Tibet Travel Permit (Tibet Entry Permit) - Compulsory Permit to visit Tibet
What is Tibet Travel Permit
Tibet Travel Permit, also known as Tibet Entry Permit, is the official document which permits a foreign traveler to enter and travel in Tibet. It is the secondary travel document to travel in Tibet besides the China Visa. Among several Tibet permits, Tibet Travel Permit (Tibet Entry Permit) is foremost and compulsory for foreign passport holders to enter Tibet. Issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau, it is also called Tibet Tourism Bureau Permit or TTB Permit. With the permit, you can visit Lhasa, Shigatse, Namtso Lake, Everest, Mt Kailash, etc.Tibet Travel Permit is also needed to take a train or flight to and off Tibet.
Latest News about Tibet Entry Permit
Currently Tibet Travel Bureau issues the Tibet Travel Permit normally without restrictions for nationality, group size, days. But still, tourist have to book tour service from a Tibet travel agency, and let the agency apply for Tibet Travel Permit. To obtain the permit successfuly, the scanned copies of your passport and Chinese Visa must be sent to us at least 15 days before your trip, then we deliver to the Tourism Bureau. Once the permit is issued, we will post it to your arrival address in China so that you can board the flight or train to Tibet. (Find More Travel Mates here)
The first page of TTB Permit (Tibet Entry Permit)
The second page of TTB Permit (Tibet Entry Permit)
Note: Please note that there are two pages for your TTB permit, you cannot enter Tibet without any page of them, please double check your TTB permit before you take the flight. The Tibet Travel Permit is issued for free by Tibet Tourism Bureau.
How Long It Takes to Obtain the Tibet Travel Permit
Usually, it takes about 15~20 days to obtain the permit (submit application, waiting for approval, receiving the permit) if you travel to Lhasa, Namtso, Shigatse, Mount Everest and Gyirong Port only. However, if you plan to travel to some special area like Pomi, Ranwu Lake, Ngari, etc.; you need over 30 days to obtain your permit.
Who Has to Carry a Tibet Travel Permit (Tibet Entry Permit)?
● Non-Chinese passport holders - US citizens, UK citizens, Australians, Canadians, Indians, Germans, etc.
● The Taiwan tourists, who do not have the valid identity card of China;
● The overseas Chinese, who do not have Chinese passport or ID card.
Note:The Hong Kong and Macau citizens who hold SAR passport, Home-Visiting Certificate or Permit to Traveling to and from Hong Kong and Macau do not need a Tibet Travel Permit.
How to Obtain the Tibet Travel Permit (Tibet Entry Permit)?
Obtaining a Tibet Entry Permit requires booking tour through a travel agency in China. By traveling as a group accompany with tour guide and driver, you can get your TTB permit under the help of travel agency with your valid passport and Chinese Visa. Tibet Discovery will apply for a packaged Tibet Permits (including TTB Permits and other necessary permits) for you to have a worry-free tour in Tibet. Following is the detailed process:
1. Work out a detailed itinerary in Tibet and reserve from a China travel agency .
2. Hire a tour guide and driver for your every day tour(your travel agency will arrange for you).
3. Send scan copies of your passport and China visa.
4. Offer an available address in China(hotel or local agency) to receive your permit. When you get your Tibet Entry Permit, please check carefully to make sure the Anti-counterfeiting Code is attached to top right corner of the permit. The code is glued to the permits and it might fall off from the permit in the transportation process. If you can't find it on the permit, it may drop in the envelopes. Without the code, the permit will be invalid. Please keep it well and don't lose it..
5. We express the permit to you, or let a tour guide give it to you at airport or train station before your trip.
Note: Above policy doesn't apply to diplomats, journalists, media photographer or government officials.
Tibet Travel Permit Required for Tibet Train Travel
According to China National Railway Administration’s regulation, foreigner travelers need to have a Tibet Travel Permit (Tibet Entry Permit) to take a train to/off Tibet. The permit is firstly required when you or your agent book Tibet train tickets at railway station or branch offices. It is also needed when you check in your train at railway station.
The photocopy of Tibet Travel Permit is also available if you book train ticket and board the train at Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai, Xining and Guangzhou. When you arrive at Lhasa, your tour operator will bring you the original permit. If you take the train from Xian, Lanzhou and Chongqing, the original permit is required.
Tibet Travel Permit is Required for Taking Flight to Tibet
According to Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC)'s regulation, foreigner travelers must provide a valid passport and Tibet Travel Permit (Tibet Tourism Bureau Permit) when taking a flight to Tibet. Without the Tibet Travel Permit, foreign travelers are not allowed to board the flights to any airports in Tibet. Thus, foreign travelers have to make sure that the original Tibet Travel Permit will be brought and provided when checking in the domestic flights to Tibet. If one takes a flight to Lhasa from Kathmandu, he (or she) has to bring the scanned copy of Tibet Travel Permit to check in at the Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport. After arriving at Lhasa Gonngar International Airport, the local tour guide will bring the original Tibet Travel Permit to the airport to pick up him (her).
