Tibet Visa & Permit FAQs

1. What documents do I need to visit Tibet?

To visit Tibet you should have a valid passport, a Chinese visa and Tibet Travel Permit, it is also called a Tibet Entry Permit or Tibet Visa. When you book the tour from us, we will obtain the Tibet Travel Permit for you from the Tibet Tourism Bureau, so all what you need to do is send us scan copies of your passports and Chinese visa by email and we will take care of the rest. You can also check the latest Tibet Travel Permit by clicking this link.

2. What documents do I need to send you to apply for TTP?

Once you have confirmed your tour with us, we need you to send us clear scanned copies of Passports and China Visas for every member of the group to apply for the Tibet Travel Permit. If your China Visa is not an “L” visa, then you must also provide additional documents such as student certificates, work permits, residence permits and so on.

3. How to get the Tibet Travel Permit?

To obtain Tibet Travel Permits, it is compulsory to make your Tibet tour arrangements through a local travel agency, and then provide clear scan copies of you passports and China visa to apply for the Tibet permit (TTP). Please note that it’s impossible for a foriegners to board either flights or trains to Tibet without the Travel Permit. The permits themselves specify every destination and towns that you would visit during the tour and cannot be changed once you have arrived in Tibet; therefore, make sure that you have listed all your interested places in the tour with your tour operator before they apply for the permit. It usually takes 5 to 10 working days for the Tibet Travel Permit to be issued, then if your tour included restricted areas like Mt.Kailash or further eastern Tibet, then you will another permit from the Tibet Military department which would take another 5 to 7 days.

4. What kind of trip requires the Military Permit, PSB Permit and Alien's Travel Permit?

Military and PSB Permits are only needed for those trips going through sensitive areas or a border region; these trips include the Mt. Kailash trip, Sichuan-Tibet Overland Tour, Tibet-Kashigar Overland Tour and so on. Alien's Travel Permits are necessary if you are going to Mt. Everest Base Camp, Samye Monastery (southern part of Tibet), Nyinchi (Eastern part of Tibet) and Mt. Kailash, but these can be issued from the local PSB just before you enter the region.

5. How long does the Tibet Permit application process take?

Normally, Tibet permits can be issued in 5 to 7 working days, but if your tour itinerary covers some restricted or unopened areas like  Mt. Kailash, Sichuan-Tibet highway and Yunnan-Tibet highway, it need several different permits, then it would take around 10-15 working days.

6. How long does the Tibet Permit applying takes?

Normally, the Tibet Travel Permit application process would take 10-15 days depending your travel plan, if you just vist Lhasa and around or EBC (Mt Everest Base Camp), then the permit would take around 10 days, if you go further west of Tibet and to Mt Kailash, then the permit would take around 15 days. But we highly advise you to book your Tibet tour as early as you can, so it give us more time to process the permit and hassel free.
If you fly into Tibet, you should have the original permit to board the flight, so you should provide us with details about your hotel or residence address in China (including the correct name under which the booking is made) and we will send the original permit to you by Express which takes 24hrs to 3 days within China, we never mail it abroad as it takes longer and could be delayed or lost. If you don't have a long layover or overnight in China, you can send us your detail international flight information and we can arrange someone to deliver the permit to you at the airport.

If you take the Train to Tibet, we will send you a copy of the permit by email and you can print it and bring the copy to board the train.

7. How we can enter Tibet from Kathmandu, Nepal?

There are two main ways to get into Tibet from Nepal, either through a direct flight from Kathmandu to Tibet (normally available on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday) or by an overland drive to Tibet. The overland drive poses a greater risk of getting Altitude sickness due to the extreme increase in elevation along the way.

8. What documents are needed if we enter Tibet from Nepal?

If you plan to enter Tibet from Nepal, you must get the TIBET GROUP VISA from the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu despite whether or not you already have a Chinese Visa. The Tibet Group Visa is an A4 size sheet of paper, with the name, sex, nationality, passport number, date of birth and occupation of each member of your group listed. The dates of entry and exit are precisely recorded. Usually, the visa is valid only for the length of the trip you have booked but it's possible to get the visa extended for few additional days, for stays in Lhasa only. There will be two original copies of the Tibet Group Visa, one for immigration at the entry and one for the exit. We can easily help you with the Tibet Group Visa application. We also highly recommend if you enter Tibet via Nepal not to apply for an individual Chinese Visa in your country; when you arrive in Kathmandu, you will need to apply for the Group Visa to enter Tibet and the Chinese Embassy will cancel your individual Chinese Visa when you receive the Group Visa.

9. How much does the Tibet Group Visa cost?

Category

Number of Working Days to Obtain it

Cost for American Passport Holders

Cost for other Nationalities

Normal

5 days

$140.00 (USD)

$50.00 (USD)

Urgent

3 days

$155.00 (USD)

$65.00 (USD)

Top Urgent

1 day

$175.00 (USD)

$85.00 (USD)

Note: You can only apply for the Tibet Group Visa on Monday, Wednesday and Friday (three days a week). Also, the local Nepalese agencies have a service charge of $20-50 (USD) per person normally based on group size.
Above information are updated on Aug.20th, 2011.

Please click HERE to check more detail of the Tibet Group Visa and its application.

10. How do I apply for Chinese Visa?

To avoid any problems you might encounter to obtain the Chinese visa in other countries, we suggest you to obtain the Chinese Visa from the Chinese Consulate in your home country before you leave. Explore Tibet also strongly suggest you not mention your trip to Tibet on your visa application form, because Tibet is a politically sensitive area and mentioning it as a destination on your application might reject the visa. You can use your return flight tickets and hotel reservation in other cities of China to get the visa

11. Do we need a Multiple-Entry China Visa to visit Tibet middle of our China tour?

No, it is not necessary to have multiple China visas to visit Tibet. Tibet is under Chinese sovereignty and the China Visa is valid in Tibet. Example: Chengdu-Tibet-Beijing, only a single entry China Visa is required.

Frequently asked questions and Answers

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