Tibet Travel Permit Guide
Usually, you can apply for it once you arrive at Lhasa. For tour groups, our guide will ask you for the passport and Tibet Travel Permit, which they will submit to the Foreign Affairs Division of the PSB for the Aliens' Permit. It normally takes several hours and the cost is 50 CNY per person.
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. Is there any age-limit for Tibet Permit application?
The answer is No. With an enough preparation to cope with the altitude sickness and join in a tour group, whether you are in 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 crowds.
4. How does Tibet Permit charge if I don’t book tour?
It’s not allowed for travelers to visit Tibet independently, that is to say, you must join in a tour agency, like Tibet Discovery for Tibet Permit application and other services offered, including tour guide, four-wheel vehicle with driver, hotel reservation, etc to fulfill your lifetime Tibet travel. And the Tibet Permit application service fee will be included in your Tibet Tour. Remember there is No single travel agency to provide "permit-only" service or sell Tibet Permits.
First of all, the Tibet Entry Permit is needed compulsorily to enter Tibet for visit anywhere of Tibet region. For other regions, check the table below to find out which permit(s) you may need:
|Top visited areas & featured attractions in Tibet||TTB permit||PSB permit||Military Permit||Border Pass|
|Shigatse & Gyantse||√||√||×||×|
|Mt. Everest & EBC||√||√||×||√|
Note: if you travel some border places in Shannan area, you should need all of the permits above. With more info, please contact us to know more details.
6. 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.
7. 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. Some detailed steps you need to do before we applying:
a. Work out a detailed itinerary in Tibet and book a tour from a China travel agency.
b. Pay for a tour guide for your every day tour (your travel agency will arrange for you).
c. Hire a vehicle (normally a 4WD) for your transportation outside Lhasa (your travel agency will arrange for you).
d. Send a deposit to your travel agency through Paypal or bank transfer.
e. Send a scan of your passport information and China visa.
f. Arrange a detailed address in China (hotel, guesthouse or local agency) to receive your posted TTP permit.
8. 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.
9. Can I keep Tibet Permit while visit Tibet?
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.
A valid passport with a standard Chinese entry visa is essential for all foreign travelers. A Chinese visa is generally obtainable from most Chinese embassies and consulates in your locality and must be obtained in advance. The cost of a standard Chinese tourist visa varies from US$ 12-120 according to the nationality of the applicant and the type of visa required. Individual visas (an 'L' Visa means tourist visa) may be issued for single or double entry, with a validity of one, two, or three months. Multiple entry visas are normally issued for business or educational purposes only, such as the "F" Visa, "X" Visa or "Z" Visa etc, ranging in validity from 6 to 12 months, and are more expensive (US$ 120-250). Normally three working days are required to process a visa application from the date of its submission, but express services are also available at a premium.
For detail of the visa application and formalities please check your regional Chinese Embassy website HERE
Important Tips from Explore Tibet when you apply for Chinese visa
It’s best not to mention Tibet or any places in Tibet as your travel destination when you are applying for Chinese visa (the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu is the only exception). Since Tibet is politically sensitive in China, your consulate may refuse your visa application if you mention travelling to Tibet in your application form, so please keep this in mind when applying. You can mention any city of mainland China such as Beijing, Xi'an, Shanghai, Chengdu-Sichuan, Yunnan, etc. as your travel destination.
Tibet Group Visa—Documentation for entering Tibet from Nepal
Entering Tibet via Nepal by land or air
If you plan to enter Tibet from Nepal, you must get your Tibet group visa from the Chinese embassy in Kathmandu. Whether you already have a Chinese visa or not, a Tibet group visa is compulsory for all tourists entering Tibet from Nepal. The Tibet Group Visa is an A4 size sheet of paper, with the name, sex, nationality, passport number, date of birth and occupation of each member of your group listed. 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 extend the visa for few additional days, but only for staying in Lhasa. There will be two original copies of the Tibet Group Visa, one for immigration at entry and another for exit. Explore Tibet can easily help you obtain the Tibet Group visa through our partner agent in Kathmandu. We highly recommend you to don’t apply for an individual Chinese visa in your country if you decided to enter Tibet from Nepal, because when you apply for the group visa for entering Tibet, the Chinese embassy will cancel your individual Chinese visa.
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