If you’re planning a journey to Tibet, a Tibet Travel Permit is an absolute necessity. Obtaining this permit is the initial step towards exploring the mesmerizing landscapes and rich cultural heritage of the Roof of the World. To secure your Tibet Travel Permit, you’ll need to connect with a registered tour operator in Tibet or in Nepal who will handle the application process on your behalf. It’s important to plan your trip well in advance, as the process can take some time.

Additionally, it’s most important to have a well-structured itinerary and local guides when visiting Tibet. The permit is location-specific, so ensure your itinerary aligns with the places you intend to visit and remember that independent travel in Tibet is not allowed.

Vibrant and intricately detailed Tibetan Thangka painting showcasing religious and cultural motifs.

Who requires a Tibet Travel Permit?

A Tibet Travel Permit is a mandatory document for all foreign tourists (including Diplomats, journalists, and government officials) planning to visit Lhasa and travel within Tibet, as mandated by the laws of the People’s Republic of China. This permit is essential to enter the region, and it ensures compliance with the Chinese government’s regulations. To obtain this permit, travelers must book their Tibet tours through a local travel agency, which will handle the application process.

The below table clearly mentions who Needs, who doesn’t need, and who cant get a Tibet travel permit.

NeedDon’t Needwho can’t get
International touristsResidents of HK SARDiplomat
Chinese Living in TaiwanResidents of Macau SARJournalist
Overseas Chinese with Chinese IDGovernment Officials
Indians Visiting Ngari

How to Apply for a Tibet Travel Permit?

Sample of a Tibet Travel Permit/Tibet Entry Permit (By 西藏自治区旅游局 / Tourism Bureau of Tibet Autonomous Region – 西藏中国旅行社 / Tibet China Travel International LTD., Public Domain)

Unlike a regular Chinese visa, obtaining a Tibet Travel Permit involves a unique process that must be coordinated with the Tibet Tourism Bureau through a licensed travel consultant. If you’re planning to explore the mesmerizing landscapes and rich cultural heritage of Tibet, you’ll need to navigate this permit application journey.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to apply for a Tibet Travel Permit:

  • Contact a Registered Tibet Travel Agency
  • Plan Your Tibet Itinerary: ie. Kailash Mansarovar Yatra
  • Share Personal Information
  • Confirmation Letter
  • Permit Application Submission
  • Receive Your Tibet Travel Permit

Documents Required for Tibet Travel Permit Application:

Valid Passport

  • Your passport must be valid for at least six months from your planned entry date into Tibet.

Chinese Visa/Chinese Group Visa:

  • If you are entering Tibet from other parts of China, you’ll need to apply for a Chinese Visa from the Chinese Embassy in your home country.
  • If you plan to enter Tibet from Nepal, you’ll be required to obtain a Chinese Group Visa from the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu, Nepal. It’s essential to note that a Chinese Group Visa is necessary when entering Tibet from Nepal.
  • If you already possess a Chinese Visa in your passport, you’ll need to cancel it in order to obtain the Chinese Group Visa, which is mandatory for travel from Nepal.

How to Get Tibet Travel Permit?

Tibet, often referred to as the “Roof of the World,” is a destination that exudes a sense of mystique and wonder. To start journey to this unique and spiritually rich region, foreign travelers are required to obtain a Tibet Travel Permit. This permit is your gateway to Tibet and Kailash Tour, the rich cultural heritage, and spiritual experiences that Tibet has to offer.

Below, we’ll take you through the step-by-step process of obtaining a Tibet Travel Permit, whether you plan to enter Tibet through Mainland China or Nepal.

