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, one is Tibet Permit, which you have to obtain it in advance in order to enter places like Lhasa in Tibet, one is the Alien's Travel Permit when you are planning to travel to the closed areas in Tibet which you can obtain it after you arrive in Tibet, and the other is the Military Permit, which you have to obtain if you are planning to travel to some military sensitive areas. As a local travel agency, we are able to assist you the process all of those above documents if you book a tour with us.
Passport & Visas
All individuals entering Tibet must hold a passport valid for at least six months. If you are entering Tibet from China, your Chinese visa will be valid, though only travelers with tourist visas (not business, resident or student visas) are permitted. Entering Tibet from Nepal, either by friendship highway or by air requires a separate visa valid for Tibet from the Chinese embassy in Katmandu (30-60 day visas are the norm and it normally takes 2 week days to obtain it.). You may apply for a group visa from us (minimum of two people in a group and you must leave China with this person unless you can change the visa inside China).
Tibet Permit, also known as Tibet Tourism Bureau (T.T.B.) Permits, is necessary for entry to Lhasa or any other part of the Tibetan Autonomous Region, and is obtained as part of tour arrangements for travel to Tibet. It is issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau for restricting the number of foreign tourists traveling in Tibet.
How to apply for it?
We can facilitate to obtain it for you if you could submit your personal information to us beforehand by providing your Full name, Sex, Birth Date, Nationality, Passport Number, and Occupation. Journalists, Diplomat, and monks are forbidden to entering to Tibet. After receive your information, we will start to work with the T.T.B to apply for the permit for you. It normally takes 2 week days. And the cost is 50 yuan/person.
How to obtain it?
There are two ways leading to Tibet, one is from other parts of China, the other is form Nepal.
If you are planning to enter Tibet from other places of China, you can claim for it from our local offices of your planned previous city to Tibet, e.g. Chengdu if by air, Golmud if by Qinghai-Tibet Highway. It is a must document when you are boarding the air to Tibet.
If you are planning to enter Tibet from Nepal, you can obtain the fax copy of this permit from the Chinese Embassy in Katmandu. Please allow at least 2 days to get it. After you land at Lhasa if you fly from Katmandu to Lhasa, Our guide will meet you (at the Lhasa airport if you fly from Katmandu or at the Border if you travel though friendship highway) and forward the original Permit to you.
Travel Permit, also called Aliens' Travel Permit (A.T.P), is required to visit closed areas. It is issued by Foreign Affairs Section of the Local Public Security Bureau (PSB). The Law on the Control of Entry and Exit of Foreigners (Order of the President of the People's Republic of China (No.31), 22.11.1985, Chapter 4), says:
1. Article 20: Foreigners who hold valid visas or residence certificates may travel to places declared open to foreigners by the Chinese Government.
2. Article 21: Foreigners who desire to travel to places closed to foreigners shall apply for travel permits from local public security organs [i.e., the police].
How to apply for it?
We will assist you in applying for it after you enter into Tibet. Our guide will ask you for your passport and the Tibet Permit and submit it to the Foreign Affairs Section of PSB. It normally takes several hours and the cost is 50 yuan/person.
Which parts of Tibet are listed as the closed areas?
At the present, you have to apply for a Travel Permit if you are planning to visit the following places:
Lhokha: Samye Monastery, Tomb of Tibetan King, Trandruk Monastery, Yumbulakhang
Shigatse: Sakya Monastery, The MT Everest, Rongbuk Monastery
Gyangtse: Pelkor Chode Monastery & Kubum Stupa
Basumtso lake in Nyingchi Region
Military Permit is required if you are planning to travel to Ngari, Nyingchi, and Nagqu which are regard as the military sensitive areas in Tibet. It is issued by the Military office in Lhasa and we will need you to provide your passport, Tibet permit to apply for it. It normally takes 1-2 week days and the cost is 100 yuan/person.
Tips for applying for a China visa:
It's better not to mention Tibet as your travel destination when you are applying for a visa to China. Because you may be refused by stating that you will go to Tibet. However, it will be much easier if you travel to Tibet after you have got a valid China visa and after you entering China.