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Tibet Travel Permit Application Reality, 12 Tips for Getting Tibet Visa
The following is a concise table that consists of crucial information pertaining Tibet travel permit (short as TTP) whose nonofficial alternate name is Tibet visa. The condense elaboration concerning Tibet travel permit is comprised of whom Tibet travel permit (Tibet visa) applies to, the particular groups of tourists who are not allowed to be issued a permit, the specific personal documents one needs to possess and how much an individual traveler of distinctive nationalities needs to pay so as to ascertain the acquisition of a Tibet travel permit. No matter what strained political circumstances Tibet is in at any time, international travelers are always capable of having an unimpeded Tibet tour as soon as a Tibet travel permit is promulgated to hands.

(table here)

1. What sort of individual tourist needs a Tibet travel permit (Tibet visa)?
Basically, anyone who does NOT have a government issued Chinese ID card needs to apply for a Tibet travel permit in order to enter Tibet at ease. In other words, anyone whose nationality is NOT Chinese, when he or she is making a Tibet tour plan, needs to submit relevant documentation to an officially recognized Tibet travel agency like Easy Tibet Travel a few days ahead of the intended departure dates. Another way of explaining who needs a Tibet travel permit is that any non-Chinese passport holder needs to apply prior to boarding a flight or train where the staff at airports and train stations always formally check the permit.
     As regard to Taiwanese, the civilians from Taiwan, regardless of the identical appearance with residents in China, need to apply for a Tibet travel permit to ensure a smooth Tibet tour as well. The identity of Taiwanese is quite contentious to some extent: some western personnel regard Taiwan as an independent country while Chinese authority claims that Taiwan is a province of China. Objectively, of Taiwan is well in hands of the administration in Taiwan with their own symbolic flag while the current Tibet Autonomous Region is well under control of China. In this case, travelers from Taiwan are undoubtedly considered as foreigners but Taiwanese are observably capable of enjoying a cozy Tibet tour as long as they submit their documents with which a Tibet travel agency applies for an entry permit for them.
     Inhabitants from Hong Kong and Macao are less controversial on facet of their nationality. In fact, Chinese authority regards them as domestic citizens of its own with a slight difference that travelers from Hong Kong and Macao need another type of permit called Mainland Travel Permit (also named Home Return Permit sometimes) so as to enter Tibet without supererogatory restriction. Moreover, civilians from Hong Kong and Macao need SAR Chinese passports. SAR is short for Special Administrative Regions. Generally, two documents, SAR Chinese passports and mainland travel permits, are necessary for their Tibet tour.

*Exceptional case: 
Personnel like diplomats, journalists and foreigner soldiers can NOT, according to the current Tibet tourism bureau policy, apply for their Tibet travel permit/Tibet visa via tourism channel. Hence, it is suggested that diplomats, journalists and soldiers attain their approval of visiting Tibet through other foreign affair channels if they have to.

Real Tibet Permit sample
Scanned Image of a Tibet Travel Permit 

2. What are the THREE procedures to run with the purpose of obtaining a Tibet travel permit?
In retrospect to the Tibet tour circumstance in 2009 and 2010, only Chinese travel agencies are qualified by the Tibet Tourism Bureau to submit the passports and China visas of foreign civilians before Tibet permits were issued to hands of tourists. Moreover, a few years after the recession in 2008 were comparatively a slack period of normally restraining Tibet travel policy when individual travelers were allowed to have a walk (free tour) within Lhasa Prefecture without a tour guide as long as the travelers did not stride Lhasa area into the other regions of Tibet. And even in those loose good days, Tibet travel permit was also a prerequisite for international tourists traveling into Tibet.
     First, international tourists doing Tibet tour planning need to head to your local Chinese consulate or embassy and apply for a China visa which is perpetually done readily once you submit the staff your passport. Please make certain that the valid period of your passport is at least 2 months later than the end of your Tibet tour. If NOT, please renew your passport to ensure the validity period meets the condition of applying subsequently for a Tibet travel permit with both your passport and China visa. Some of my colleagues ever tried to get a permit for their travelers by risking using passports and China visas that were almost overdue, and one in five fortunately succeeded. Anyway, for the sake of convenience and your unimpeded Tibet tour, please offer your passport and China visa that are safely (at least 2 months) before their expiry dates. Please note that 2 months at least before the expiry date is not mandatary in the permit applying course but a sincere suggestion on the basis of our previous service experience.
     Second, please contact a Chinese Tibet travel agency and negotiate your preferred Tibet tour plan, including the detailed day-by-day itinerary and the names of the accommodations you are going to check in at in Tibet. Meanwhile, the Chinese Tibet travel agency will ask for the high resolution scanned copies of your passport and China visa that they will submit to the Tibet Tourism Bureau to run the last procedure before obtaining your Tibet travel permit. It usually takes 2-7 working days for us to process your Tibet travel permit, and expedited (extra) fees are charged if you are in an urgent scenario or are trying to catch up with the time. Actually, the application of entry permit itself is free currently as ever, but the service fees that travel agencies charge travelers vary from one to another.
     Third, some tourists may think my advice on steps of applying for a Tibet travel permit should have ended in the second step above, but to be thoughtful, the third step is as imperative as the previous two. If you are in favor of entering Tibet on air, we will mail your original paper Tibet travel permit to the Chinese hotel you designate before you leave for Tibet in accordance with our communication in email or over the phone. If you decide to come into Tibet by train from a mainland Chinese city, we will either fax a copy of your Tibet travel permit or also post the authentic paper permit to the Chinese hotel where you will spend some time prior to your Tibet train journey. Any trial of mailing Tibet travel permit to any country overseas is hazardous as the paper documentation could get lost in the long distance of complicated logistics, though one of my coworkers ever successfully delivered a paper entry permit from Lhasa to Toronto.

