By the law of the People’s Republic of China, in addition to China visa, foreigners also need Tibet Travel Permit (Some people also call it Tibet Visa) 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 also need other 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 with 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 Tibet Travel Permit (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 & 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, please let us know your former job.
(journalists, government officers, and  professional film/photography team, etc. won't be able to travel Tibet through a travel agency) 

 

Tibet Travel Permit (TTB)

Tibet Tourism Bureau PermitA 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 local travel agency then get to Lhasa (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 first as before, 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. If you take trains from Chongqing, Xián or Lanzhou, you are required to show your orignal TTB as well. Shanghai Train Station requires your original TTB sometimes(so you'd better take it).

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, which usually takes about 2~3 days.
A photocopy or scan of an original TTB permit is currently required to board a train to Tibet in majority cities.


Notes:
*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(you may check the image above).
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 20-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
 
alien's travel permitIn 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 PermissionMilitary 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

Related Articles & Posts

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Asked Questions from our Clients

Alpa***

2019-01-08

Dear Team, I am an Indian passport holder and my husband is a Singaporean passport holder. We want to visit Tibet from Singapore via Kathmandu. We plan on leaving from Kathmandu to Lhasa on January, 28th morning. The return flight from Lhasa to Kathmandu on February 2nd morning. I still need to apply for Chinese VISA in Singapore. Is it possible to get Tibet permit in time for the trip? How many days will it take? Appreciate a prompt response and help in this regard. Many thanks, Alpana

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nance

Due to Tibet's unique background, apart from a Passport and a Chinese Visa, all foreign tourists allowed to enter Tibet must have Tibet Travel Permits. However, Tibet Travel Permit will not be issued for all tours from February 1st to March 31st. So if you enter Tibet on Jan 28th, you need to depart from Lhasa on Jan 31st. In low season, we can get your Tibet Permits within 4 working days after your tour book with us. 

Also, as a Singaporean, your husband can enter Tibet without a Chinese visa for 15 days. But if you enter Tibet from Kathmandu, both of you need to apply for a China group visa at China embassy in Kathmandu. After you book your Tibet tour with us, we will send an official invitation letter for you to our partner in Kathmandu. After your arrival in Kathmandu, our Nepali partner will meet you for your original passport. With invitation letter, your original passport and one photo(passport photo size with white background), our Nepali partner could help you get your China Group Visa there within 3 working days. So I suggest you fly to Lhasa from a China city first, after tour ends, you can fly to kathmandu. 

Chri***

2019-01-03

Hello I am looking for a tibet travel permit to travel to Lhasa. Can you may help me? Thanks! Chris

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nance

Yes, we can get your Tibet Permits. : ) Due to Tibet's unique background, apart from a Passport and a Chinese Visa, all foreign tourists allowed to enter Tibet must have Tibet Permits. We could surely get your Tibet permit including other necessary permits after you book the tour with us, we need your passport and China visa copies to apply for it from Tibet Travel Bureau before tour starts and usually get it for you within 12 working days. Now, it’s  off season in Tibet, we can get your Tibet Permits within 4 working days. 

Before I design lhasa tour itinerary for you, please let me know more about your tour plan.

1.When will you do this tour? Different month, the price is different as well.

2.How many days do you want to stay in Lhasa or other area in Tibet?

3.How many people in your group or you will travel alone? 

4. What kind of accommodation would you like to get? The comfortable (4-star), or the economy class (3-star) hotel?

It will be so much appreciated to have all the answers. : ) 

Loui***

2018-12-20

Hello...I want to trek to Everest Advanced Base Camp(EABC) in Tibet in April or May- 2019. Can you tell me if the Chinese Government is allowing treks to EABC for 2019 and that I can get the required permits to trek to EABC? Thank you for your time and consideration. Lou Pecek

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Cherry

According to the regulations, foreigner travelers are not allowed to travel to Everest Advanced Base Camp(EABC) in Tibet 

KARE***

2018-12-06

Hello, I'm from Europe and I would like to visit Yunnan (Kunming, Li-ťiang, Shangri la,Deqin). I would like to walk Kawa Karpo kora trek around Meili Snow Mountain (Yongzhi, Aben, Chawalong, Gebu,Laide,Meilixi). Do I need permit and where can I it get ? Thank you Karel

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Cherry

In your inquiry, you mentioned you would like to have a Yunnan Tour. You don't need to apply for the Tibet Travel Permit if you just would like to have a Yunnan tour. 

I will tailor-make a tour for you after you give me information as below. 

May I know how many people would like to have this tour?

There is no group tour from Kunming to Shangrila for foreigners. Do you mind to join a group tour with Chinese?  

When would you like to have this tour?

Harl***

2018-11-02

My wife and I are only going to be in Lhasa for 5 days. We just wanted to relax and take in a few local sites. How is this going to effect getting a Tibet entry permit We are coming from the USA and will only have 1:1/2 hours layover at Shanghai.

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Caroline

In your inquiry, you mentioned that you and your wife would like to visit Tibet for 5 days.

 

We will handle all the necessary Tibet permits for you after you book a tour with us. We offer this service as a free of charge. What you need to do is to send us the copy of your passport and China Visa by email if you will enter Tibet from Shanghai. A scanning or a photo, just make sure it's clear enough to read all the information.

 

According to the regulations, foreigners need to provide the original Tibet Permit when boarding the flights to Lhasa. We usually deliver the permit to the hotel that travelers booked in mainland China. Then they can get it when checking in. And if they don't stay overnight before departing for Lhasa, we need to hire a guide to send the permit to the airport. The cost should be on the traveler's expense. But, to be frank, one and a half hours layover are a little bit short. We normally require at least 3 hours.

 

For travelers less than five, we usually suggest them join our small group tours to keep the cost down. We happen to have a 5-day Lhasa & Yamdrotso Lake Tour. Please check if you like the following itinerary.

Read More ...

Some of The Permits Issued

  • Tibet permits issued by Great Tibet Tour in 2018, March
  • Tibet permits issued by Great Tibet Tour in 2018, March
  • Tibet permits issued by Great Tibet Tour in 2018, March
  • Tibet permits issued by Great Tibet Tour in 2018, March