Entering Tibet through Mainland China:

  1. Plan Your Itinerary: Before anything else, you need to plan your journey and decide which cities and regions in Tibet you wish to explore. If you are planning for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra or Tibet overland tour we are here to help you out with details information.
  2. Choose a Registered Tibet Travel Agency: To obtain your Tibet Travel Permit, you must book your journey through a registered Tibet travel agency. They will assist you with the application process.
  3. Share Your Itinerary: Provide your travel agency with your itinerary and essential personal details, including passport information.
  4. Confirmation Letter: Your chosen travel agency will issue a confirmation letter, which is a prerequisite for the permit application.
  5. Application Submission: The registered travel agency will submit your permit application to the Tibet Tourism Bureau in Lhasa. This process typically takes around 15-20 days.
  6. Receive Your Tibet Travel Permit: Once your application is approved, your travel agency will obtain the permit on your behalf and send you a copy. Make sure to keep this permit with you at all times during your journey, as it will be checked at various points in Tibet.

Entering Tibet through Nepal:

Essential visas for Tibet travel: Gratis Visa (Visa for free) in Nepal and Chinese visa. These documents are necessary for visiting Tibet.
  1. Plan Your Journey: As with entering Tibet from Mainland China, you should begin by planning your itinerary(Check the popular and updated itinerary of Kailash Mansarovar Yatra).
  2. Select a Registered Nepal Travel Agency: You will need to book your Tibet tour through a registered Nepal travel agency, which will coordinate with a registered Tibet travel agency.
  3. Nepal Visa and Travel Permit: While in Nepal, you must obtain a Chinese Group Visa and a Tibet Travel Permit. Your Nepal travel agency will handle this process for you.
  4. China Group Visa: Your Nepal agency will submit your documents to the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu to obtain the Chinese Group Visa, which is a single-entry visa that covers your stay in Tibet.
  5. Travel to Tibet: With your Chinese Group Visa and Tibet Travel Permit in hand, you can Start your journey to Tibet through the land border crossing at Gyirong.
  6. Onward Travel: Continue your journey into Tibet, where you can explore the wonders of this unique region.

How long does it take to get a Tibet permit?

In general, the process typically takes around 15 to 20 days. The time it takes to obtain a Tibet Travel Permit can vary based on several factors, including the specific route you’re taking, the time of year, and the efficiency of the travel agency you’re working with.

Here’s a rough breakdown of the timeline:

  • Application Preparation: This includes planning your itinerary and providing your passport and other personal information to your registered Tibet travel agency. This step can take a few days to a week, depending on your readiness.
  • Permit Application: Once your travel agency submits your application to the Tibet Tourism Bureau in Lhasa, it usually takes around 10 to 15 days for them to process and approve your permit.
  • Permit Delivery: After approval, the permit needs to be physically delivered to you, which might take a few additional days, depending on the delivery method and location.

How Much Does a Tibet Permit Cost?

The Tibet Travel Permit itself is provided free of charge by the government. However, there are service fees associated with the permit application process. Travel agencies, like us, play a crucial role in securing the permit on behalf of tourists. This involves a significant investment of time and resources, including handling paperwork, liaising with government departments, and ensuring the permit reaches our clients. While our professional team in Lhasa expedites the process, it typically takes 8 to 9 working days. Therefore, service fees are commonly applied, particularly for urgent applications. The exact cost may vary depending on the agency and your specific requirements.

is it possible to get a Tibet Travel Permit for free through Himalayan 360?

Absolutely Yes! When you choose us to travel to Tibet Lhasa and Kailash Mansarovar yatra, you have the opportunity to acquire the Tibet Travel Permit without any additional cost. This is made possible because we can submit group applications, which help save on human resource expenses.

Discover Our Recommended Tibet Group Tour Packages with Complimentary Tibet Permit.

In addition to offering free Tibet Permit Application services, we go the extra mile by providing our clients with a 100% guaranteed Tibet Permit when they book their Tibet tours through us. This ensures a hassle-free and worry-free journey through this extraordinary region.

Kailash Mansarovar Yatra map

Tibet Lhasa Kailash Tour Map from Nepal Kathmandu, depicting the journey route from Nepal's capital to Lhasa and Mount Kailash in Tibet.