3. Is there any possible luck that foreigners are able to enter Tibet without a Tibet travel permit (Tibet visa)? In what occasions and scenarios will your Tibet permit be checked?
To be honest, the reality could be disappointing to some travelers because Tibet has not been completely open without confinement anytime in history within the governance of China. After scrutinizing the entire process of foreign tourists traveling into Tibet, it is objectively possible or viable that an international traveler can take advantage of loopholes at the airport or train station, or even falsifying a Tibet travel permit and then praying with luck make it possible for a foreign tourist to travel in Tibet without asking for permission from the official. However, our professional suggestion is that you should NOT enter Tibet without a Tibet travel permit simply because your permit can be checked anytime not only at train stations but also at the airports as well as at any occasion during the integral course of your traveling in Tibet. The idea of counterfeiting a Tibet travel permit still does not work since the texture of the particular sort of paper that the permit is made of is almost impossible to precisely mimic, not to mention the specific style of signatures of the permit authorizers.
     A few years ago, 2 travelers, probably due to their negligence not deliberation, waved the former national flag of Tibet at Mt. Everest Base Camp. In fact, this movement is not allowed according to rules of Tibet Tourism Bureau but the tourists then were not well informed beforehand. After the incident, all foreign travelers were required to equipped with a tour guide whose responsibilities consisted of making sure all international tourists obeyed the regulations of Tibet tourism bureau while enjoying their cultural or adventurous Tibet tour.
     Your Tibet travel permit, based on our knowledge, is often checked at the Chinese airports or railway stations where your Tibet tour gets started. Even if you would like to enter into Tibet on road via a vehicle (4 x 4 land cruiser), you will be required to show the entry permit at the border checkpoint by the PSB, the Public Security Bureau, before getting into Tibet. Additionally, your permit can be checked again provided that you head to other prefectures outside Lhasa. On the road leading from Lhasa to Shigatse and other prefectures, checkpoints are out there, checking your Tibet travel permit. Please contact your tour guide or travel consultant once your permit is missing or carelessly left in a hotel or hostel. Spared copies are carefully saved on our computers for a few days so that emergencies can be tackled in time. The entry permit can also be checked by the police so long as severe squabbles or fighting takes place.

