Common Questions about Tibet Travel Permit
1. Who Needs the Tibet Travel Permit?
- International tourists (non-Chinese citizens).
- Overseas Chinese tourists with no Chinese passport.
- Expats living in mainland China.
- Taiwan citizens.
- Hong Kong citizens don’t need a Tibet Travel Permit, just need the home-visit permit.
- Macau citizens don’t need a Tibet Travel Permit, just need the home-visit permit.
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. For Macau and Hong Kong residents, you can go to Tibet without having the permit, as long as you have obtained the Home Visit Permit (also known as Mainland Travel Permit). And if you are a diplomat or journalist, only the Tibet Foreign Affairs Office can handle your Tibet Permit application.
2. How to Obtain a Tibet Travel Permit?
- Step 1: Book your Tibet tour with us.
- Step 2: Submit copies of your passport with Chinese visa to us, at least 20 days in advance.
- Step 3: The Tibet Tourism Bureau will check the documents and send us a paper travel permit 7 days before you enter Tibet.
- Step 4: We will give you the travel permit before you board the flight/train to Lhasa.
Tibet travel permit is necessary to enter Tibet for travel.
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 as above to help you get the permit. Our professional travel consultants will also give practicable advice if you have personal problems to solve.
3. What Documents are Needed to Apply for Tibet Travel Permit?
- Your passport which is valid of over six months.
- Chinese Visa.
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 at the nearest Chinese Embassy in your country or a 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. 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.
5. How Long does it Take to Get the Tibet Permit?
- It takes around 8-9 days to process the permit by Tibet Tourism Bureau.
- After the permit gets issued, we will immediately deliver it to your hotel in mainland China.
Firstly, it will take around 8-9 days to process your Tibet Permit by Tibet Tourism Bureau. Then after it gets issued, we will immediately deliver the permit to your hotel in mainland China. And this may take 2 to 3 or more days depending on the delivery distance. To make everything go smooth, we suggest you to start your permit application at least 20 days ahead of your departure date to Tibet.
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, we can also try to get your Tibet permit in a shorter time, about 4 or 5 days. In this case, extra charge will be required.
6. Where Can I Get my Tibet Travel Permit in Hand?
- Your address (usually your hotel in mainland China).
- At the airport for your flight to Tibet, in extreme case.
- At the railway station for your train to Tibet, in extreme case.
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.
7.When will my Tibet Travel Permit be Checked?
- At the railway station, before you take train to Tibet from mainland China.
- At the airport, before you take flight to Tibet from mainland China.
- At Gyirong Port when you enter Tibet from Kathmandu by road.
- At Lhasa Gonggar Airport when you enter Tibet from Kathmandu by flight.
You will get your Tibet permit checked before board the Tibet train.
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.
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.
8. How to get the Tibet Travel Permit if I Enter from Nepal?
- Step 1: Book your Nepal and Tibet tour with us.
- Step 2: Mail the copy of your passport to our tour company in Lhasa.
- Step 3: Arrive in Kathmandu at least 3 working days in advance, and give your original passport to us.
- Step 4: Get the issued Chinese Group Visa and copy of Tibet Travel Permit.
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.
9. Besides Tibet Travel Permit, What Else Permits are Required to Tour Tibet?
- Aliens’ Travel Permit.
- Military Travel Permit.
- Foreign Affair Permit.
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 Aliens’ Travel Permit to visit Everest Base Camp. If you visit Mount Kailash, you will further need Military Travel Permit and Foreign Affair Permit.
But, no worries! Our Tibetan guide will help you prepare all the necessary travel documents before you hit the road. Usually, after your arrival in Lhasa, our guide will ask you for the passport and Tibet Travel Permit, to apply for these documents.