Tibet Travel Permits

  • by Apple
  • 2017-11-06

By the law of the People’s Republic of China, in addition to China visa, foreigners also need Tibet Travel Permit (TTB) to be able to board a train or plane to Lhasa. For this, you need to pre-arrange an itinerary through a legal travel agency in Lhasa before arriving in Tibet.

You need travel permits to travel outside Lhasa Prefecture, eg. Alien's Travel Permit & Military Permit, and you can currently only get these by hiring transportation and a guide as part of your itinerary.

If you plan to enter Tibet from Nepal, besides all the Tibet Permits, you will have to travel on China Group Visa which can only be obtained through the joined effect of travel agencies in Lhasa & Kathmandu.

Here at Great Tibet Tour, a Lhasa-based local travel agency, with all the advantage of a local company, we provide you with a worry-free Tibet travel experience by taking care of all these permits applications.


What We Need to Apply TTB

We need the following documents & info from each and every traveler to obtain Tibet Travel Permit (TTB).  The time needed to apply for it changes irregularly. But we usually need at least 16 days prior to file the application with these documents &. info. Tibet Tourism Bureau will issue TTB permit about 7 days or so prior tour starting date.

*Colour-scan/photo of valid passport photo page 

*Colour-scan/photo of valid China visa page
(except L Visa, tourist visa, any other types of China Visa need additional stamped paper in Mandarin from your school/company in China, in which your name, passport No., position, company add should be stated.)

*From which city of China you plan to enter Tibet;                  
 Of which city of China you plan to depart to after your Tibet tour     
(please be aware, entering/departing city will be print on your permit, once issued it would be the only city you be able to enter/depart. takes extra time & fee if later you want to change it)

* Job occupation. If currently unemployed or retired, pls let us know your former job.
(journalists, government officers, and  professional film/photography team, etc. won't be able to travel Tibet through travel agency) 


Tibet Travel Permit (TTB)

A TTB permit is currently required to get into Tibet. Without one, you will not be able to board a flight or train to Tibet and will not be able to secure the other permits you need to continue traveling throughout Tibet.

Nowadays you can only get a TTB permit through a tour agency in Tibet (agencies outside Tibet can arrange trips, but ultimately they subcontract to travel agencies in Lhasa, such as Great Tibet Tour). You can no longer travel to Lhasa, meet up with some travelers and organize a tour there. Everything must now be arranged beforehand, including any trekking itinerary you have planned.

To get a permit you need to:
*Work out an itinerary detailing exactly where you want to go in Tibet
*Agree with a price and send a deposit
*Send us documents & info we needed to apply for TTB permit
*Arrange an address in your entering city before Tibet (eg. hotel), to receive your posted TTB permit, if flying to Lhasa

You can book your own train or air ticket to Lhasa or have Great Tibet Tour arrange this for you. 
You need to have the original TTB permit in your hands in order to board a flight to Lhasa. Mostly we arrange TTB permit to post to your hotel of your entry city in China by S.F Express, usually, takes abt 2~3 days.
A photocopy or scan of an original TTB permit is currently all that is required to board a train to Tibet. 

*Chinese resident of Hong Kong & Macau does not require a TTB permit to enter Tibet. 
*Taiwanese need to consult us case-by-case since the rules change often
*Foreigners visitor on business/study/resident visa in China need additional docs to apply for TTB permit
*Journalists and embassy staff won't be able to get a TTB permit as a tourist


What TTB Looks Like
TTB Permit usually combined with two pages. 
On Page 01, it states your tour details, such as your travel agency’s name, your tour number, when you first arrive in Tibet, when you depart, entry & departing city, etc. but above all, check the Permit No. on the upper right corner which is printed in red by Tibet Tourism Bureau.
On Page 02, you will see your name(printed in Chinese way,family name + given name)/ nationality/ gender / passport No. / profession / date of birth. 



Other Permits: Alien's Travel Permit & Military Permit

With TTB permit you will be able to enter Tibet and travel Lhasa and around. but if you were to go further to the regional capital, eg. Mt Everest, etc., you will have to budget an hour or so in Shigatse for your guide to process the Alien Travel Permit, which is issued by the Public Security Bureau (PSB). Usually, you can apply for it once you arrive at Lhasa.

Sensitive border areas – such as Mt Kailash, the road to Kashgar and the Nyingtri region of eastern Tibet – also require a Military Permit. 

You should give your agency 20-day or so to arrange all you permits, 30-day if Military Permit. the authorities generally won't issue permits more than 15-day in advance and certain areas can close without warning, so you’ll need a certain flexibility if headed off the beaten track.

Alien's Travel Permit
In addition to TTB permit, if you were to visit certain areas, Alien's Travel Permit will be required. Unlike TTB permit which will be applied in advance without your original passport, Alien's Travel Permit will be applied after your arrival in Tibet with your original passport.