4. How can I ensure a smooth course of applying for my Tibet travel permit?
The candid advice from experienced travelers and Tibet travel consultants is that the entire Tibet travel permit application process, most of the time and for those (the majority) who would like to obey the guidance of Tibet Tourism Bureau, is actually a pure formality as long as you send us your scanned passports and China visas in eligible resolution.
     When getting on board at a train station from a giant Chinese city such as Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Chengdu, Xi’an, Chongqing and Xining, you are just kindly required to show a printed or faxed black-and-white copy of your Tibet travel permit as long as the name, tour plans and the official’s approval signature on the document are apparent. The terminal attendant, usually a young lady or a young man about over 20 years old, is going to check your Tibet travel permit by comparing it with your passport and your face. Since a Tibet travel permit processing duration ranges from 2 to 7 working days hinging on the real-time policy of the Tibet Tourist Bureau, please email us your scanned passports and China visas at least 7 days ahead of your departure date wanted. A reasonable sum of urgency service fees will be charged in varying amounts according to how urgent your Tibet travel plan is if you need us to obtain the permit in less than 7 days. Attaining Tibet permit in 2 days are possible for us but essentially risky. And, getting a permit in hand (faxed or printed copy) within merely 1 working day is literally infeasible, though we did ever succeed—this challenge is sincerely not recommended. It is heard from few of our travelers that spot check on the train happened occasionally, but it is realistically quite rare, less than 3% among our own tourists who reported the occurrence.
     On condition that you depart to Tibet on air from main Chinese cities, the most popular of which include Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Xining, Xi’an, Guangzhou and Chongqing, the original paper Tibet travel permit is kindly required before you go through the boarding gate. In this scenario, an airline stewardess (most of the time) in her 20s or 30s will politely check the original copy of your Tibet travel permit and carefully compare it with your face. In order that sufficient permit processing time plus posting course of 10 days is 100% guaranteed, please email us your colorful passports and China visas at least 2 weeks before your intended departure date. The shortest whole course of us, both applying and mailing the original permit, took only 3 working days so that the travelers at that time in Beijing commented it was a miracle—the breathtaking reality, on the other side, was highly challenging despite that we used the urgent delivery of a reputable Chinese express company. Same with the transport of taking a train to Tibet, emergency fees of different levels will be charged on basis of how urgent your kind request is when it comes to flying to Tibet.
     Tibet travel permit is designed and issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau to facilitate ordinary tourists, so foreign government officials, journalists and diplomats are exclusive of this channel of entering Tibet, which means that people of the three positions need to resort to Foreign Affairs Office to get another sort of official documentation.

5. In what scenarios will my Tibet travel permit be checked? Or what are the elaborative steps to follow with the purpose of making full use of my Tibet visa?
By chronological order, your Tibet travel permit will be checked, in the first place, at the airport or train station before you pass the boarding gate or get on the train. The most prominent distinction of leaving for Tibet between by train and on air is that once you fly to Tibet, only the original copy of your permit is acceptable while if you take a train to Tibet, either the faxed or printed document or the original one is valid. Please prepare 2 printed or faxed copies if you would like to enter Tibet by railway because the terminal attendants sometimes take one copy away or in case that you carelessly lose one. It is also sincerely recommended that you consign our local Tibetan travel guide to take care of your Tibet visa, Aliens’ Travel Permit and even Military Permit to avert it from being lost.
     When you are in Tibet, nine out of ten times, your Tibet visa will not be checked except at the hotel reception where even the ID cards of Chinese and Tibetan guests are kindly required to show and according personal information such as your name, room number, phone number and special requests are registered for subsequent services. PSB staff, the police, randomly check the Tibet travel permit anywhere and anytime in Tibet after giving you a polite salute, but this is scarce situations.
     The particular area where the PSB patrols the most is urban Lhasa, so your permit will be checked in much lower possibility once you move out of urban Lhasa or get into other prefectures. But an international traveler is not allowed to step into other regions without another document, Aliens’ Travel Permit. Anyway, you will attain this like a cork with our help when you are in Lhasa and have the tour plan of sightseeing in other prefectures of Tibet—seems to be another pure formality.
     Dating back to 2010 when Tibet was less restricted, I remember that some of our tourists came into Tibet not from Lhasa but from other Tibetan cities like Nagqu, which was once possible. Meanwhile, other tourists were also driven to Tibet from Sichuan province by a 4 x 4 land cruiser as driving vehicles by foreign tourists was already not allowed at that time. So today, at least so far, foreign travelers can only get into Tibet from the capital city of Tibet, Lhasa. Please discuss or inquire with your travel consultant for special requirements and see whether they are viable at the particular time when you decide to travel here in Tibet since policy of the Tibet Tourism Bureau is changeable sometimes.
     For those who would like to ride a motorcycle or bicycle, our Tibetan tour guides can be very helpful since some Tibet travel agencies intend to simplify their work at the cost of sacrificing the level of pleasure of their customers by informing that motorcycling or cycling is prohibited at any given time. However, whether motorcycling or cycling is performable or not totally depends on the current travel policy, which means the policy is not a pool of stagnant water.

