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Permit FAQ

Here are some the frequently asked questions about Tibet Travel Permit FAQ, we carefully selected for you to check out. If you still have some questions and problems on the Tibet Travel Permit, you can contact us, and we will give you a satisfied answer.

 

Who needs to apply for the Tibet Travel Permit?

All foreign tourists ( non-Chinese passport holders, overseas Chinese people, and Taiwanese ) need to apply for the Tibet Travel Permit when they plan to enter Tibet Autonomous Region.

 

How to apply for Tibet Travel Permit?

  1. Think about where you will go into Tibet, from China or Nepal. If you from Nepal, you needn’t a China Visa.
  2. Obtain a Chinese L Visa from Chinese Embassy in your home country with at least 6 months validity period.
  3. Choose the way to Tibet, by flight or by train; which regions you will visit, such as Lhasa, Mount Everest, and Mount Kailash.
  4. Find a reliable and local Tibet Travel Agency and tell them your needs, and let them arrange your tour and your Tibet Travel Permit

Because Tibet Tourism Bureau does not accept individual applications for permits, visitors must entrust a Tibet local travel agency to apply for TTB permit, Frontier Pass and Military Permit. As a local travel agency, we can do for you.

You need to contact us at info@tourtraveltibet.com, book our service, tell us your detailed personal information, send us the documents: copy of your passport, copy of your China visa and work/ study certificates.

Aliens’ Travel Permit can be applied for after your arrival from Public Security Bureau in Tibet. But we suggest that you entrust us to apply for you, because it is much easy via our service.

Group Visa must be applied for at Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu, Nepal. You need get TTB permit and Invitation Letter from Tibet local travel agency, and they entrust Nepal local travel agency to apply for Group Visa.

Which kinds of Tibet Travel Permits do I need to travel in Tibet?

Four permits:

  • Tibet Tourism Bureau Permit – “TTB permit”, “Tibet Entry Permit“, “Tibet Visa” or “Lhasa Visa”; a must-have permission for foreign tourists entering Tibet from mainland China, Nepal or other countries.
  • Aliens’ Travel Permit – “PSB permit”; a must permit for foreign tourists visiting the “unopened areas” out of Lhasa, such as Nyingchi region, Ngari region. Your passport and TTB permit are required for applying for.
  • Military Permit – a permit for those who are planning to travel the military sensitive areas in Tibet, such as the border with other countries. Traveling together with TTB permit and PSB permit.
  • Frontier Pass – the official permit for all travelers from home and aboard, who travel to the border between Tibet with other regions or countries.

Two visas:

  • Chinese Visa – “China Visa” or “China Entry Visa”; an officially approved document to foreign tourists applying for, to enter, leave or transit through mainland China.
  • Group Visa – a “must” for tourists entering Tibet from Kathmandu, Nepal, no mater whether you already have a Chinese Visa or not. Traveling together with other Tibet Travel Permits.

How long does Tibet Travel Permit application process take?

Usually, it can be issued in 3 – 5 working days. But if you want to travel some restricted or unopened areas like Everest Base Camp, Mount Kailash, it need several different permits, then it would take more time. If you need our service, please contact us at least 25 days prior to your Tibet tour starting.

How long it takes tourists to receive Tibet Entry Permit?

Normally, we are able to obtain the Tibet Entry Permit 10-15 days before the trip’s staring date. If you are going to fly into Tibet from China, you should provide us with detailed and exact post address such as your hotel or residence address in China (including contact person, contact phone number and the correct name under which the hotel booking is made) and we will send the original permit to you by EMS or Air-Express which takes 24hrs to 3 days within China.

Since you will need the original permit to board the flight to Tibet, we never mail it abroad as it takes longer and could be delayed or lost. If you don’t have a long layover in China (overnight), you can send us your detailed flight information and we can arrange someone to deliver the permit to you at the airport.

If you enter Tibet from Nepal by flight or overland driving, you do not need to receive the original Tibet entry permits but your tour guide will take it to pick you up at Lhasa airport or Tibet border of Zhangmu.

If you are taking the train to Tibet, we will send you a copy of the permit by email and you can print it out to board the train.

How much does the Tibet Travel Permit cost?

TTB Permit is free for foreign tourists. But you need to pay $100 to $200 per person for the application service of travel agency. For us, we spend a lot on human resource to handle the application: such as sorting out travel information, preparing paper and electronic documents, dealing with several government departments, delivering the document to tourists, etc.

  • Alien’s Travel Permit: 50 yuan per person
  • Military Permit: 100 yuan person
  • Frontier Pass: 50 yuan per person
  • Group Visa: different price for foreign tourists from different countries.

Can I travel independently in Tibet with Tibet Travel Permit?

Absolutely no, you can not travel independently in Tibet and even in Lhasa, but you can stay at hotel and stroll around the street by yourself. If you want to enter any tourist sites, you need at least a Tibetan tour guide to escort you. If you travel out of Lhasa, you need have an itinerary arranged by a local travel agency, tour guide and private vehicle. Any rumor that foreign tourists can travel in Tibet on their own is not true.

How to apply for Tibet Permit without Tour?

Sorry, now it is impossible. All regions you will travel in Tibet will be listed on your Tibet Entry Permit. If you needn’t a tour, a local travel agency is impossible to help you apply for your Tibet Entry Permit.

How to apply for Tibet Visa for Hong Kong residents?

The residents in Hong Kong and Macau needn’t the Tibet Entry Permit to Tibet, but their Chinese SAR passports and Home Return Permit (or Mainland Travel Permits) are needed.