Areas require Alien's Travel Permit:
Tsetang:   all the places you will visit such as Samye, Yumbulhagang, Trundruk etc.
Shigates: Sakya, Mt. Everest, Rongbuk Monastery
Gyantse:   Pelkhor Chode Monastery, Kubum Stupa
Ngari:        all the places you will visit such as Mt. Kailash, Lake Manasorovar etc.
Nyingtri:    all the places you will visit such as Draksumtso, Pomi etc.
Chamdo:  all the places you will visit such as Chamdo, Riwoche etc.

Military Permit
Military Permission is required if you want to visit the border areas such as Mt Kailash, eastern Tibet, or overland tour to Tibet from Sichuan, Yunnan, Xinjiang and Qinghai.

Areas require Military Permit:
Ngari:       all the places you will visit such as Mt. Kailash, Lake Manasorovar etc.
Nyingtri:   all the places you will visit such as Pomi etc.
Chamdo: all the places you will visit such as Chamdo, Riwoche etc.
Overland from/to Sichuan, Yunnan, Xinjiang or Qinghai

Ask a Quick Question? Ask below or call 0086-891-6368690
or Email Us

Asked Questions from our Clients



You can buy the Tiber permit for me.I'm backpacker from Thailand.I want to go to Lhasa and around Lhasa alone without tour group.Can you help me about the permit,Please



Due to Tibet's unique background, for foreigners to travel to Tibet, not only you need China Visa to be applied back home by yourself but also Tibet Tourism Bureau Permit (TTB). Your itinerary in Tibet, the name of your tour guide, attractions in Tibet you visit, the city your enter Tibet and the city you apart from Tibet will be recorded on your Tibet Permit. If not, your Tibet permit may not be approved by Tibet Tourism Bureau.

If you don’t want to join a group tour, we can arrange a private tour for you, a tour guide will accompany you when you travel in Lhasa. It may be a little bit expensive than a group tour from which you can share the total cost of car fee, tour guide fee with other travelers in this group. For our group tour, you can have a free time after about 4:00 pm every day. What do you think of it?



Tibet Permit



You need the original of Tibet permit to board the flight. We need your passport and China visa copies to apply for them from Tibet Travel Bureau. Usually, 30 days (shortest 16 days) before the tour starts and get them to you within 8 working days. Yes, you need to original Tibet Permit to board the airplane.



Hi Amy, thanks for your prompt reply. Would like to check: 1. How much is the overland transport arranged from Nyingchi to Lhasa? 2. How long does it take? 3. Will it stop in some popular beautiful places along the way to Lhasa? For your info, 2 persons will be joining the tour. Savio



Dear Savio,

It takes one day from Lhasa to Nyingchi to pick you up, then takes another two days to visit some beautiful places like Lulang Forest, Giant Cypress Garden in Nyingchi, and visit Draksum-tso Lake on the way back to Lhasa



Hi, I am from Singapore and interested to join your tour (8 days Lahsa, Gyantse, Shigatse, mt everest) in late March 2018. I am planning to fly to Nyingchi and enter Lhasa by Land transport. At end, I want to leave Lhasa for Xining by train. I would like to check: 1. Is the tour price inclusive of all the necessary TTB & required permits? 2. What is the currency for the tour $850? 3. How to arrange transport from Nyingchi to Lhasa? Can you help to arrange or is there a tour? 4. How to get train ticket from Lhasa to Xining? Can you help to buy? 5. Is it possible to courier the necessary TTB or permits to Singapore or at least email to me before the trip since scan copy is accepted to enter Lhasa? Thanks & regards. Savio



Dear Savio,

Yes, the price includes all your necessary travel permits to Tibet after you booked the tour with us.

The currency is US dollar showing on our website, but you could pay us either in US dollar or RMB, both are okay!

I highly suggest you take the flight from Chengdu to Nyingchi, then we arrange a vehicle to pick you up in Nyingchi and back to Lhasa by overland, if so you will spend in Tibet more than 8 days Or fly from a China city to Lhasa directly and just join our 8 Days Lhasa Gyantse Shigatse Mt.Everest Group Tour.

Yes, we could help you buy the train ticket for Lhasa-Xining Or you could also buy the train ticket directly via www.12306 on your own.  

If you take the flight into Lhasa and you will be required to have original Tibet permits which will be checked when you pass checking in at airport, if so we will post original Tibet permits to your hotel in China after the permits get issued here. If you take the train into Lhasa, you just need Tibet permit copies to board the train. In this case, I will send you the permits copies by email as soon as we got your original permits here, then you just need to print them out into triplicate and bring them along with you to Lhasa would be okay.



Hello, I am looking to travel to join a Tibet tour around the 3rd week of Dec for around 10 days. I will be coming from around Guilin area in China. My China Visa is a M (business Visa) with multiple entry. Please advise what information is required with th I type of visa to apply for the Tibet visa? I have a British passport. Thanks Joanna



Dear Joanna,

Yes, M type visa is for doing a business in China, so we need a business invitation letter from a company in China Or working certificate letter to prove your purpose of coming to China which will be required from Tibet Travel Bureau when we process your Tibet permits here.

According to your schedule, I'd like to suggest you join our 8 Days Lhasa Gyantse Shigatse Mt.Everest Group Tour plus 2 Days Lhasa Tsetang Private Tour on 15th or 25th Dec. 

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