6. What is the requirement in terms of the valid period of my passport and China visa?
Due to comparatively rigorous Tibet travel policy in recent years, the last valid date of passports of international tourist is kindly required to be at least half a year (6 months) after the moment of foreigners crossing the border into Tibet. As we know, the dwell time of most foreign travelers is no more than 3 weeks with the majority staying in Tibet for 7-15 days, though one mid-aged lady who was quite melancholy after divorce lingered at a lama abode, contemplating so as to fetch scriptures, for literally 30 days. But this scenario is quite rare nowadays as the Tibet tourism policy is slightly too demanding so that if you would like to cultivate yourself according to Tibetan Buddhism doctrine for a linger stay than most foreign tourists, please let us know and we may be able to help.
     As to travelers who keep more than one passports for the reason of multi-nationalities or possessing two or more passports of the same country, please ensure that your passports are at least 6 months valid counted from the departure date of your Tibet tour and you use the identical passport to run all procedures of your Tibet travel permit.
     As regards as your China visas, please go to the nearest Chinese consulate in your country or in a foreign nation to apply for one only if you have determined to commence your China or Tibet tour. Please also head to a Chinese consulate to refresh your China visa if you have already owned one. Timely update of China visas assuredly facilitates all subsequent steps of applying for Tibet travel permit and relevant Tibet tour documents. Same with the circumstance of your passport, please note to use the same China visa rather than any other copy or version.
     A trick that you could just inform the official in a Chinese consulate that you are traveling in China while mentioning nothing concerning a Tibet tour helps simplify redundant procedures. The wise response, once you are asked in detail which Chinese cities will be on your list, is that you are traveling to giant Chinese cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Sanya or Guangzhou etc for sightseeing or holidays. Failing to follow this instruction can give rise to excessive procedures, which means an unworthy waste of time and energy—much longer time than you can imagine. Adopting the more concise means is the solution to traveling in Tibet though we must be morally honest in most cases.

7. What is special if I hold a ‘Z visa’ and ‘F visa’ (Both Z and F visas refer to China visas)?
Like visas issued by governments of various countries, China visas also are comprised of a number of sub-visas such as ‘Z visa’ and ‘F visa’ etc which are released in accordance with distinguished purposes of visiting China.
     In case that you are a ‘Z visa’ holder which means you work in China as a foreigner, you need:

     1. Your Residence Permit—a specific kind of visa attached to your passport;
     *Warm Note: Please contact the nearest Chinese Public Security Bureau (PSB) where you work in China so long as any status with your residence permit does not go smoothly, including the scenario that it is drenched, torn or lost. The officials there are generally kind to help once you head there and ask for problem solution. Usually, a simple faxed or scanned copy of your residence permit is helpful sufficiently, but please make sure the copy received on our side is legible. So we will patiently request a resending if crucial words on the faxed or scanned document are unreadable.

     2. Your Certificate of Employment;
     *Warm Note: This document needs to include a letter paper with the name of your company at the top which should be printed instead of handwritten, your authentic full name that is identical with what is shown on your passport, your passport number and the company stamp. As for whether or not it is necessary for you to mail us the original certificate of employment, please inquire your travel consultant as the travel policy of Tibet keeps changing slightly from time to time—a mere faxed or scanned copy of your certificate is good enough to pass through most of the time.
     3. On circumstance that you possess a ‘F visa’ which signifies that are staying in China for invitational visit, you are in need of:
     Traveling Certificate of your Chinese travel company

     *Warm Note: People who are invited to China for the purpose of business, giving and having lectures, conducting scientific and technological researches, exchange & study programs, internship and other short-run activities with a duration of less than 6 months (inclusive) need this certificate to become eligible to apply for a Tibet travel permit. As a matter of fact, the original intention for the Tibet Tourism Bureau making the rule is that your Chinese travel company offering Tibet travel service serves as a warrantor pledging that their international tourists will credibly carry out their Tibet tour plan as described on the Tibet travel permit—the same restrictive but feasible as usual.
8. Is the same type of Tibet travel permit necessary on condition that I would like to get into Tibet from Nepal side?
The boot is misplaced on the other leg for many of those who are desperate to know if there is a different type of Tibet travel permit or Tibet visa to apply for before they are able to come into Tibet. Virtually, the particular type of Tibet travel permit is unique no matter where travelers visiting Tibet come from—from any big city of China or from Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal—since the Tibet travel permit is only issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau in Lhasa. However, there is an apparent difference between travelling to Tibet from China domestically and accessing across the road or flying in from Kathmandu—whether or not you have held a China visa, you will need to apply for another document called ‘Group China Visa’ so as to head into Tibet from Nepalese domain.
*Please view the table below depicting the relationship between service cost criterion and the level of urgencies of your ‘Group China Visa’ application. Please note that the fee scales are indiscriminative despite different nationalities:

