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Tibet Permit & Visa

Last Update: March 23, 2020

Why choose Us to apply for your Tibet Permits?

Please don’t be scared away by the long list of Tibet Permits application procedure as follows. It is not so complicated as it looks like, it's really simple as long as you book a Tibet tour with us, we will take care of all the rest  for you.

Most Guarantee to Get It

As the local operator based in Lhasa, we have good reputation and large customer resources as well as long-term relationship with domestic and overseas travel agents, and in the list of "Reliable Travel Agents" of Tibet Tourism Bureau. That's why we could offer the most guarantee to get the Tibet permit for our clients. 

Free of Charge

Book a tour with us, we will get all necessary documents for your Tibet tour without any extra charge.

Start Tibet journey with us and end up as legendary stories.

Apply for Tibet Permit - The First Step to Get to Tibet

There are three levels of bureaucracy you need to get through to travel in Tibet: a visa to enter China, a Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB) permit to get into Tibet and an Alien Travel Permit to travel to certain regions of Tibet. 

Beware that the permit situation is subject to rapid and unpredictable change by the Chinese government, how these rules are interpreted depends on the political climate in Tibet. Don’t be surprised if the permit system is radically different from that described in this article. And it’s worth checking the current situation with us before you make the decision to travel to Tibet.

Tibet Permits & Visa Categories

Please be noticed that Chinese Visa and Tibet Permit are two things totally different. There are overall four documents required if you want to travel freely in Tibet.

Chinese Visa - you can apply for in Chinese Embassy in your country;

TTB (Tibet Entry Permit) - It is issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau and is a must for foreign tourists entering Tibet;

PSB (Alien's Travel Permit) - It is required when you are planning to travel to the closed areas in Tibet, which you can obtain it after you arrive in Tibet;

Other Permits - you have to obtain if you are planning to travel to some military sensitive areas.

1. Chinese Visa

1) Travel to Tibet through any country except Nepal

Firstly, please be noted that Chinese visa and Tibet permit is two things totally different. 

To enter Tibet, or any part of China excepting Hong Kong and Macao (Visitors to Hong Kong, holding passports from the some countries DO NOT need a visa when staying for a specified free period), a valid passport including a standard Chinese entry visa is essential. Such visas are generally obtainable from most Chinese embassies and consulates. 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 may be issued for single or parties of five and over, for the specific duration of a fixed itinerary (single or double entry). Multiple entry visas are normally issued for business or educational purposes only, ranging in validity from 6 to 12 months, and are more expensive (US$120-250). Normally three working days are required to process an application from the date of its submission, but express services are also available at a premium. It may be best to obtain it before leaving your home country unless you are taking a package tour to enter Tibet overland from Nepal.

The first rule when applying for a visa as an independent traveler is to expect that you will be refused a visa if you mention plans to visit Tibet. There is a trick that when you apply for the Chinese visa, you can't tell the officer that you have the plan for traveling to Tibet; you can only inform them you want to travel to somewhere else of China. Or else the application would become complicated and arduous. 

Keep in mind

1. When entering China it is best to have a visa covering the expected duration of stay. Getting extensions inside China can involve delays and other difficulties.

2. You need to apply for a double- or multiple entry visa when you need to leave and re-enter mainland China. Please note that, even when you leave for Hong Kong or Macao from mainland China, you still need to have a double- or multiple entry visas.

2) Travel to Tibet through Nepal

If you entry Tibet from Kathmandu, Nepal, you are required to obtain a Chinese visa in the consulate of P.R China in Kathmandu, the opening time for the Consulate of P.R China in Kathmandu is only available from 9:30am-11:00am on every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Please note this visa application is compulsory despite you have already had a Chinese visa in your country or not since this is regulated by the border treaty signed between Nepal and China.

The Chinese visa you get in Kathmandu is a "group visa". A "group visa" is not entered in travelers' passports but is a separate sheet of paper issued in duplicate by the Chinese consulate in Katmandu, listing all members of the group. It usually allows a stay of 15 or 20 days. A "group" may be any number of travelers, and may be just one traveler. One or more travelers entering Tibet together with others may wish to have their own separate group visa so they are able to separate from the others. 

We have reliable cooperative agency in Kathmandu, with their help, you can easily get your Chinese visa. The visa application fee is as follows:

Normal: (visa to be delivered in 05 days from the day of visa application) (ex: applying on Monday- get on Friday)

US$ 70.00 including stationeries (photocopies, paper works etc) + service charges (for the citizens except U.S nationals) 

US$ 155.00 including stationeries + service charges (for US citizens)

Urgent: (Visa to be delivered in 03 days from the day of Visa application) (ex: applying on Wednesday- get on Friday)

US$ 90.00 including stationeries (photocopies, paper works etc) + service charges (for the citizens except U.S nationals) 

US$ 175.00 including stationeries + service charges (for US citizens)

Top Urgent: (Visa to be delivered in a same day i.e.: applying either on Monday, Wednesday or Friday and get on the same day.

