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Latest 2020 Tibet Permit Travel Guide

Tibet Permit & Visa Information

Tibet Travel Permit, also known as Tibet Visa or Tibet Entry Permit, is an indispensable travel permit for international tourists to enter Tibet in addition to Chinese visa. For every foreign traveler, Tibet Permit is required as a must entry pass to board the flight or Tibet train bound for Lhasa.

According to the policy, Singaporeans, Japanese and Mongolian citizens do not need Chinese visas and visit for no more than 15 days. Additionally, you will need a Tibet Travel Permit, which we will organize as part of our service. 

Entering from mainland China: Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Xian by train or flight

If you are planning to arrive in Lhasa via mainland China, you would need to apply for your Chinese visa from the Chinese Embassy in your own country from the Chinese Embassy.

To apply for a Chinese visa, you need to fill in a questionnaire, including the travel route, means of transportation, stay time, etc.

It may ask for you to list the places in China that you plan to visit. Kindly suggested to not mention ‘Tibet’ as your destination. You may just tell them that you are planning to visit eg: Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai or Xian. As the consulate/embassy will ask you to supply the Tibet entry permit first to make sure your visa to be approved without having the Chinese visa first. This will cause problems as it is in the conflict with the requirements at the Tibet Travel Bureau for the permit application. There’s a chance that your application will be denied and you cannot go to Tibet just because of visa problems.

Tibet Travel Permit Categories:

There are three kinds of permits may be involved during your Tibet tour. The chinatoursnet will be able to obtain you all the necessary permits if you book a tour with us. 

Here are the types for the permits you may need:

1. Tibet Entry Permit (TTB permit) - which you have to obtain in order to enter Tibet before you get to Tibet. If you do not travel to closed or restricted areas but just have a few days in the Lhasa area, you only have to obtain this permit. Generally, it needs 3-5 working days to get the Tibet permit with the full documents supplied and another 3-5 days to deliver the permit. You will be suggested to present all the documents 20 days prior to the departure date of your tour.

Any travel agency is not allowed to provide only the application Tibet permit service unless you have booked a tour.

Tibet travel permit.jpg

When and How to use the Tibet Permit?

If you are taking the train to Tibet, the permit copy should be fine, and please take at least 3 copies on to make sure if they will need it for a record. Most time the travel agency will fax or send to you at least 1 day before you start the tour, you may just need to print it out and take it along with you;

If taking the flights into Tibet, the original permit (the physical one) will be checked when you change your boarding pass or pass the check-in counter. Usually, the agency will need the exact address where you can get the permit 7 days prior to the departure date. The hotel at the last stop city before Tibet would be perfect considering the time for delivering the permit from Lhasa. 

(This does NOT apply to the one who is taking the flights from Kathmandu to Lhasa; the tour guide will hold the original permit waiting at the airport instead.)

2. Aliens' Travel Permit (PSB permit)-which we have to obtain for you when you are planning to travel to the closed areas in Tibet, such as Mt. Everest, Nagri, Sayka, Tsedang and etc. 

According to your Tibet tour itinerary, your guide will assist you in applying for it after you enter Tibet when it is needed. The original passport, China visa and the Tibet Entry Permit normally take 1-2 hours.  

alien travel permit.jpg

3. Tibet Military Permit - which we have to obtain for you if you are planning to travel to some military sensitive areas, such as Nagri, Nyingchi or some places through the overland tour to Lhasa from Chengdu or Yunnan or Xining. It takes 1-2 weeks to obtain this permit, so if you want to travel to places like those, it will be best to plan the trip 30 days prior to the departure date at least.


Please prepare the following documents for the permit application.

  • Valid passport copy

  • Valid China visa copy

  • Occupation

Note: The occupation is needed to distinguish from the diplomats, journalists, and government officials. They will apply for the permit under the arrangement by the Foreign Affairs Office of Tibet Government. If you are holding the residence permit, work permit, Student ID in China, your work certificate copy or expert certificate copy or ID copy will be needed. (the one to show you are working/studying in China is okay)

Entering Tibet from Kathmandu:

You need two visas to enter Lhasa, China group visa and Tibet permit. No China visa is required in advance if you go through Nepal and we will provide the Tibet Permit on arrival in Kathmandu.

How to get your China Group Visa?

Arrive in Kathmandu and give your Original Passport to our staff, since the processing of China Group Visa takes at least 3-business days, you need to arrive in Kathmandu at least 4 days earlier before you enter Tibet either by flight or by road; Give your original passport and personal photo and visa fee to our staff in Kathmandu and fill out the application form. The issued China Group Visa will be given to you in person in your hotel in Kathmandu.

Price of Chinese Visa and Tibet Permit:

Times of Entry  

Normal Visa Fee

4 days(US$) 

Semi Urgent Visa 

Fee 3 days(US$)

Nepali CitizensSingle76115
US CitizensSingle182217
Canadian CitizensSingle126161
Israeli CitizensSingle85120
Romanian CitizensSingle127162
Serbian CitizensSingle6297
Albanian Citizens &  Micronesian CitizensSingle6486
Other CitizensSingle94129

An additional $20 is charged for handling China Group Visa Application in the Chinese Embassy in Nepal on your behalf and delivering it to your hotel.

As to Tibet Permit, you may enjoy free service for getting your Tibet Permit.

Difference between China Group Visa and Chinese Visa

Firstly, both two visas allow international travelers to enter and exit China. The major difference is that they are used differently. To enter Tibet (TAR) from Nepal, only China Group Visa will do. 

According to the latest policy, the China Group Visa will only be issued to a tourist group that consists of at least 5 travelers. And you have to travel together both in and out of China via a pre-arranged tour with a travel agency.

However, to solo travelers, there is no need to worry about getting China Group Visa. As an international travel agency with a large number of global clients from Kathmandu, we promise to get your China Group Visa successfully.

Just tell us your travel date and Tibet tour plan, we help you make it happen.

Check the following table to learn more differences:

China Group Visa Enter From Nepal Chinese Visa 
Accepted for Tibet Entry from NepalUnaccepted for Tibet Entry from Nepal
A sheet of paperA stamp
Single entry visaEither single or multiple entry visa
Maximum Validity of 30 daysMaximum Validity of 30, 60, 90 days
Issued in Chinese Embassy in KathmanduIssued in Chinese Embassy in Your Country
Apply via a local Tibet travel agencyApply individually

Warm Prompt:

If you have a multiple-entry Chinese visa, as you apply for a China Group Visa, the previous Chinese visa will become invalid. If you want to keep it, a great solution is to fly from Kathmandu to Chengdu and later get Tibet Permit for Tibet entry.

Besides, please be aware that the China Group Visa is a special type of visa to Tibet, China. Once your name is written with other travelers, you guys have to enter or exit China at the same time.

How to get your Tibet Permit?

Though the processing of Tibet Permit takes 8-9 days in Lhasa, you should offer your passport information to us at least 20 days before you leave for Nepal because we need it to apply for Tibet Permit and Visa Invitation. 

While for Tibet Permit, you need to start preparing at least 20 days before you for Nepal. All you need to do is emailing the photo of your passport information to us. As to the Tibet Permit, it will be kept by your Tibetan guide throughout your Tibet tour. 

However, now it is readily available for international tourists to enter Tibet from Kathmandu or in reverse. You may enjoy the epic Kathmandu to Lhasa overland tour or in the opposite way.

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