Normal Course Medium Urgent Awfully Urgent
5 weekdays 3 weekdays 2 weekdays
$ 50-120 $ 60-140 $ 80-160
     1. The service charge of processing Tibet permit varies ONLY upon tourism seasons, NOT nationalities. In peak seasons when massive number of travelers swarms into Tibet from Nepal side, the service fee is self-evidently higher than that of shoulder and low seasons.
     2. The number of working days mentioned above only refers to the processing course of Group China Visa, excluding the days for mailing.
     An ordinary China visa plus a Tibet travel permit accredits an international tourist to entrance Tibet from numerous Chinese cities without any limit in facet of the specific cities you are intending to visit and how long your duration of stay will be in other Chinese cities before and after your Tibet tour.
     A group China visa plus a Tibet travel permit puts much confinement on your entire traveling course across China, which of course facilitates you to enter Tibet from Nepalese territory while regulating the particular Chinese cities your whole group of travelers are going for sightseeing or holiday—the Group China Visa, a separate sheet unattached to your passport that grants a minimum number of 3 tourists, is issued by the Chinese Embassy located in Kathmandu rather than Chinese consulates in sporadic places all over the world. Hence, a Group China Visa listing the names, passport numbers and nationalities of all travelers in a group also enumerates every other Chinese city your entire group is planning to set foot in.
     Two official documents an individual tourist needs to offer are your passport that is at least 6 months before expiry date and an invitation letter from a Chinese travel company. Easy Tibet Travel Service is always able to help our international travelers by providing invitation letters and processing your Tibet travel permit. The holistic process consists of 3 procedures: first, you email us your scanned passports while we issue you the invitation letter; second, you work on the invitation letter based on the instruction and email it back to us; third, with the completed invitation letter and passport copies, the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu that only works on Monday and Friday, 2 days a week, will release your Group China visa in two working days—this takes a week actually. Moreover, 5 extra days are needed to deliver the group visa. In this way, a total duration of 2 weeks for a Group China Visa before the start of your Tibet tour is unavoidable with slim chance of being put on the urgent service list.

     The exhilarating update is the news that the overland road between Kathmandu and Tibet has been well funded and repaired since the violent earthquake in 2015. Therefore, tourists are capable of coming into Tibet by not only plane but also a vehicle on the road. Please note that sometimes flying in a helicopter or riding a motorcycle is prohibited by the Tibet Tourism Bureau or the PSB as multifarious transports make them overloaded.
9. Is Tibet travel permit versatile when I travel across the holistic (whole) Tibet?
No. Your Tibet travel permit serves as the fundamental document for anywhere of your visit within the boundary of the Tibet Autonomous Region. And paying a visit to urban resorts in Lhasa such as Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Sera Monastery and Drephung Monastery etc only asks for your Tibet travel permit. –Tibet Permit Only Portfolio (Basic)
     For stepping to any location out of Lhasa area, you will be kindly required to apply for an additional document named Aliens’ Travel Permit that enables you to access to further regions besides Lhasa Prefecture like Shigatse, Gyantse Town, Yamdrok Yamtso Lake, Namtso Lake, Mt. Everest Base Camp, Sakya Monastery, Tsedang area, Yumbulakhang, Tomb of Tibet King, Trandruk Temple, Samye Monastery, Nyingchi area, Basongtso Lake, Rawotso Lake, Pomi, Milin and so on. 
–Tibet Travel Permit + Aliens’ Travel Permit Portfolio (Superior)
*Warm Note: 
     Aliens’ Travel Permit allowing international tourists to go for sightseeing beyond Lhasa Prefecture is ONLY obtainable after you arrive in Lhasa. To handle the policy, our local Tibetan tour guide will start processing your Aliens’ Travel Permit on the first day that you come to Lhasa so that your further document can be prepared before it is the time for you to visit other regions in Tibet.
     Now the turn to inform about a third permit for international travelers—the Military Permit that officially gives permission of going around for more sightseeing to tourists. The Military Permit, promulgated by the office of People’s Liberation Army of China, refers to some highly regulative areas for military use including Ngari Region where places of interest such as Mt. Kailash, Lake Manasarovar, Tsaparang, Guge Kingdom Ruin and Ali area are located. Mt. Kailash and Lake Manasarovar are especially imperative for pilgrims and those who seek for profound Tibetan cultural exploration. Annual circumambulations by loyal believers of Tibetan Buddhism around Mt. Kailash and Lake Manasarovar area take place in Ngari Region. This is why the significance of attaining Military Permit as an indispensable extension of Tibet travel permit has retained highlighted all the time. With the handy assistance of our Tibetan travel guide, Military Permit is always guaranteed for eligible tourists. Of course, you are in undoubted need of an Aliens’ Travel Permit before you are able to get your Military Permit in hand.
 –Tibet Travel Permit + Aliens’ Travel Permit + Military Permit Portfolio (Premium)
     The classes of Basic, Superior and Premium are NOT pertaining to the level of comfort of your Tibet tour, instead, they only concern how many permits you will need us to apply for. There is virtually a fourth permitMountaineering Permit, which has something to do with professional mountaineering and only professional alpinists holding relevant licenses will be issued this special and quite rear document that allows alpinists to challenge further EBCs (Everest Base Camp) from the north side of Himalaya. Quite few travelers but not none ever succeeded in getting Mountaineering Permit with the help of Easy Tibet Travel Service. 
–Tibet Travel Permit + Aliens’ Travel Permit + Mountaineering Permit for further EBCs (Professional Alpinists Only)