US$ 125.00 including stationeries (photocopies, paper works etc) + service charges (for the citizens except U.S nationals)  

US$ 210.00 including stationeries + service charges (for US citizens)

Please note that our partner in Nepal need to get all the relative documents including Visa Application letter from TTB and the original passports to apply visa for Tibet Autonomous Region of China in advance, and all these required documents need to be submitted to the consular section of the embassy before 10:30 hrs only on the Visa working days i.e.: Monday, Wednesday and Fridays. 

The required Visa Fees must be paid to our partner in Nepal in CASH by the clients before the day of Visa Application.

3) Get China visa in Hong Kong?

It is usually very easy to apply for a China visa in Hong Kong. You can get a visa yourself at:

Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China

5th Floor, Lower Block

26 Harbor Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong

Tel: +852-25851657 OR +852-25851680 OR +852-25851794

Please Note: 

1) You need to go there Monday to Friday during business hours.

2) 'Fast Process' means: the visa should be processed the same day.

Requirements to obtain a Visa in Hong Kong

A. One recent passport photo.

B. Passport which needs to be valid at least more than 3 months.

C. Call the office before your visit.

D. China Tourist and Business (F) Visa can be obtained easily in Hong Kong. It can be obtained with the help of a travel agent but at least 3 full working days should be allowed for this procedure.

2. Tibet Permit

1) Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB) Permit

A TTB permit is officially required to get into the Tibet Autonomous Province (TAR). Without one you will not be able to board a flight to Tibet and, if checked, you may not be allowed to continue on your bus or train trip. Here are the Tibet Permit Application Procedures for your information:

1. If you visit China for travel, and your visa type is “L”, Please email us the photo copy of your passport and China Visa 20-30 days before you arrive in China, we will set out to apply for your Tibet Permit upon we receive it. Please be sure that the photos are in large size and clear enough.

2. If you visit China for business purpose, and your visa type is “F” or “Z”, please offer a business visiting certificate paper from the company or association in China you pay a visit to that can provide your accurate purpose. This certificate paper should include two parts: 1) Your personal information: your full name, passport number, the purpose of visit, the duration of your visit. 2) the company information, the company full name, address, telephone number, fax number. And this certificate paper must be stamped by this company. 

3. If you resident in China held a resident permit, please offer your working permit issued by China government or a certificate from your company to prove you are working there. The certificate should include 1) Your personal information: your full name, passport number, the purpose of visit, how long have you been working there, your position in this company; 2) the company information, the company full name, address, telephone number, fax number. And this certificate paper must be stamped by this company. 

Sample of Certificate Paper



We herewith confirm that     your full name        , Passport Number                            

is working at     your company name          since    the date you join in this company to work     as    your position        

If you are just on a business trip, the paper should be:

Visit the name of the company for your purpose, from the date you star visiting to the date you end visiting.

If you have any question concerning with     your full name  , please feel free to contact     telephone number and fax number of your company       


Company Name

Company Seal


4. Your Tibet Permit will be issued 2-5 working days since we pass your documents to Tibet Tourism Bureau. The Original Tibet Permit will be posted to the city from which you depart to Tibet, please let us know the address, telephone number, the hotel name of your accommodation in that city 15 days before you arrive in China. Or you could go to our branch office in that city you depart to pick up documents in person if you prefer. 

2) Aliens' Travel Permits (PSB's)

Tibet is slightly more complicated when it comes to travel permits than elsewhere in China. An Alien Travel Permit (usually just called a ‘travel permit’) is granted by the PSB (Public Security Bureau) for travel to an area that is officially closed. 

Tibet PSB will not issue travel permits to individuals and the travel permits are usually only obtainable through tour operators, for organized tours by four-wheel-drive car. A single permit is normally issued to all the people who are traveling together, the permit naming just one of them and stating how many others are accompanying him; the passports, or at least photocopies of passports and visas, of all persons traveling must be presented in order to obtain a permit.

If you want to do an overland tour from Yunnan, Sichuan or Xinjiang province to Tibet, we need your Entry Stamp to China to apply the PSB before your tour starts. 

3) Other Permits

Sensitive border areas, such as Mt Kailash, the road to Kashgar and the Nyingtri region of eastern Tibet, also require a military permit and a foreign-affairs permit. If you want to do an overland tour from Yunnan, Sichuan or Xinjiang province to Tibet, a military permit is required, too.

For Tholing and Tsaparang in western Tibet you may also need a permit from the local Cultural Affairs Bureau. Dungkar in western Tibet requires a permit from the Ali PSB. 

These will be arranged by us as well, but you need to give us the full information and documents at least 3 weeks prior to your departure.

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