you are going to visit. And each permit has different application requirements, issuing location, processing time. Except for the Tibet Travel Travel Permit which needs to be obtained before your trip, all other travel permits can be done on your arrival in Lhasa, and you don’t need to worry about any other Tibet Permits which will be done for free as part of our Tibet tour service and you can just focus on the sightseeing.

Tibet Permit Using Tips

① Where to Receive the Tibet Travel Permit

Your designated address (your hotel, travel agent, friend's home, etc) in China's other regions to receive your permit is asked to provide when processing your Tibet Travel Permit Application. You can either receive the permit from the address your requested or ask your tour guide to receive and keep it for you and hand to you at the airport/train station or any other designated site.

Note: Any designated address by you is under the priority of your convenience to have the original/copied file to pass the check of taking a train/flight to Tibet according to your itinerary.

② It Contains Two Pages

Please note that there are two pages for your Tibet Travel Permit, you cannot enter Tibet without any page of them, please double check your Tibet Travel Permit before you take the flight/train.

③ When It Is Checked - Take a Flight to Tibet

According to the regulation, foreign travelers must provide a valid passport and Tibet Travel Permit when taking a flight to Tibet (Necessary Permits for Tibet Flight Travel). Without it, foreign travelers are not allowed to board the flights to any airports in Tibet. Thus, foreign travelers have to make sure that you carry the original Tibet Travel Permit and can provide when checking in the domestic flights to Tibet. >>Learn more about Tibet Flight Travel

Note: Sometimes the Tibet Travel Permit is required to book a flight to Tibet online, and it is often needed when booking from the ticket counter or from a flight ticket agent. For the actual booking case, please do not hesitate to contact us.

④ When It Is Checked - Take a Train to Tibet

China National Railway Administration stipulates that all foreigner travelers need to have a Tibet Travel Permit to take a train to/off Tibet. The permit is firstly required when you or your agent book Tibet train tickets at the railway station or branch offices. It is also needed when checking in at the railway station.

Generally, if you book a train ticket and depart from cities such as Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai, Xining, and Guangzhou, etc, the valid copy of your Tibet Travel Permit is available for check. When you arrive at Lhasa, your tour operator will bring you the original permit. However, if you depart from Xian, Lanzhou, and Chongqing, the original Tibet Travel Permit is required to get on the train. >>Learn more about Tibet Train Travel

⑤ When It Is Checked - Travel From Nepal to Tibet

If you are traveling from Kathmandu to Tibet via Gyriong Border Port. The original file of your Tibet Travel Permit will be handed to you by your tour guide at the airport/ the border port after your arrival in Tibet.

If you fly to Lhasa (Tibet) from Kathmandu, you only need to bring your passport and Tibet Group Visa to check in at the Kathmandu Airport. After arriving at Lhasa Airport, the local tour guide will bring the original Tibet Travel Permit to pick you up at the airport.>>Travel form Nepal to Tibet 

⑥ Can I Keep the Tibet Travel Permit

According to the regulation, Tibet Travel Permit only comes into effect during your valid stay in Tibet autonomous region and can only be kept within the Tibet region. 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 out of Tibet.

How to Plan A Tibet Tour

Tibet is a place with majestic landscapes and splendid culture. There might be hundreds of ways to travel Tibet, especially its most appealing destinations - Lhasa, Everest, Namtso, Kailash, etc. We suggest you start your tour from the capital Lhasa. You can take 3~4 days to acclimatize high altitudes and explore the highlights of Lhasa city. Then you can spend 1~2 days to visit Lhasa's surroundings, such as Namtso, Yamdrok Lake, Ganden Monastery, etc. Beside Lhasa and its surrounding regions, you shall not miss the 3rd pole of the earth, Mt Everest, which is no longer a privilege site for just mountaineers and spending 3~4 more days to explore it. Later, you can head back to Lhasa or go further to the south via Gyirong to Nepal and have a Nepal Tour and a Bhutan Tour, or continue your journey to the west to reach Ngari and kora around the holy Mount Kailash and Manasarovar. It totally depends on your schedules and preferences.

Top Recommended Tibet Tours

☛ 4 Days Holy City Lhasa Private Tour - Heart of Tibet

☛ 8 Days Lhasa Mount Everest Private Tour ( Lhasa / Shigatse / Everest)

☛ 7 Days Kathmandu to Lhasa Private Tour via Mount Everest

☛ 13 Days Tibet to Nepal Overland Tour via Tibet Holy Mountains Everest and Kailash

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Questions & Discussions

Following are latest questions and answers from our webusers and customers. You can learn many useful information from the discussion and cases. You can also join in the discussions or ask your own question. Our experts will help you ASAP.

Tibet Travel Permit
Could you please clarify me if I need a TTP to visit region between Shangri-La and Kunming?
Thank you.
2019-10-10 21:06
Hi Elsa,

Thanks for your question. You don't need a TTP to visit the region between Shangri-la and Kunming. TTP is only valid for visit in Tibet Autonomous Region.

Have a nice day!
tours in tibet
i need a 3 weeks tours for tibet for august 2016 ,so i can visit most 0f the famous places, i need help for choosing my tour, i am by myself. how much it will cost me,? what kind of permit do i need? ( TTP, ALIENS PERMITS ECT…)
2016-04-01 03:44
Hello Bernard,

Thanks for your message. 3 weeks are enough to have a Real In-depth Discovery in Tibet. One of our travel specialist will reach you as soon as possible. Any questions plealse feel free to let us know.
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