Photo of Aliens' Travel Permit
Image of an Aliens' Travel Permit 

10. When is the optimal time to apply for a Tibet permit? How many days in advance do I need to put between the moment I submit my personal documentation and my departure date?
To be candid, there is a wide time frame in which international tourists are able to apply for your Tibet permit as soon as the commencement of your application gets on the way at least 15 days ahead of your intended departure date. With respect to the best period of time of applying for Tibet travel permit, any date throughout a whole year is equally fine. Of course, the longer period of time you leave before your departure date, the more easily our service can be carried out for you.
     And the only distinction lies in in which season you would like to travel to Tibet since the bulkiest number of travelers occur in June, July and August (high season), the minimum tourist volume springs up in December, January and February (low season) and the intermediate traveler counting comes forth in March, April, May, September, October and November (shoulder season).
     High season is perpetually regarded as the most prevalent time frame for all travelers to conduct their Tibet tour plan as the summer weather in Tibet is undoubtedly in the perfect condition. Low season, as multitudes of tourists apprehend, is admittedly cold or even freezing so that just a few people choose to visit Tibet in winter. Shoulder season is neither too cold or too populous (as for traveler number) in Tibet, and Mt. Everest Base Camp is indeed slightly chilly even in shoulder period.

11. What additional official documentation do I need to attain if I intend to challenge further Mt. Everest Base Camp (of higher altitudes)?
     The very official document a mountain climber is in need of is Mountaineering Permit which is granted to issue under the only prerequisite that the person who would like to apply for the scarce permit should be a professional alpinist. The seemingly fastidious candidate condition for the particular permit virtually concerns the climber’s security, that is whether this person dedicated to challenging further Mt. Everest Base Camps is physically strong enough or not. Mountaineering at such a high altitude like at further EBCs plus extremely thin oxygen supply definitely contributes to harsh success rate among the minority who ever obtained their mountaineering permits with our help.
     As a matter of fact, most tourists coming to Tibet aim to enjoy the unique sacred atmosphere of Tibetan Buddhism and the spectacular plateau scenery. Hence, a Mountaineering Permit, most of the time, is unnecessary not because of the restriction but the objectively meticulous demand on one’s physical condition and corresponding skills.
     Please inquire our Tibet travel consultant for elaborate terms and conditions if you really would like to conquer further EBCs.

12. What is the rate of applying for a Tibet travel permit? Is there any service fee charged once I resort to a travel agency?
To be honest, Tibet Tourism Bureau charges nothing from the travelers or any Tibet travel companies, and even nominal fee (TODOS) is prohibited by the central government. Therefore, the official application of Tibet travel permit is totally free.
     The free application in reality is nearly impossible simply because of 2 reasons. First, Tibet Tourism Bureau, as an official department, is not in charge of regulating the prices of traveling products and services since the market, to some extent, is free—various travel companies run in autonomous ways. Second, due to political circumstances in Tibet, all foreign travelers are put on records that elaborate their day-by-day transport routes and destinations in Tibet. In this way, Chinese travel companies are the only choice for tourists once they carry out Tibet tour plans. Over one decade ago when there were few Chinese travel agencies who were engaged in Tibet tourism—Tibetan and Chinese people had very limited command of English back then—so the slack competition in the industry largely raised the service cost.

     Today the story is quite different as more travel agencies are capable of providing exquisite Tibet travel services with unprecedentedly competitive rates. So far, Easy Tibet Travel Service does NOT charge travelers for applying for any paper document except for the cases in which tourists are in urgent need of visiting Tibet. What is more, the specific amounts of extra service fees are determined by how urgent your tour intention is. Please also talk to our travel consultants for the most update and cost-efficient Tibet permit application service charge criteria upon distinguished level of urgencies.


*Supplementary Questions from Real Travelers:


Q 1: Is it possible that one or several foreign tourists traveling together in Tibet with one or a few Chinese tourists? 


A: Yeswe can always make the so-called hybrid’ or mixed’ Tibet travel service come true despite the policy restrictions. 