For Taiwan citizens, they need apply for the Tibet Entry Permit. And Chinese people living overseas need to apply for the permit if they do not hold Chinese ID card.

How to apply for Tibet Visa for tourists with Indian passport?

For the ordinary Indian passport holders, when they come to Tibet and visit most of Tibet areas other than Ngari prefecture, then can get their Tibet Entry Permit as the usual foreign traveller.

For Indian passport holders to Ngri prefecture, you will be considered as a pilgrim even if you are not for religious purpose. There are only two organizations who can process Indian pilgrimage tour in Tibet: Foreign Affairs Office of TAR (governmental) and Pilgrim Centre (nor-governmental). Other local travel agency can not operate, but they can organize, design and sell.

How much does the Tibet Group Visa cost?

Category Number of Working Days to Obtain it Cost for American Passport Holders Cost for other Nationalities
Normal 5 days $140.00 (USD) $50.00 (USD)
Urgent 3 days $155.00 (USD) $65.00 (USD)
Top Urgent 1 day $175.00 (USD) $85.00 (USD)
Note: You can only apply for the Tibet Group Visa on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Also, the local Nepalese agencies have a service charge of $20-50 (USD) per person normally based on group size.

Above information are updated on April 20th, 2018.

What travel documents shall I need to travel Tibet?

To travel in Tibet you should have a valid passport, a Chinese visa (or Tibet Group visa for entry from Nepal to Tibet) and all necessary Tibet Travel Permits such as Tibet Entry Permit, Alien’s travel permit, military and foreign affairs permit.

We will obtain all the Tibet Travel Permits for you from the Tibet Tourism Bureau and other governmental offices such as PSB (Public Security Bureau and Military Office, Foreign Affairs Office).

What documents shall I need to send you to apply for all necessary Tibet travel permits and/or Visas?

Once you have confirmed your Tibet tour with us, you need to email us clear scanned or photo copies of your valid passports data page and China Visas for every member of the group to apply for the Tibet Travel Permit. If your China Visa is not an “L” visa-tour visa, you must also provide additional documents such as student certificates, work permits, residence permits and so on.

How do I obtain the Tibet Travel Permit?

To obtain Tibet Travel Permits, you’d better arrange your tour through a professional local Tibet travel agency and provide clear scanned copies of your passport and China visa. Please be mindful that it’s impossible to board any flights to Tibet without the Tibet Entry Permit. However it is not necessary to have physical permits copies to board the train to Lhasa.

The permits themselves specify every travel destination that you will be visiting during the specified schedule and permits cannot be changed once you have arrived in Tibet; therefore, be sure to detail all possible destinations as well as the itinerary before you confirm your trip. It usually takes 3 working days to apply Tibet Entry Permit, but it takes about 2 weeks to obtain the foreign affairs and military permit if travelers’ destinations include West Tibet (Guge Kingdom, Kailash & Manasarovar) and Kham Region.

What kind of trip requires the Military Permit, Foreign Affairs Permit and Alien’s Travel Permit?

  • Tibet travel destinations need Military and Foreign Affairs Permits:
    Mt. Kailash trip, Sichuan or Yunnan-Tibet Overland Tour, Tibet-Kashgar Overland Tour, Chamdo and Pomi
  • Tibet travel destinations need PSB permit (Alien’s Travel Permit): Mt. Everest Base Camp, Samye Monastery (southern part of Tibet), Mt. Kailash & Lake Manasarovar, Guge Kingdom (West Tibet-Ngari), but these can be issued from the local PSB just before you enter the region.

 

How we can enter Tibet from Kathmandu, Nepal?

You can enter Tibet from Nepal by flight or overland drive. There is one direct flight run by Air China between Kathmandu and Lhasa. But normally the flight is only available on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. The overland drive from Kathmandu to Lhasa takes at least 2 days covering 923 km. By driving to Tibet, you have higher risk of getting Altitude sickness due to the extreme increase in elevation along the way especially if your schedule is too tight.

What documents are needed if we enter Tibet from Nepal?

Tibet Group Visa is needed if you plan to enter Tibet from Nepal. Tibet Group Visa can only be issued on every Monday, Wednesday and Friday in Chinese Consulate in Kathmandu. However you can not apply it by yourself. Your Tibet Travel Agent’s legal representative agency in Kathmandu will apply the Tibet group visa for you.

The Tibet Group Visa is an A4 size sheet of paper with stamp. It lists the name, sex, and nationality, and passport number, date of birth and occupation of each member of your group. The dates of entry and exit are precisely recorded. Usually, the visa is valid only for the length of the trip you have booked but it’s possible to get the visa extended for few additional days, for stays in Lhasa only. There will be two original copies of the Tibet Group Visa, one for immigration at the entry and one for the exit.

Important tips: You do not need to apply for an individual Chinese Visa in your country if you decide to travel to Tibet from Nepal. It is totally a waste if you apply an individual China visa because the Chinese Embassy will cancel your individual Chinese Visa when you receive the Group Visa.

 How do I apply for Chinese Visa?

You’d better apply for your Chinese Visa from the Chinese Consulate in your home country. Maybe there is one Chinese consulate which is close to your city.

Please follow the link of China Visa to get some references. According to our experience, we strongly suggest that you’d better not mention any words of Tibet on your visa application form. Tibet is a politically sensitive area and it will get quite complicated if you mention Lhasa or Tibet as a travel destination on your application form. You can provide the information of your return flight tickets and hotel reservation in other cities of China to get the visa.

 

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