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]


May 19, 2017
Dear Sir or Madam, We are arriving in Lhasa on May 30 by plane from Xi'an, followed by a trip to Mt. Everest base camp. Can your Tibet travel agency apply Tibet travel permits on time and send to our hotel in Xi'an? Thank you and looking forward to hearing from you soon, best regards, Stewart
Tony-Tibet TripAdvisor
May 19, 2017
Dear Stewart, Thanks for leaving inquiry about Tibet travel permits. We can help you arrange the permits for Everest base camp trip only if we confirm the tour at the weekend. It means on Sunday, we will need to prepare paper work for your Tibet travel documents application and so on Monday we can submit Tibet travel permits to Tibet tourism bureau and then we will get the entry permit ready before Friday. It is urgent permits application and we wish to help you out. By the way we have just sent you the Everest base camp tour proposal and please review it soon and we are looking forward to your early reconfirmation. Best wishes, Tibet Ctrip Travel Service/Tibet travel expert Service team in Lhasa.
May 14, 2017
Hello, We were originally from India but we have overseas passports. If we travel to Mt. Kailash and West Tibet, can your local Tibet travel agency apply the Tibet travel permits? If we fly to Ali, does this work? We were recommended by your previous clients from India. And wish you can make sure about our all necessary Tibet permits documents application. Also please specify what other documents we need to travel in Tibet. Whether your agency can help us arrange China visa. Thanks so much, Reshmi
Tony-Tibet TripAdvisor
May 15, 2017
Hello Reshmi, thank you for inquiry to our Tibet travel agency here in Lhasa. This is tony answering you. With regards to your Tibet travel permits for Mt. Kailash and other places in west Tibet, my answer is"We can, and there is no restriction for overseas Indian travelers to Mt. Kailash and other west places in Tibet such as Saga, Payang, Sangsang, Guge Kingdom Ruins, Mt. Everest base camp, etc, normally these places are the "not fully open travel destinations", once we have the permits, you can travel with our guide and driver to these regions in Tibet", to apply the Tibet permits, we will need your passports photo copies and China visa photo copies which you can send us by mobile or email. When you apply China visa, please do not mention that you are going to Tibet. Hope this information helps when you plan the trip.
May 9, 2017
Dear Tibet travel service team, my family and I (from Denmark) would love to travel to Tibet in July. Does your agency arrange Tibet travel permits and or visa for tour of Tibet? We have around 8 days. Our travel destinations in Tibet covers Pelkhor Choeda Monastery, Shigatse, Sakya Temple, Mt. Everest Base camp, and of course the Lhasa attractions such as Samye Monastery, Ganden Monastery, Norbulinka, Sera Temple, and Lake Namso. I wish your agency will help us with the best experience. We found you have lots of good reviews on tripadvisor and wish you can give us guaranteed Tibet permits services. And please specify what travel documents do you need from us for applying Tibet travel permits. There is no closure for Tibet, right? Kindest regards Kyler
Tony-Tibet TripAdvisor
May 9, 2017
Dear Kyler, guess you found us via our website on, right? we have more reviews from that website and is one of our new platform for Tibet inbound tourism. Yes we can help arrange all necessary Tibet travel permits and we can begin your permits work by the end of this month. To apply this permits, we need to know your entry date, departure date, flight route, and also your passport copy and China visa copies are needed. Our Tibet trip advisor has sent you one tour proposal via email and lets communicate there. All the best from Tibet travel expert service team.
Joshua T***on
May 2, 2017
Dear Sir or Madam, We are family of 5 and we were recommended by your customers from Tibet Ctrip Travel Service. Is this the same company here, right? Well we would love to know how soon your Tibet travel agency can help arrange Tibet travel permits for us. We are supposed to come in one month time. And for the Tibet permits, can you please tell me how much it will cost? We want a minimum tour service from you, we can book all hotels by ourselves, and book flights as well. Thank you so much and kindest regards, Josh
Tony-Tibet TripAdvisor
May 7, 2017
Dear Josh, Thank you very much for leaving us message here. For Tibet travel permits, we can apply even 45 days to 50 days in advance, but normally permits process starts 1 month at most. If your trip does not include Mt. Kailash, we can apply permits in just few working days time and get it on time. I have sent you one email and for the minimum Tibet tour service, we can discuss more by email. Thanks and keep in touch well and wish to be able to help your family soon.

Leave a Reply