In this casewe will apply for the Tibet travel permitalso named Tibet visaseparately for international travelers. Meanwhilethe Chinese passport holders need to apply for a permit called Border Permit’ enabling them to travel near Chinas border areas such as the Everest Base Camp etc. 



2 options are viable for applying the Border Permit in regard to Chinese travelers. 


One method is that the Chinese tourists go to the Lhasa Public Security Bureau in the company of your travel guide or our designated person with the original Chinese ID card upon the arrival. Please note that any duplicatedscanned copies or just photos of the Chinese ID card do NOT work in the permit applying course. 


Superiority of Method One: 

Chinese travelers dont have to bother to run the border permit procedure before the commencement of the trip. 



The border permit is mandatory for Chinese travelers striding on the Tibets regions outside Lhasa City. Applying border permit subsequently upon arrival in Tibet can cause possible delay of your tours as going back and forth the local PSBfilling in papers consumes some timeespecially in high season or during the Chinese national holidays from October 1 to October 7.


The other means for Chinese travels to apply is to visit the Public Security Bureau (PSBat the travelers’ identity registration location before the tour gets started. Please take the original ID card there. In 2019the updated PSB policy allows Chinese tourists to apply their border permits at the PSB just in their working cities or townswhich brings about much convenience. 


Advantage of Method Two: 

Finalizing all permit and document procedures facilitates your Tibet travel to the largest extent—-you will 100% enjoy your trip without any necessity of traveling around and averting missing out on some scenic spots when you are in Tibet. This also helps cut off the extra service fee since we need to arrange someone in company to guide you. 



For those who do NOT work in their identity registration venue (possible to attain the permit just in the PSB of your residence or working place in 2019), applying border permit causes psychological discomfortswhich isundoubtedlya constant occurrence in all humans. Anywaywe recommend you to tackle the border permit chore in advance of your Tibet tour. 

Q 2: Could you assist my wife and I, Brazilian citizens, to acquire Tibet travel visa ASAP?
Hi, I was just informed by the Tibet Travel Agent that I am not able to take a flight that I have already booked from Kathmandu to Lhasa unless I spend 4 working days in Kathmandu where I would have to apply for special Tibet Travel Permit. Can you please confirm if this is correct as my travel itinerary won't enable me to stay in Kathmandu the additional 4 working days to get the special Tibet Travel Permit as suggested by the travel agent.
I would very much appreciate it if you may be able to help me in any way possible for my wife and I to get the Tibet Travel Permit in Kathmandu before our trip.
Below is my travel itinerary which I have already booked with Sichuan Airlines on Nov 10th from Varanasi to Lhasa connecting via Kathmandu:

-Flight U4162 with Buddha air from Varanasi to Kathmandu departing at 08:05 am, arriving at 08:45 in Kathmandu; then

-Flight 3U8720 with Sichuan air from Kathmandu to Lhasa departing at 12:00 pm - arriving at 15:35 pm in Lhasa. 

A for Q 2: It is reassuring to know that you are non-Indian civilians since Indian citizens, according to the updated (2019) Tibet Tourism Bureau policy, are refrained to travel in certain remote areas in Tibet like Ngari Prefecture which is also named Ali Region comprised of Mt. Kailash, Lake Manasarovar and even Guge Kingdom Ruins. Scilicet, Indian palmers need to apply special permits to acquire entitlement for their sacred circumambulation.
As a matter of fact, tourists with whether Indian passports or passports of any other country (e.g. American Indians), are regarded as palmers / pilgrims who annually circumambulate the consecrate Mt. Kailash and Lake Manasarovar zone so as to accomplish their journey to exchange spirit with the Tibetan great Buddha. For passport holders of any nation, please 
inquire our connoisseur Tibet travel service consultants no matter what nationalities you possess as the access policy to Tibet for regular palmers, single entry palmers and other types of Ali area visitors are slightly distinguishing. A step-to-step instruction will be provided for the sake of attaining Tibet travel permit.
To be precise, the two Brazilian travelers’ question is confusing one thing with another, simply because what they are stating about the special Tibet permit is exactly called the Group China Visa---No special Tibet travel permit exists and it is technically ratified by the Tibet tourism bureau.
For tourists accessing Tibet from a Chinese city, the most crucial official document they are in need is the Tibet travel permit (usually called ‘Tibet Visa’ depending on the specific tourists). In other words, travelers possessing Tibet travel permit and a regular China visa, are only allowed to visit Tibet from any place in mainland China EXCEPT Nepal.
For those who would like to stride on the palmers’ route from Kathmandu to Lhasa, the very certificates of access consist of Tibet travel permit which comes in one type only for all international tourists and the Group China visa that particularly permits the palmers (pilgrims who visit Mt. Kailash and Lake Manasarovar) and other sorts of visitors accessing from Nepal territory. The Group China visa is a special China visa issued exclusively by the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu, Nepal. Please notice that the regular China visa promulgated by Chinese mainland PSBs (also named “the police stations” in amateur terms) and other embassies & consulates throughout the world is invalid for entry from Nepal.

