Tibet Travel Permit
Travel Permits Policy
All international tourists who wish to visit Tibet for tourism or on business purpose need the Tibet Travel Permit, in addition to a valid China visa. This is the most important permit and is issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau. Tours and Travel operators in Tibet are only authorized to apply for the permit for International Tourists. The arrangements to host guests or visitors such as officials, journalists, diplomats of foreign countries. They are the domain of Foreign Affairs Bureau and thus are beyond the remit of the Tours and Travels operators.
Concurrently, there are two additional permits that will be necessary; namely, the Alien Travel Permit and the Military Permit. The Alien Travel Permit is required for most of the tours and travels outside Lhasa. Especially if the tour itineraries involve visiting sites in certain restricted areas. The Military Permit is required for visits to sensitive border areas. The military permit needs for tours to and around Mt Kailash, including overland journeys to and fro Kashgar (under Xin Jiang province jurisdiction). It also needs for visit to Nyingtri region of eastern Tibet, and entry into Tibet from Sichuan province or Yunnan province.
However, residents of Special Administrative Regions of China, namely Hong Kong and Macau, do not require the permit to visit Tibet. For them, the HK/Macau SAR Passport and Home Return Permit are adequate. All travelers of other nationalities need the Tibet Travel Permit. It is required to be able to board a flight or train to Tibet or cross overland into Tibet. You will be asked to present the permit, either the original hard-copy or a photocopy of it. You have to show it during check-ins at key port of entries: such as airports, train stations, checkpoints.
How long does it take?
Arranging the Tibet Travel Permit – the first and most important of the permits – normally takes at least three to five working days. However, it could take up to two weeks (or more) if a tour involves visiting sensitive and restricted areas, such as Everest region, Mt. Kailash and Nyingtri region of Tibet in the east.
Processing the other permits such as the Alien Permit and the Military Permit will be more time-consuming. Most noteworthy, it takes about 20 working days. Therefore, please allow at least 20 working days prior to your intended Tibet tour for us to arrange the permit.
How to get hold of the Tibet Travel Permit?
If you are planning to take a flight to Lhasa from another city in China, you need the original hard copy of the permit. So, we will post to a safe address provided by you.
However, if you are arriving in Lhasa by train, all that is required is a scanned copy of the permit. Therefore, we will email to you before your journey. In addition, those who arriving from Nepal either by overland or flight, our guide will meet you there with the permit in hand. Because mailing permits internationally are not advisable.
How can you help us?
Once you have confirmed your tour plans with us, then it’s our duty. We take the responsibility to process the Tibet Travel Permit via the local Tibet Tourism Authority. To this end, we will need you to assist us in arranging the permit, particularly with the following details.