Kailash Mansarovar inner and outer kora Map

Kailash Mansarovar Inner and Outer Kora Map illustrating the pilgrimage routes around the sacred Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarovar.

What are the Other Permits Required for a Tibet Tour?

Traveling to Tibet is an adventure like no other, and it’s a land rich in diverse landscapes and spiritual experiences. However, when planning your Tibet tour, it’s important to be aware that in addition to the Tibet Travel Permit, you may need other permits to explore the more remote and sensitive areas. Let’s delve into the permits you might require for your Tibet journey.

Alien’s Travel Permit:

If you intend to venture beyond Lhasa and explore uncharted territories like the Everest Base Camp in Shigatse or the Samye Monastery in Tsedang, you’ll need an Alien’s Travel Permit, also known as the PSB Permit. The Public Security Bureau (PSB) of Tibet issues this permit, and your Tibetan guide will assist you in obtaining it. Typically, the application involves submitting your passport, Chinese Visa/Chinese Group Visa, and Tibet Travel Permit. It’s a relatively quick process, taking a few hours, and costs around 50 CNY per participant.

Military Travel Permit:

The Military Office in Lhasa issues the Military Travel Permit, necessary for accessing some remote and military-sensitive regions like Mt. Kailash and eastern Tibet. This permit can take 10-15 business days to process, and it’s essential to apply through a travel agent. Make sure to have a copy of your passport and Chinese Group Visa/Chinese visa on hand. It’s advisable to apply for this permit well in advance, given the processing time. You’ll need it to explore the Ngari region, the Nyingchi region, and the Chamdo region.

Foreign Affairs Permit:

For certain highly sensitive and distant areas, such as Mt. Kailash and eastern Tibet, you’ll require a Foreign Affairs Permit in addition to the Military Travel Permit. The Foreign Affairs Office in Lhasa issues this permit, and the application process is similar, taking 10-15 business days. Like the Military Travel Permit, it’s recommended to apply through a travel agent, and you’ll need a copy of your passport and Chinese Group Visa/Chinese visa. If you plan to visit western Tibet, including Tholing and Tsaparang, the Cultural Antiquities Department will issue the Foreign Affairs Permit. Planning ahead is crucial, given the processing time.

Tibet Travel Permit FAQ’s

How do I apply for a Tibet travel permit?

To apply for a Tibet travel permit, you need to contact a registered Tibet travel agency, plan your itinerary, and provide them with the required documents. The agency will handle the application process on your behalf.

Is a Tibet travel permit required for all travelers to Tibet?

Yes, a Tibet travel permit is mandatory for all foreign travelers visiting Tibet. Independent travel in Tibet is not allowed, and you must book your journey through a registered travel agency.

How much does a Tibet travel permit cost?

The Tibet Travel Permit itself is provided free of charge by the government. However, travel agencies may charge service fees for handling the application process.

Can I obtain a Tibet travel permit as an independent traveler, or do I need to go through a tour agency?

You must go through a registered Tibet travel agency to obtain a Tibet travel permit. Independent travel in Tibet is not permitted.

What documents are required to apply for a Tibet travel permit?

You’ll need a valid passport, Chinese visa (if entering from mainland China), and a confirmation letter from your travel agency, among other documents.

How long does it take to get a Tibet travel permit?

The permit processing typically takes around 15 to 20 days, but it can vary based on factors like your travel agency’s efficiency and the time of year.

Can I enter Tibet from Nepal and what’s the permit process for this route?

Yes, you can enter Tibet from Nepal, but you’ll need to obtain a Chinese Group Visa in addition to the Tibet Travel Permit. This process is facilitated by your travel agency.

What are the restrictions and regulations associated with a Tibet travel permit?

Travelers must follow specific regulations in Tibet, including not straying from the approved itinerary and respecting local customs and traditions. The permit is checked at various checkpoints during your journey, so it’s essential to keep it with you at all times.

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