Tibet Travel Permit (Tibet Entry Permit) - Compulsory Permit to Visit Tibet

21 May 2020 Last updated at 15:51

Latest News about Tibet Travel Permit:

1. What is Tibet Travel Permit

Tibet Travel Permit, also known as Tibet Visa, or Tibet Entry Permit, is the official document which permits a foreign traveler to enter and travel in Tibet. Only having a valid Chinese Visa doesn’t apply to a Tibet tour, unless you also get Tibet Travel Permit and other required travel documents.

Among several permits, the Tibet Travel Permit (Tibet Entry Permit) is the basic, foremost and compulsory permit for going to Tibet. Issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau, it is also called Tibet Tourism Bureau Permit or TTB Permit. With the permit, you can board a train or flight to Tibet successfully, and visit Lhasa, Shigatse, Namtso Lake, Mount Everest, Mount Kailash and other great destinations in Tibet.

Tibet Travel Permit The First Page of Tibet Travel Permit
Tibet Travel Permit The Second Page of Tibet Travel Permit

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

2. Who Needs a Tibet Travel Permit (Tibet Entry Permit)?

Do I need a permit to visit Tibet? The answers is yes, if you are one of the following three cases.

Non-Chinese passport holders - including US citizens, UK citizens, Australians, Canadians, Singaporeans, Indians, Germans, Nepalese, etc.

Taiwan tourists, who do not have the valid identity card of China.

● Overseas Chinese, who do not have Chinese passport or ID card.

Note:The Hong Kong and Macau citizens who hold Special Administrative Region (SAR) passport, Home-Visiting Certificate or Mainland Travel Permit for Hong Kong and Macau Residents can travel to Tibet independently without a Tibet Travel Permit.

3. How to Get a Tibet Travel Permit (Tibet Entry Permit)?

Foreigners’ individual application of Tibet Travel Permit is not accepted. To obtain a Tibet Travel Permit, all foreign tourists are required to book a Tibet tour through a travel agency in China (such as Tibet Discovery), set down a itinerary covering local tour guide, vehicle and predetermined accommodation first. Then, the agency will apply for Tibet Travel Permit and a packaged Tibet permits (the Tibet Travel Permit and other necessary permits) on behalf of the tourist. You just need to prepare relative documents and enjoy a worry-free tour in Tibet under the help of Tibet Discovery.

Here is the step-by-step process you should follow to get a Tibet Travel Permit:

① Contact a reliable travel agency in China, work out a detailed itinerary in Tibet and reserve a Tibet tour package from a China travel agency .

② Hire a tour guide and driver for your every day tour (your travel agency will arrange for you), confirm travel routes, the length of holiday and hotels in Tibet.

③ Send scanned copies of your valid passport and Chinese visa to the travel agency.

④ Offer an available address in China (hotel or local agency) to receive your permit (after it is issued).

⑤ We express the permit to you, or let a tour guide give it to you at airport or train station before your Tibet trip.

Important Notice:

(1) When you get your Tibet Travel 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.

(2) To obtain the permit successfully, the scanned copies of your passport and a valid Chinese Visa must be sent to us at least 15 working days before your trip, then we deliver them to the Tibet Tourism Bureau. Once the permit is issued, we will express it to your appointed address in China so you can use it to board a train or flight to Tibet.

(3) Above policy is only applicable to normal foreign tourists, but not apply to overseas diplomats, journalists, media photographer or government officials.

4. How Much is a Tibet Travel Permit (Tibet Entry Permit)?

Tibet Travel Permit can NOT be applied separately.

After you book a Tibet tour with Tibet Discovery, we will help you apply for all needed permits, including the Tibet Travel Permit. There are some labor and time we spend on applying from Tibet Tourism Bureau, but no application fee and extra cost will be charged since it’s included in your Tibet tour package already. So, you can say the Tibet Travel Permit is free.

5. How Long does It Take to Get a Tibet Travel Permit (Tibet Entry Permit)?

Once we get the scanned copy of your valid passport and Chinese Visa, we will immediately start your Tibet Travel Permit application with all prepared necessary materials. After finishing official procedures, it usually takes about 15 ~ 20 working days for processing. We will deliver it to you after it’s issued. The shipping to your receiving address in China may cost a few days. If you want to visit Mount Everest, Mount Kailash, or travel from Tibet to Nepal via Gyriong Border Port, more days are needed to apply other Tibet permits (at least 20 working days). Therefore, you’d better plan and book your Tibet tour in advance and leave enough time to apply the Tibet permits.

