Foreign Travelers Need Tibet Travel Permits For traveling in Tibet

Foreign travelers wanting to travel to Tibet must need all necessary Tibet travel permits and visa documents.

  • Tibet Travel Permits & Visa Documents  

There are overall 6 kinds of Tibet travel documents for your Tibet tour. You will just need the Tibet permits documents A.B.C or A.B.C.D. or A.B.C.D.E.F. This depends on your Tibet travel itinerary. As different parts of Tibet requires different Tibet travel permits. Please take a quick look and hope it helps you.

  • A. Valid Passport (Not Public Service Category)
  • B. Chinese Visa (from any China mainland cities to Tibet) or Tibet Group Visa (from Nepal to Tibet)
  • C. Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB) Permits-Tibet travel permits for entry

If your travel is for Lhasa and around, with duration from 1 to 7 days, you just need A.B.C documents. However if you trip covers towns of Tsetang, Gyantse, Shigatse, Sakya monastery, Mt. Everest base camp, (closer to India) and the Nyingchi (400 km to the east of Lhasa), you will need further permit of D document. Thus you will need A.B.C.D Tibet travel permits/Visa.

  • D. Tibet Aliens’ Travel Permits (PSB’s, Public Security Bureau permits, nick named “ATP” permits)-for not fully open areas;

And if your travel includes destination of Saga, Zhongba, Lake Manasarovar, Burang Border, Mountain Kailash, Bangongtso Lake, Gerze, Geji, Tsoqin, Nyima, Bange, etc (Grand north west Tibet), you will need the important Tibet travel permits E.F documents. And you need to confirm the tour booking at least 45 days before your travel to Lhasa.

  • E. Tibet Military Permit and Foreign Affairs Permit-for Kailash and Kham Tours;
  • F. Tibet Boarder Defense Permit-for Everest and Kailash trip

All Tibet Travel Permits and Visa Documents For your Tibet Vacation

Tibet Travel Permits A: Valid Passport

All foreign travelers travelling to Tibet must hold a valid passport. This is the travel document provided by yourself. When our Tibet tour agency applies all necessary Tibet permits for you, we need this important document. It is the best if you can email via attachment upon your Tibet tour booking confirmation with us.

Tibet Travel Permits B: Chinese Visa or Tibet Group Visa

Tibet Travel Permits—Chinese visa 

As it is a fact that Tibet is part of China, under the Chinese Central Government’s Sovereignty. Thus to travel to Tibet from China, you will need China visa. And you can apply this visa 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 90 days. Especially 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. For those who are working, studying or living temporarily in China, you may need other kinds of China Visa, such as “F” Visa, “X” Visa or “Z” Visa, etc. 

Important tips for you when you apply for a China visa to Tibet:

You’d better not mention Tibet or any places in Tibet such as Lhasa, Everest as your travel destination when applying for China visa (China Embassy in Kathmandu is the exceptional) because the embassy may refuse your application if you state that you will go there.

Tibet Travel Permits—Tibet Group Visa (for travel to Tibet from Nepal)

For entry from Nepal by land or air, you need “TIBET GROUP VISA”. A Tibet Group Visa is an A 4 size sheet of paper. It includes all members’s passport numbers, date of birth and occupations. The dates of entry and exit are on the paper as well. Usually, the visa is valid just for your Tibet tour, but it can be valid for 1 to 2 months if in need, so you can travel in China after Tibet with this visa.

To apply this Tibet group visa, we will help apply the visa invitation letter as below:


There will be two original copies of Group Visa, one for immigration at the entry and one for exit. Based in Lhasa, our agency can help arrange “Tibet group visa” invitation letter and our partner agency in Kathmandu can help apply the Tibet group visa in one working day. And we suggest you’d better have at least 2 working days in Kathmandu to get the visa from us.

Tibet Travel Permits C: Tibet Entry Travel Permits (Tibet Tourism Bureau-TTB Permits)

Tibet entry travel permit includes two pieces of paper covering your travel info and names, passports numbers,etc.

Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB) Permits are Tibet travel permits for entry to Tibet. Our local Tibet travel agency will apply all necessary Tibet travel documents as a part of arrangements for your travel. After you decide to travel with us, we will help you to obtain your Tibet Entry Travel Permits.

Tibet Travel Permits Tips—Please Keep in mind:
  1. All info should be exactly the same as on your passport. And you need to tell us your occupation because journalists, military person or public service people need more complicated procedure to get the Tibet travel permit and mostly those people’s travel are banned. 
  2. Please note that if you do not book at least a mini tour from us, we cannot help you get the Tibet travel permits. No Tibet travel agency can provide “permit-only” service. The mini tour could be a hotel booking, or few hours Lhasa tour guide rental, etc.
  3. A TTB Permit is not enough if your Tibet tour covers not fully open areas such as Mt. Everest Base Camp, Samye Monastery, etc. You need permit and a tour booking.

Tibet Travel Permits D: Aliens’ Travel Permits (PSB’s=Public Security Bureau Permits)

Alien’s Travel Permit is important Tibet travel permit when your trip covers Mt. Everest, Mt. Kailash, Lake Draksum tso etc. All these places are not fully open. So to travel to these destinations, you will need it. This permit has another name of “PSB permit” because the local Public Security Bureau issues these permits. We can apply these permits in PSB in Lhasa or Nyingchi, Tsetang and Shigatse city. If your trip covers Lake Draksumtso, we can get this permit ready in Lhasa before going.

Where You Will Need Special Tibet Travel Permit of ATP-Alien’s Travel Permit ?

At present, you have to apply for a Alien’s Travel permit if your destinations include following places:

  • Tsedang: Yumbulakhang Palace, Samye Monastery, Tomb of Tibetan King, Trundruk Monastery, 
  • Shigatse: Sakya Monastery, Mt. Everest, Rongbuk Monastery
  • Gyantse: Pelkor Chode Monastery & Kubum Stupa, Shalu Monastery
  • Ngari Region: Mt. Kailash, Lake Manasarovar, Tsaparang, Guge Kingdom Ruins, Qionglong, Saga, Payang, Zhongba
  • Nyingchi Region: Basum-tso, Pomi, Rawo-tso (Lake Raog), etc.
  • Chamdo Region: Chamdo, Riwoche, Tengchen, etc.

Tibet Travel Permits Exception

1. If your Tibet travel destination only covers Lhasa, Gyantse, Shigatse, there is no need to apply “PSB” travel permit.
2. If your trip covers destinations along the 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.

Tibet Travel Permits E: Military Permit and Foreign Affairs Permit

Tibet Military Permit and Foreign affairs permit documents are for travelling between Yunnan/Sichuan province and Tibet by overland, or travelling to Mt. Kailash and Lake Manasarovar. These Tibet travel permits documents are important and it takes much longer time than shorter tour. SO we should start the Tibet permits application process around one month in advance.

Tibet Travel Permits F: Border Defense Permit

Tibet Border Defense Permit is for you to travel to Everest Base Camp or Mt. Kailash areas. This  Tibet travel document is important. And the Tibet travel permits application process starts normally 15 days to 30 days in advance. So if your travel covers Kailash, we suggest you book at least 15 days before arrival. And if your trip covers Mt. Kailash, we suggest you book at least 30 days before arrival date. 

If you have any questions regarding to Tibet tour and permits, please  send email to [email protected].or [email protected]


