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How to apply the Tibet Travel Permit

2019-07-22 10:54:00China Tibet Online

Lying on its high-altitude plateau, Tibet is one of the most unique tourist destinations in the world. A trip to Tibet is like no other place on the planet, and there are plenty of reasons why. The high Himalayan Mountains, the vast open prairies and plains, and the stunning holy lakes are just a few of the natural aspects of the plateau that make Tibet so different. Add to that the unique Tibetan Buddhist culture, and you have a land that is so vastly different from anywhere else in the world that travel to the region is a must.

Tibet travel is also different from most other places due to the unique tourism policies of China for tourists to Tibet. Unlike most countries that just require a visa, this beautiful part of western China also requires a special permit to visit. Known as the Tibet Travel Permit, this important document is your passport to another world. The Tibet Travel Permit is a requirement for all tourists from outside China to enable them to visit Tibet, and it is impossible to even board the planes and trains without it. Obtained once you have booked a tour of the region, the permit will allow you to enter the region and travel around in the area of Lhasa, the Tibetan capital.

Tibet Travel Permit

Get the Chinese Visa

While we will be able to arrange the entire tour and the permits you require, you will need to obtain your Chinese Entry Visa yourself. Only travelers enter Tibet from Kathmandu in Nepal do not require the standard visa for China. The visa can be obtained from the Embassy of the people’s Republic of China in your home or resident country, and take between three and five days to process.

Chinese Visa

A personal visit to the embassy to make the application may be required in some countries, while other countries are able to use postal applications or the Chinese Visa Application Service Centers (CVASC) to get their visas. In certain countries, the use of the CVASCs is a requirement. Costs for the visa do vary depending on your nationality, and the full list of costs can be obtained from the website of the Chinese Embassy for your country.

Normally, the visa requirements are standard for most travelers heading for China to visit Tibet, though there are some differences with certain countries where you will also have to provide additional documents before a visa will be issued.

The standard requirements for a Chinese entry visa are:

1) Valid passport with at least six months validity remaining.

2) One blank visa page; a completed visa application form, with correct details matching those of your passport.

3) Proof of booking for a hotel in China for the duration of your stay (booking only is required, not that you have already paid); proof of booking for your return or outbound flight from China at the end of your trip.

4) Complete itinerary of your intended travel destinations in China (excluding Tibet, as adding Tibet to the itinerary will cause problems, so leave it out);

5) The relevant fee for your nationality in the currency required and in the method required by the embassy in your country.

Tibet Group Visa Photo Size

Book with a Reputable Tibet Travel Agency

The first thing to do in order to obtain the permit is to book a pre-arranged Tibet tour with a reputable registered Tibet travel agency, such as Explore Tibet. Independent travel is no longer permitted in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), so all tourists must be on organized tours with private tour guides and in private vehicles. When you contact us about a trip to Tibet, our expert tour advisors will help you to decide where and when to travel in Tibet, help you to arrange your perfect itinerary, and give useful advice on the best Tibet attractions on the plateau for the tourists. We can also help you with hotel bookings in Tibet for the duration of your trip and with your train tickets to the plateau from any of the seven gateway locations across China.

High Altitude Tibet Plateau

Email Your Passport to the Travel Agent

Once your visa has been approved, you need to email scanned color copies of the passport, including the photo and details pages and the visa stamp page, to the travel agency to be used to obtain your Tibet Travel Permit. Once we receive the emailed scans, we will use them to make the application for the permits on your behalf. Only a registered Tibetan travel company like Explore Tibet can make the application for the permit, and once the permit is approved, you will be sent a copy of the permit for your trip to Tibet. The processing time for the permit is normally 15-20 days, so it is essential to book your trip as early as possible.

Fly to China and Get the Permit

When you fly to China from your home country, you will need to receive the Tibet Travel Permit before you can take the flights to Lhasa or trains to Lhasa. Boarding the flight and train requires that you show the permit to the check-in staff, the guards, and any security that request it. Once the permit is with us, and you are in China, we will have it delivered to your hotel ready for your trip to the plateau region. While it is possible to book the trip and forward your passport and visa copies once you arrive in China, you will have a while to wait before traveling to process the permit, which makes it an unfeasible option for most travelers.


Every tourist requires a valid passport, a Chinese Entry Visa, and the Tibet Travel Permit for any Tibet tours. Tourists must all be on a pre-arranged tour and only the travel agency can make the application for the permit. However, while this may seem complex, it is really very simple for you, as we will do all the work necessary for your trip, including booking hotels, providing Tibet Travel guide, driver, and vehicle, and arranging all the trips to the Tibet attractions of the plateau. All you need to do is wait for the permit and then come to Tibet to enjoy the most amazing experience of a lifetime.

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