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All foreigners except citizen's of China (including Hong Kong, and Macau), are required to obtain a visa and special permit before traveling to Tibet. In addition to the visa, it is necessary to obtain an aliens' travel permit better known as the "Tibet Travel Permit" for travelling in Tibet.
B) China visa or Tibet Group visa
C) Tibet Travel Permit (TTB)
D) Alien's Travel Permit (ATP/also called PSB permit)
There are overall four documents required for foreign tourists who want to travel freely in Tibet.
* One is the Chinese Visa, which you can apply for in Chinese Embassy in your country (If you go to Tibet via mainland China). Please be aware that: if you enter Tibet from Nepal, no China visa but Tibet Group visa is needed.
*One is Tibet Tourism Bureau Permit (TTB), which you have to obtain in order to enter Tibet. This is for Entry to Tibet.
*One is the Alien's Travel Permit (PSB) when you are planning to travel to the 'unopened' areas in Tibet.
*The other ones include Military Permit, Foreign affairs permit, etc, which you have to obtain if you are planning to travel to some military sensitive areas.
All who intend to enter Tibet must hold at least 6 months valid passport.
B China Visa or Tibet Group Visa
1. To enter Tibet via Mainland China, firstly you need to apply China visa for entry to China
Tibet is part of China, under the Chinese Central Government's Sovereignty. Thus to travel from China to Tibet, you have to obtain a China Visa at first stage before all are followed up. Visas for individual travel in China are very easy to get from most Chinese embassies. Most Chinese embassies and consulates will issue a standard 30-day, single entry tourist visa in three to five working days (an 'L' Visa means travel). If you are lucky, some embassies abroad may give you a 60 or even 90days. But in Hong Kong it is very easy to get a 90 day visa; most agencies can arrange it in one day. If you want more flexibility to enter and leave China several times, most Chinese embassies will issue a double-entry visa.Well, for those who are to work,study or live temporarily in China, you may need the other related China Visa such as "F" Visa,"X" Visa or "Z" Visa, etc. All these kind of visa holders can travel in Tibet with the Tibet entry permits and other travel permits which can be obtained by local travel agency in Tibet with strict and serious procedure.
Please download the Tibet Visa Application Form. (PDF)
Tips from Visit Nepal-Tibet Tours: when you apply for a China visa to Tibet
You'd better not to mention Tibet or any places in Tibet such as Lhasa, Shigatse, etc as your travel destination when you are applying for China visa (Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu is the exceptional) because you may be refused by stating that you will go there. Otherwise, you need to get a Tibet Permit beforehand and apply for a China visa with it then. But It is very difficult to apply for a Tibet Permit far ahead of your schedule for Tibet tour, so to avoid this, please be aware of this and just say you will travel to Beijing, Xi'an, Shanghai, Chengdu-Sichuan, Yunnan,etc.
2. Entering Tibet via Nepal by land or air, If you want to enter Tibet from Nepal, you have to get your TIBET GROUP VISA in the Chinese embassy in Kathmandu, no matter whether you have already Chinese visa or not. Tibet Group Visa is a A4 size sheet of paper, with all members of the tour and their passport numbers, date of birth and occupations listed. The dates of entry and exit are precisely mentioned. Usually, the visa is valid for the length of the trip you have booked but it's possible to get visa for few additional days, just for incase. There will be two original copies of Group Visa, one for immigration at the entry and one for exit. We can easily help you with the Tibet Group visa application.
Tips from Visit Nepal-Tibet Tours: for Tibet Group Visa and China visa
If you enter Tibet via Nepal, do not apply for any individual China visa in your country. Your group Tours will starts from kathmandu with a TIBET GROUP VISA. Incase if you have Chinese Individual Visa already in hand Chinese Embassy will cancel that visa. Chinese Embassy Visa days in Kathmandu are Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Tibet Group Visa Fees if you enter Tibet from Kathmandu Nepal
(Your passport a week before on our hand) (Your Passport a day before on our hand)
US Passport holder: USD USD
Other Nationality: USD USD
C Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB) Permits
Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB) Permits are necessary for entry to Lhasa or any other part of the Tibetan Autonomous Region, and are obtained through tour operators as part of arrangements for travel; A T.T.B. permit does not obviate the need for an Aliens' Travel Permit for any closed areas that may be visited. But you can get them easily from Tibetplus.com.
How to get the travel permits?
After you decide to travel with us, we will help you to obtain your Tibet Travel Permits. It will be quite simple for you, just need to send us:
Full name | Gender | Date of birth | Passport number | Nationality | Occupation
Also, we need the photos copies of passport and Chinese visa by email attachment or fax.
Keep in mind:
1) All exactly the same as on your passport. And you need to tell us your occupation because journalists and people that could be involved in political matters could be revoked (they need more complicated procedure to get a permit).
2) Please note that if you do not book any tour from us, we can not help you get the permits. No travel agency can provide "permit-only" service. A must service includes land cruiser and guide.
Important Issues about Tibet Travel Permit
1. All kinds of people can get Tibet permit through a travel agency except diplomats, journalists, and government officials who should travel to Tibet under the arrangement by the Foreign Affairs Office of Tibet Government.
2. After having a permit, a travel agency could buy the air tickets and train tickets for you (sometimes,however, it is not so strictly ruled for issue the train or air tickets with permits, but entry to Tibet does need permits), and you can pass the check-in at the airport and the check point reroute with the permit.
3. Only the guide could hold the permit after you establish yourself on Tibet land. You are not allowed to bring with it and travel to anywhere you want because except Lhasa you need another permit named as "Aliens' Permit".
4. There is a service charge (by the government) to get the Tibet permit (your Tibet travel documents).And It takes time to apply this document with some paper work of filling up many forms with tourists info,travel agency info, guide info,driver info and info for hotel, etc as well as submitting, permits delivery. However in your Tibet travel package, this service charge is already included.
5. Generally it needs three days to get the Tibet permit if you could supply the full necessary documents. But it needs another 3 days (or more) for Express Delivery for the permit. We also can help you to get the urgent Tibet Permit less than three days with urgent charge.
6. We do not SELL permits to any foreign tourists to Tibet.
D Aliens' Travel Permits (PSB)
These are required to visit closed areas - much of the Tibetan Autonomous Region outside the Lhasa prefecture-level district, and scattered counties elsewhere. They are usually only obtainable through tour operators, and tours by four-wheel-drive.
Permits to visit places that are not declared open are known as Aliens' Travel Permits, or PSB's. They are issued by the police (Public Security Bureau, "PSB"). A single permit is normally issued to all the people who are traveling together, the permit naming just one of them and stating how many others are accompanying him; the passports, or at least photocopies of passports and visas, of all persons traveling must be presented in order to obtain a permit.
How to get the PSB?
The biggest difference for applying a PSB with a TTB is that we can help you to apply a TTB without your passport, just a copy one is okay. But for obtaining the PSB, your original passport is a must! Please check below to see what is the common procedure to get a PSB:
Usually, upon your arrival in Lhasa and check in the hotel on the first day, our tour guide will ask for your original passports and Tibet Permits, and go to the Public Security Bureau to apply on the second day, you can get the PSB at the same day. You don't have to come personally.
1. If you only travel to Lhasa, Gyantse, Shigatse, there is no need to apply PSB.
2. If you want to do an overland tour from Yunnan, Sichuan, Qinghai or Xinjiang province to Tibet, we need your Entry Stamp to China to apply the PSB before your tour starts.