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Alien's Travel Permit

Alien's Travel Permit, in comparison to Tibet Travel Permit, isn't necessarily required to enter Tibet. However, it's a definite requirement for foreigners wishing to visit the territories outside Lhasa, such as Shigatse, Shannan, Nyingchi, and so on. The Public Security Bureau issues the Alien's Travel Permit, therefore, making it known as the "PSB permit".  The Alien's Travel Permit allows travelers to visit areas that are rendered unopened zones for either political or border reasons.

Usually, a single Alien's Travel permit will be sufficient for the group since it mentions the number of people traveling together. Additionally, a page is issued which lists the names of all travelers.

Why Requires the Alien's Travel Permit?

An Alien's Travel Permit is required by almost everyone going to restricted zones. Traveling without a pass can result in the traveler being rejected entry to the territories.

The following list of nationalities is required to apply for the Alien’s Travel Permit:

  1. Non-Chinese passport holders – UK citizens, Canadian citizens, US citizens, etc. Every foreign citizen around the world.
  2. Tourists from Taiwan who do not possess an authorized Chinese identity card.
  3. Chinese citizens from overseas who do not own a Chinese passport or identity card.

In short, a travel permit will be required by foreign travelers wishing to cross the Lhasa territory and go beyond.

Which Tibetan Areas Require a PSB Permit??

Tourists who wish to visit areas beyond Lhasa will be required for a PSB permit as those areas are unopened to foreigners. The map will give a better idea about the areas.

tibet political map

Aliens’ Travel Permit is one necessary document that you will have to carry whenever you visit the following areas:

  1. Nagqu Region: including Lake Namtso, Yampachen Hot Springs, etc.
  2. Qamdo: including Galden Jampaling Monastery, Zelzhol Monastery, etc.
  3. Shigatse Area: including Mt. Everest & Everest Base Camp, Sakya Monastery, etc.
  4. Gyangtse County: including Kubum Stupa, etc.
  5. Shannan Region: including Yumbulagang Palace, Changdruk Temple, Samye Monastery, etc.
  6. Nyingchi Region: including Rawu, Pomi, Basum Lake,
  7. Ngari Region: including Lake Manasarovar, Kailash, etc.

How Does a Traveler Apply for a PSB Permit?

Your trip advisor will know whether you need a travel permit or not when planning your trip with you. If your trip includes Lhasa only, you don't need a PSB permit. However, if you travel further, your trip will be cut short at the checkpoint without an Alien's Travel Permit.

All foreign nationals will require a PSB permit if you are visiting restrictive areas upon request.

The Local Public Security Bureau’s Foreign Affairs Section issues the PSB for foreigners. Foreign tourists can apply for the permit once they have entered Tibet. However, it can be applied in Lhasa, Shigatse, Nyingchi or different cities. So if there is a slight chance that you visit the restricted areas during your travel, you can apply for a permit in cities like Shigatse or Nyingchi. The Alien’s Travel Permit has to be applied for on your behalf by your tour guide. Documents such as the Tibetan entry permit, the Chinese visa, and the passport are required to be submitted to the permit-issuing authority. With a simple process, it might typically take around 0.5 - 1 hour to complete it as per the number of individuals. The expense is 50 Yuan/individual.

If you plan to complete an overland visit commencing from Sichuan, Yunnan, Xinjiang or Qinghai territory to Tibet, your travel permit should be ready before the trip begins. The permit needs to be shown to the reporting officer at each of the checkpoints during your trip towards Lhasa.

What does the Permit Look Like?

This is an example of what an Alien Travel Permit looks like. If your travel plans include traveling to border areas, it is necessary to obtain an alien travel permit. These documents make your visit easier and ensure you are traveling legally and within the boundaries of the law.

 Alien Travel Permit

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