Tibet Travel Documents
For travelling to Tibet, foreign tourists are usually required to have a valid passport, a valid China visa and the Tibet travel permit which is sometimes also called Tibet entry permit or Tibet visa.
The Tibet travel permit is issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau, not by the embassy or consulate. As a local tour operator, we have no problem to help you get all necessary Tibet travel permits.
For entering Tibet from Mainland China
In most cases, you can get the Chinese Visa for individual travel easily from the local China Embassy / Consulate at your place within one or two week(s). A tourist visa ("L" Visa) will be issued for sightseeing and visiting relatives in China. It is for a short duration of stay, usually 30 days, and can't be extended upon expiration. But you may get a 90-day visa in HongKong which many local agencies can help arrange in one day.
There is another kind of tourist visa - Group Visa which is not issued on passports but on a separate paper for the group. It requires the group members to enter and exit China all together.
1. It is advised not to mention Tibet in your Chinese Visa application for easier and faster procedure;
2. If you are planning to join in part of a group journey and leave in the middle, you are strongly recommended to inform the travel agency that operates the tour for the group prior to arrival.
For entering Tibet from Nepal
For entering Tibet from Nepal, you shall get a Group Visa from the China Embassy in Kathmandu, no matter if you've already got one individual Chinese Vsa in your country or not. You can just leave it to the travel agency that operates the Tibet tour for you as it is necessary to get some official documents from local government departments in Lhasa. This group visa is usually valid for the length of your tour in Tibet and hard to be extended.
1. It is advised not to apply for the Chinese Visa in your country if you'll enter Tibet from Nepal;
2. Please leave enough time in Kathmandu for the Chinese Visa application there;
3. If you have tours in Nepal, Tibet and China, you are strongly recommended to arrange China first and then Tibet and Nepal if possible.
Tibet Travel Permits
Tibet Entry Permit / Tibet Travel Permit
This permit is the one you need to take with you when boarding the flight or train to Lhasa. It is issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB), so also called TTB Permit. Groups traveling by land cruisers also need this permit. Please see its title sample here:
There are two pages for the permit: one is the approval letter from the Tibet Tourism Bureau with an unique number and anti-fales label at the top right and another one is the group name list with the group members basic data. Both pages are stamped by the Bureau. Usually we'll help you prepare the permit application one month ahead of your travel time. Upon we receive it, we'll arrange the delivery from Lhasa to your hotel in China.
PSB Permit / Aliens' Travel Permit
When travel to areas officially closed (such as Gyantse, Sakya, Mt. Everest, Samye, the Yarlung Valley, etc.), an Aliens' Travel Permit issued by the Public Security Bureau (PSB) is required. Here is a picture of it:
This permit usually can be obtained only after you get into Tibet and with your original passport and the Tibet Entry Permit.
In addition, a military permit and a foreign-affairs permit will be required for traveling to sensitive border areas like Mt. Kaillash and the eastern Tibet.
What do we need for applying for the Tibet Entry Permit
So first of all, we shall help you get the Tibet Entry Permit (Tibet Travel Permit) and then do other permits accordingly. We'll need the following information to help you get this Entry Permit.
- a clear scanned copy / photo of your passport
- a clear scanned copy / photo of your China visa
- entry info: from where you'll fly / take train into Lhasa on which date
- exit info: to where you'll fly / take train out of Lhasa on which date
- your occupation
- If your China Visa is not the common L visa for tourism (such as Z, F, M visa etc), a letter of certification from the party in China will be required additionally. Our trip advisor will provide a sample letter for your reference when help you prepare all the documents.
Note: For those tourists holding other type of passports rather than P passport, it is necessary for them to travel Tibet under arrangements of local Tibet government. They are usually journalists, government officials or religious officials etc. As an officially licensed travel company in Tibet, we do not provide "Tibet Permit only" tours as it is stipulated that foreign tourists shall travel Tibet in organized groups with the whole trip accompanied by a tour guide. Please contact us for more information on our tours in Tibet!