April 29, 2017
Can I join your Kailash Saga Dawa Festival tour? Is it urgent for your agency to apply our Tibet permits for Kailash travel? We have been waiting for kailash tour for a few years and wish your Tibet travel agency can help us get all the visas and permits. Thank you, Debbie
Tony-Tibet TripAdvisor
April 30, 2017
Hello Debbie,for Tibet Kailash Travel permits application, it takes 3 weeks and so we can be on time to apply your Tibet travel permits for Kailash and Lake Manasarovar pilgrimage.Please send us email with all your detailed tour requests. We will answer you with solution soon. Our Saga Dawa Festival tour is full booked and see if we can help you with a private Kailash tour. Kindest regards, Tony at Lhasa
April 27, 2017
My friends and I want to travel to Mt. Kailash and Lake Manasarovar from Nepal at the end of July. Can we take the overland tour from Kathmandu? Thank you. We found your agency from TripAdvisor, and we wish you can help us get Tibet travel permits. Please let me know what details you will need from us to apply the Tibet permits and visa documents. Do we need to apply China visa before going to Tibet? Or you can handle all travel permits and visa for us? Thank you so much, Manjesh
Tony-Tibet TripAdvisor
April 28, 2017
Dear Manjesh,Thank you for leaving us message here. This is Tony answering you from Lhasa, capital of Tibet. I do not think the Nepal Tibet border Kyirong will be reopen in July. Of course the Zhangmu border is not open for sure. May I ask whether you are Indian Overseas or not? If yes, we can easily help you arrange all necessary Tibet travel permits and visa documents. However so far, if travelers hold "Indian Nationality" as on passport, the Kailash trip permits can not be applicable for Indian passports holder to Mt. Kailash and Lake Manasarovar. To apply Tibet permits, it is fairly easy. For Kailash tour, we normally begin permits process at least one month in advance. Wish we can help you out. More details, please email to us by [email protected]
Yoxiang Pan
April 25, 2017
To whom it may concern, we are a group of 7 with multiple nationality. I studied in Germany with Chinese passport. Three of my friends hold German passports, one holds Portuguese passport, but two girls hold Taiwan passports and home visit cards to mainland China. Your Tibet travel agency were referred to us by one Spanish who travelled with your company. We are planning to travel in Tibet for around 2 weeks, and we are supposed to fly to Lhasa in early July (from Xi'an, Xiamen and Beijing). I am not clear about Tibet travel permits. Can you apply these travel documents? And how Can we receive the Tibet permits? For 2 weeks time, what tour program do you recommend us? We want to book hotels by ourselves, but please recommend some nice hotels with good price. By the way, is it safe to travel in Tibet? How is the road condition? Many thanks and kindest regards, Xiang
Tony-Tibet TripAdvisor
April 26, 2017
Dear Xiang, Thanks for leaving a message inquiring Tibet travel permits. It is absolutely no problem that we can apply all necessary Tibet permits documents for your German and Portuguese friends, however for your Taiwanese friends, so far Tibet tightens the control on Tibet permits application for Taiwanese travelling to Tibet. We can try to find solutions out to help your Taiwanese friends to obtain the Tibet travel permit document as well. Regarding to the safety concern about travelling in Tibet, I can say that it is very safe here, we will need to arrange safe drivers of course who are familiar with Tibet road condition. For more Tibet travel permits regulation and policy details, we will be in touch in email. Thank you and wish to be able to see your group in Lhasa! Tony from Tibet Travel Expert Service.
April 23, 2017
Hi,we are a group of two families wanting to travel in Tibet in September. We have young kids of 8 years, 7 and a half years old and 70 years old parents. We would like to know whether you can arrange Tibet travel permits for us far in advance, because the embassy asks us to provide legal documents certifying that we are going to visit Tibet. We were recommended by some friends who used your service in 20013. By the way whether you can help us get good China domestic flights tickets for our kids as you did for our friends. We would need a safe comfortable hotel with some good place for our kids to play. Thank you so much in advance, kindest regards, Andy
Tony-Tibet TripAdvisor
April 23, 2017
Hello Andy, To apply Tibet travel permits, we normally start application one month to 45 days in advance. Your Tibet travel plan is for September and we would need to wait sometime till summer to apply the Tibet permits. However as you mentioned you will need visa invitation to apply for China visa. If it is a must, we can start permits and visa invitation letter application hopefully next month. To apply these Tibet travel permits and visa invitation letter documents, we will need to know your duration, and arrival date and departure date. Further more we can maximize the permits valid time for your group and also help you apply the Tibet group visa invitation letter with 2 month time. So hope the two month time will be enough for your travelling in China and Tibet. If you email us earlier, I would tell you that you'd better not mention any words on Tibet or Tibet travel when you apply your China visa in the consulate or embassy. Hope this information helps you and lets keep in touch in email. Our email address is [email protected]. Yours sincerely, Tony in Lhasa

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