1. Why it is difficult to get the Tibet Travel Permit?
When it comes to the Tibet Travel Permit, quite a few tourists will think it is too complicated or troublesome to get. So why?
Firstly, you cannot apply the permit on your own. Known to many, Tibet Travel Permit is the essential permit that every international tourist must obtain before entering Tibet. According to the current policy, the permit can only be applied through a registered Tibet travel agency. No individual application is allowed.
Also, the whole application process may go through complicated procedures. It may even end in failure in some rare cases, which results in the cancellation of your flight or hotel etc. The permit is not instantly available, so tourists need to reserve enough required time for application before the journey to Tibet.
However, we are here to tell you that in fact it can be easy to get the Tibet Travel Permit. As a trustworthy Tibetan local agency with over 10 years’ experience on permit application, we have worked out 4 simple steps to help you obtain your Tibet Travel Permit. Our professional travel consultants will also give practicable advices if you have personal problems to solve.
2. Follow our 4 simple steps to get the Tibet Travel Permit
To get Tibet Travel Permit, you first need to book your Tibet tour with us. You need to confirm with us about your tour information including the itinerary, entry city, departure date etc., which will be listed on the permit. Then, send copies of your passport and China Visa to us. On your behalf, we will help you to apply for the Tibet Travel Permit through Tibet Tourism Bureau in Lhasa. Then, after we get your permit, we will have it delivered to your hotel in mainland China. Only when you get Tibet Permit can you legally board the Tibet train or flight to Lhasa.
Chart showing the simple 4 steps to get a Tibet Travel Permit.
3. What documents are needed to apply for Tibet Travel Permit?
You are expected to prepare your passport and Chinese Visa in order to apply for the Tibet Travel Permit. Your passport should be valid for over six months. As for Chinese Visa, you can apply for it in the nearest Chinese Embassy in your country or the third country. A “L” visa (namely Chinese tourist visa) is the most common type for most tourists.
And if you are an overseas student or an expat living in mainland China, you are expected to provide your school enrollment certificate or working certificate to apply for the Tibet Travel Permit.
4. Who needs to get the Tibet Travel Permit?
There are different rules for different people. For ordinary tourists to Tibet, all non-Chinese citizens or anyone holding a non-Chinese passport or ID card (such as Taiwanese) need to apply for this permit. Macau and Hong Kong residents may go to Tibet without having the permit provided that they have the ‘Mainland Travel Permit for Hong Kong and Macao Residents’. And diplomat or journalist cannot get Tibet Travel Permit.
All international tourists (non-Chinese citizens) are required to have a Tibet Travel Permit to enter Tibet.
Overseas Chinese with non-Chinese passports should also apply for Tibet Permit.
Taiwan residents also need a Tibet Entry Permit.
Hong Kong and Macau residents only need Home Return Permit (also known as Mainland Travel Permit).
5. How much does a Tibet Permit cost?
If you book your Tibet tour with us, you can enjoy our Tibet Permit service for free. We will also guarantee to get your Tibet Travel Permit before you leave for Tibet.
6. How long does it take to get the Tibet Travel Permit?
Normally, it takes around 8-9 days to process your Tibet Permit by the Tibet Tourism Bureau. After it gets issued, we will immediately deliver the permit to your hotel in mainland China. To make everything go smooth, we suggest you to start your permit application at least 20 days ahead of your departure date to Tibet.
A sample of Tibet Travel Permit we have obtained for our clients.
During the high season of Tibet tour (April to Oct) and traditional Chinese festival, the process of your Tibet Permit might be slow or it may take more time for delivery. Please double check your Tibet permit with your travel consultant 5 days before head to Tibet.
*In some emergent cases, it takes 4 to 5 days to process the permit and extra charge is required.
7. Where can I get my Tibet Travel Permit in hand?
The application of Tibet Travel Permit is processed by the Tibet Tourism Bureau in Lhasa. After we get your newly-issued permit, we will send it to your address (usually your hotel in mainland China). In some extreme cases when you do not leave enough time, our staff will hand it over to your in person at the airport or railway station.
For tourists who will take a domestic flight to Tibet, only the original Tibet Permit is qualified for you to board the plane.
For tourists who are going to take Tibet train to Lhasa, the printed copy of your Tibet Permit will be adequate. But if you take the train from Chongqing, Xi’an or Lanzhou, the original Tibet Permit will also be needed.
8. When will my Tibet Travel permit be checked?
If you enter Tibet from mainland China, your Tibet Travel permit will be checked at the railway station or airport, before your board the train or flight. As you go through the check-in counter, you are expected to show your Tibet Travel Permit (original one for the flight, and Tibet train departing from Chongqing, Xi’an and Lanzhou to Lhasa) to the staff. While you aboard the Tibet train or flight, you might be double checked when demanded.
You will get your Tibet permit checked before board the Tibet train.
If you enter Tibet from Kathmandu by road, your Tibet permit will be checked when you cross the border at Gyirong Port. If you enter Tibet from Nepal by flight, your permit will be checked in Lhasa Gonggar Airport. And in both situations, our guide will show it to the officers on behalf of you.
When you travel beyond Lhasa to other districts of Tibet, you will also get your permit checked in different situations as required. Your tour guide will help you to keep your Tibet permit and hand it for check all the way.
9. How to get the Tibet Travel Permit if I enter from Kathmandu?
In fact, getting a Tibet Travel Permit from Nepal follows the same rules as you travel from mainland China. All you need to do is book your Nepal and Tibet tour with us, and then we will help you to get the permit.
The only difference is that you need to arrive in Kathmandu earlier (at least 3 days) to get your Chinese Group Visa, another required documents for travelling to Tibet from Nepal. Our staff in Kathmandu will help you to get the Chinese Group Visa. Just leave your passport and photos and visa fee to them.
And if you want to enjoy the overland tour to enter Tibet, your Group Tourist Visa will be checked as you cross Gyirong, the current Sino-Nepal border. Well, if you take Kathmandu-Lhasa flight, you need to show your Group Tourist Visa to the staff at check-in counter inside the Tribhuvan International Airport.
Tibet Travel Permit from Nepal
10. Besides Tibet Travel Permit, what else permits are required to tour Tibet?
Well, Tibet Travel Permit only allows international tourists to enter Tibet and visit places inside and around Lhasa. If your goal is to explore the wider untouched wilderness of Tibet, other permits are also required.
For example, in additional to Tibet Permit, you need Alien’s Travel Permit to visit Everest Base Camp. Alien’s Travel Permit, Military Travel Permit and Foreign Affair Permit are all together required to make it to Mount Kailash, etc.
But, no worries! Our Tibetan guide will help you prepare all the necessary travel documents before you hit the road.
Aliens’ Travel Permit
Permits to Visit Everest Base Camp in Tibet
Permits to Visit Mount Kailash in Tibet