*Physically attendance in a Katmandu hotel is kindly required, and here come the 2 possible solutions to your plight.
#Solution 1:
     On account of the current Tibet travel service policy issued by both the Chinese Embassy in Nepal and Tibet tourism bureau, foreign tourists can apply for their Group China Visa ONLY IF they physically appear in the capital of Nepal. It takes at least 3 working days to release the special China visa from the moment our staff submit travelers’ documents to the embassy to the point the visa is formally sent down to the delivery company. And then the delivery usually takes 1 working day before the group visa is handed to your hands. Fetching the paper group visa by visiting the Chinese Embassy in person is not feasible.
     Some travelers think it a smart way to save immense time that a Tibet travel agency is able to get down to apply for their group China visa several days before they physically arrive in Kathmandu and by the time they reach the capital city, their visa has been available. This sounds like a sapiential means but it contradicts the updated Tibet travel policy from Nepal. Physical appearance, anyway, is kindly required. Circumstantially, collecting in hand the group China visa at the airport without offering an accommodation address in Kathmandu is NOT viable.
     Therefore, for the two Brazilian tourists in Q2, it is kindly recommended that they change their flight plan so that it allows them to linger in Kathmandu for an extra 4 working days.

#Solution 2:
     There is, undoubtedly, a time-saving modes of transportation for those whose schedules do NOT allow them to stay in Nepal for 4 working days. Such travelers could fly from Kathmandu airport to a mainland Chinese city like Xining (adjacent to Tibet), Chengdu, Beijing, Xi’an, Shanghai or Guangzhou etc., and then connect to another flight accessing Lhasa. The two-flights-mode could just take 1 or 2 days which helps save remarkable time.
The disadvantage, of course, is that the tourists need to spend a little bit more air fare except that they also have the plan to visit some resorts in mainland China---an adjustment of visiting sequence is necessary.

------The following content is the version before update which is still worth reading if you want to have a quick overview of how to apply for a Tibet travel permit------

1. Tibet Permit--TTB for short and the other variant is called “Tibet Visa”. The reason why the Chinese official does NOT adopt the nomenclature “Tibet Visa” is that Tibet is an autonomous region cultivated by Tibetan people, but absolutely NOT an independent country. In other words, Tibet Tourism Bureau is NOT a national organization so that the licenses it issues can never be called “visa”. Anyway, “Tibet Visa” paraphrases “Tibet Permit” and is massively accepted by the international community.
     Tibet Permit authorizes foreign travelers to enter Tibet from any other Chinese cities where passenger flights and trains are available. The securities (PSB staff) at airports and train stations will definitely check and confirm your Tibet Permit including the consistency between the names printed on the licenses and those on your passports. Therefore make sure that the spelling of your name is correct, and your passport and China visa are the specific ones with which you submit to us to apply for your Tibet Permit.

2. Aliens’ Travel Permit--The particular Aliens’ travel permit seems redundant since foreign tourists are issued Tibet Permit. Interestingly, some travelers would like to visit restricted places of interest such as Mt. Kailash and Lake Manasarovar in Ali Region where there are perennially armed forces receiving various training and Aliens’ Travel Permit allows you to pay a visit to the resorts in the highly restricted areas where unique scenery and immense divinity are worthier experiencing.
     In spite of Aliens’ Travel Permit, certain regions are NOT accessible for international tourists and those from Taiwan because the tourism policy is elastic in different periods of a year based on the decision of the Tibet Tourism Bureau.
     In case travelers would like to expand their stay in Tibet and the prolonged itinerary includes the restricted areas (The previous plan does NOT cover restricted regions.), Easy Tibet Travel can almost offer urgent service and help attain your Aliens’ Travel Permit quite soon. Anyway, what is better is to submit your whole travel plan in Tibet for the sake of convenience as expanding the itinerary sometimes takes 2-3 days or longer when the policy is more restrictive.

3. China Visa--Undoubtedly, Chinese Visa is the document which authorizes you to visit China. In order to obtain your China Visa, please go to your local Chinese consulate with your passport and it will be issued within only a few days. Please do NOT forget to send us your scanned full-size passport and China Visa which are 2 essential documents for applying for Tibet Permit even Aliens’ Travel Permit.

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