Tips: It will takes more time waiting for the issuance of Tibet Travel Permit during public holidays and local festivals, like Tibetan New Year.

6. Tibet Travel Permit (Tibet Entry Permit) is Required for Taking Train and Flight to Tibet

☞ When You 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 railway station or branch offices. It is also needed when checking in at railway station.

The photocopy of Tibet Travel Permit is also available if you book train ticket and board train to Tibet in Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai, Xining and Guangzhou. When you arrive at Lhasa, your tour operator will bring you the original permit. If you departs from Xian, Lanzhou and Chongqing, the original Tibet Travel Permit is required.

☞ When You Take a Flight to Tibet:

According to Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC)'s regulation, foreigner 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.

If fly to Lhasa (Tibet) from Kathmandu, you can bring the scanned copy of Tibet Travel Permit to check in at the Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport. After arriving at Lhasa Gonggar International Airport, the local tour guide will bring the original Tibet Travel Permit to pick you up at the airport. (Usually the Tibet Travel Permit is not necessary to book flight to Tibet online, but it is needed when booking from the ticket counter or from a flight ticket agent.)

7. Tibet Permits for Travel from Nepal and Indians

Travel from Nepal to Tibet: For tourists planning to enter Tibet from Nepal, you still need to acquire a Tibet Travel Permit, a Group Visa and other needed Tibet permits. For Nepal Tibet travelers, the Group Visa is a single-entry Chinese Visa which can only be applied from Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu by a travel agency. Booking tour with Tibet Discovery, we can arrange application in Kathmandu and guarantee you will get you Group Visa and Tibet Travel Permit to go on your trip to Tibet from Nepal, even have an extended trip to mainland China afterwards. More about Tibet Visas from Nepal >>

Tibet Visa for Indians: Indians can join in a travel agency and apply Tibet Travel Permits and other permits as regular tourists if you don’t go to Mount Kailash, Manasarovar Lake in Ngari. However, pilgrimage to Kailash Mansarovar Yatra must follow specialized channel and join in official group directly to Tibet. More about Tibet Visa for Indians >>

8. Other Tibet Permits You May Need

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 are needed as well. Detailed type of permits depends on where you are going to visit. And each permits has different application requirements, issuing location, processing time and price.

1. Alien's Travel Permit

Aliens' Travel Permit is a permit issued by Tibetan Local Public Security Bureau, allowing foreigners travel to Mount Everest, Shannan, Nyingchi, etc. It is also called PSB Permit and can be easily applied in Lhasa, Shigatse, Nyingchi and other prefectures in Tibet. More details >>

2. Tibet Border Pass

Remote destinations, such as Mount Everest, 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) 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 do the application. The Border Pass is also required for a Nepal Tibet Tour whether you travel by air or by land. More details >>

3.Tibet Military Permit

If your itinerary includes some military sensitive places, including Ngari (Mt. Kailash, Lake Manasarovar, etc), Nyingchi (Pomi, Rawu, etc.) and some remote places in Shannan area, you must apply and get a Military Area Entry Permit (Military Permit for short). More details >>

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 not 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 is sending your scanning copy of your valid passport and Chinese visa 15-20 days working 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 about 15 to 20 working days to approve a Tibet Travel 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.

Tell us your tour plan, and we'll apply Tibet Permit for you

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.

Tibet Entry Permit
Hi~ Would like to check any requirement to apply Tibet Entry Permit for different nationality to travel to Tibet together? For example 1 Singaporean+2 Malaysian+2 Taiwanese to travel Tibet together...
2017-01-05 17:05
Hello Lee,

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.
Tibet Entry permit
I am planning to do the 8 day mount Everest package with you,I am coming from Colombo ,sri lanka,I don't have Chinese visa.Is it possible for me to get the Tibet Visa without Chinese visa please,
2016-06-01 18:11
Hi Channa,

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.
2016-03-27 15:43
Hello Lee Siew Gek,

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.
Do i must get the Tibet Tourism Bureau Permit before my tip?
I am planning to travel to Tibet in July, and want to take flight to Tibet from Chengdu. My question is do i must get the Tibet Tourism Bureau Permit before my tip? And If yes, how many days should it be obtained before my trip?
2016-03-08 10:50
Hello Jerry,

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.