(Note: Usually the Tibet Travel Permit is not necessary to book flight to Tibet online. If you book ticket from the ticket counter or from a flight ticket agent, you will have to show the Tibet Travel Permit.)
Traveling Tibet from Nepal, a Tibet Group Visa instead of an ordinary Chinese Visa is needed. Booking with us with personal info supplied, we can arrange your application in Kathmandu and guarantee you will get your group visa and Tibet Entry Permit. Before the application, you should provide your original valid passport to get a group visa. At the same time, we’ll send your scanning copy of valid passport and the group visa to make your Tibet Entry Permit approved.
Please note: Usually, we have to submit your document and information to Tibet Travel Bureau at least 10~20 days before leaving for Tibet (If you want to visit Ngari area, it will take about 20 days to apply Tibet permit). So you'd better tell us your plan and decide it as soon as you can.
Other Tibet Permits You May Need
Tibet Travel Permit is the most important permit for Tibet trip, but it is not the only permit you may need. Generally speaking, if you just visit Lhasa area, you don't have to have other permits. But if you extend your trip to other prefectures in Tibet, you will have to apply for several other permits.
Tibet Border Pass
Remote destinations, such as Mount Everest, Zhangmu, Yadong, Mount Kailash, Manasarovar Lake, etc., are located in the border area between Tibet with other countries. To travel to these destinations, one has to obtain a Tibet Border Pass (or Frontier Pass) which is issued by Tibet Armed Police Border Corps in Lhasa. It can't be applied by travelers individually. One has to contact a Tibet travel agency to apply the Borde Permit from the Tibet Armed Police Border Corps in Lhasa. Learn more >>
Aliens’ Travel Permit
Aliens' Travel Permit is a permit for foreigners to visit the areas outside Lhasa, like Shigatse, Shannan, Nyingchi, etc. Issued by Tibetan Local Public Security Bureau, it also known as the PSB permit, and can be easily applied in Lhasa, Shigatse, Nyingchi or other prefectures. Learn more >>
Tibet Military Permit
Visiting the unopened area only with the TTB permit is not enough. Military Permit is additional needed if your itinerary included some military sensitive places, including Ngari (Mt. Kailash, Lake Manasarovar, etc), Nyingchi (Pomi, Rawu, etc.) and some remote places in Shannan area. Learn more >>
Tibet Group Visa
Tibet Group Visa, also called Group Visa is a must document, along with Tibet Entry Permit used for tourists planning to enter Tibet from Nepal. As a special Chinese Visa, the Tibet Group Visa is valid for mainland China visit as well. After you finishing your Tibet tour, you can use the same Group Visa to extend your trip into other destinations of China. If you have such plan, we can apply for your Group Visa in the maximum validity. Learn more >>
Top Concerned Questions about 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. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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. With more details, please check Tibet Permit FAQs.
Recommended 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. You can also contact us to customize a trip if you want or check more Tibet Tours>
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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.
Thanks for your question. There will be two different kinds of Entry Permits for your group, one for Singaporean and Malaysian, and another different one for Taiwanese. And your group won't be seperated though different kinds of entry permits issued. All you have to do is to provide us your travel plan and passport and Chinese visa information, we will apply the permit for your group.
Thanks for your message. It is our honor to serve for you. You have to obtain a valid Chinese Visa first, and then let us apply Tibet Permit(visa) for you. According to policy of Tibet Tourism Bureau, travelers can not apply Tibet Permit independently. A helpful tip is you'd better not mention your plan to visit Tibet to the embassy when you apply Chinese visa, or your application may be rejected. To give you more details, I will now deliver your message to one of travel specialist. He/she will reach you as soon as possible.
Thanks for your question. You don't have to pay for the permit fee if you book a tour package from a travel agency who will apply the permit from Tibet Tourism Bureau for you. And so far, tourists are not allowed to travel in Tibet independently, also not allowed to apply for the permit personally.
Tibet Discovery is glad to take you to have explore the best experience in Tibet. If you are planning a trip to Tibet, you can browse our collections of tour packages to find a suitable one, or just tell us your plan, our specialist will help you create a unique trip.
Thanks for your question. Yes, the Tibet Tourism Bureau Permit must be obtained before your trip. You will need it to board fl-ight to Tibet. Usually, the Tibet Tourism Bureau only issues your permit about 20 days before your arrival at Tibet.