Permits and Visa in Tibet

If you are planning to visit the cold country of Tibet then you can read about the Tibetan Visa and Permits that are mandatory before you visit Tibet. The process and terms are explained in a very short and simple manner in this article. So before you head out to Tibet, you may want to take some tips from this article on Permits and Visa in Tibet.

  • Tibet celebrates the country’s traditional New Year in the month of March. Permits are closed during this time.
  • The Tibet Permit is open for tourists from all over the world from April 1st, 2017.
  • Those who plan to visit Tibet have to fill out an application for the Tibet Travel Permit (TTP).
  • International travelers have to confirm the TTP paper works and documentation at least 10 days prior.
  • The processing time for the TTP varies from one week i.e. 7 days to 20 days depending on the type of your tour.

As mentioned earlier sometimes you will need additional documents to enter Tibet other than the China Visa. In order to travel to Tibet, there are four types of Permits and Visas available.

  1. Tibet Travel Permit (TTP)
  2. China Visa / Tibet Group Visa
  3. Alien Travel Permit / Public Security Bureau Permit (ATP/PSB)
  4. Military Permit

The different types of Tibet Travel Permits and Travel Documents mentioned above are for various cities within Tibet.

Important Note: TTP (Tibet Travel Permit)

You can enter Tibet through Nepal or through China. In order to enter Tibet, you will require a Chinese Visa as Tibet is officially Chinese province. However please note that the China Visa is not the only requirement for Tibet Travel Permit. There are several other documents that you require as this is not Mainland China. People who hold passports of various other countries including the Chinese living globally have to obtain the TTP. There is no maximum age limit or a minimum age limit to apply for TTP.

Important Note : China Visa

In case you enter Tibet you will require a China Visa. So in order to avoid last minute problems it is advised to always apply at your home country China Consulate prior to your Tibet tour. You need your original passport. Your bareheaded photograph has to be attached onto the filled in Visa Application Form. This is only for the favorite tourist hotspot called Lhasa. There are several political sensitive areas and military sensitive areas in Tibet. Remember that in order to visit the entire region of Tibet you require various other travel documents.

Important Note: Tibet Group Visa

If you wish to enter Tibet through Nepal you will require a Tibet Group Visa. There are other details mentioned clearly. There is a clear log of the visiting date of entry and date of exit mentioned on this A4 Size sheet of paper. Extension dates are rare. If permitted the extension is only for a few days and is generally restricted only to Lhasa. The application involves the China Embassy in Kathmandu. There is one Entry Tibet Group Visa Copy and one Exit Tibet Group Visa for the Entry and Exit of Tibet. The cost of the Tibet Group Visa depends on the number of days of tour, your nationality, and the priority.

Important Note: Aliens’ Travel Permit (ATP)

Lhasa is a very attractive tourist spot in Tibet. However, if you plan to go beyond this Lhasa region in Tibet, then it is mandatory to carry the Aliens’ Travel Permit. For example, if you would like to visit cities like Shigatse, Shannan, Nyingchi then you have to carry the PSB Permit. This is another term for the Aliens’ Travel Permit. It is called the Public Security Bureau Permit.

In case you do not have the PSB Permit your further travel will be stopped by local police in Tibet. In order to arrange the Aliens’ Travel Permit, you will have to keep the China Visa and your respective Passport too. Keep them ready as this is processed upon entering Tibet.

Cities that Require Aliens’ Travel Permit / Public Security Bureau (ATP/PSB Permit)

  • Chamdo Region
  • Ngari Region: including Mt. Kailash, Lake Manasarovar, etc.
  • Nyingchi Region: Also includes Pomi, Rawu, the Basum Lake, etc.
  • Gyangtse County: Also includes Palcho Monastery and Kubum Stupa, etc.
  • Shigatse Area: This includes Sakya Monastery, the Everest Base Camp, the Mount Everest, Rongbuk Monastery, etc.
  • Shannan Region: This includes the Samye Monastery, the Changdruk Temple, the Yumbulagang Palace, and the Tomb of Tibetan King, etc.
  • Important Note : Military Permit

    As mentioned earlier there are some additional travel documents that you will require while travelling to Tibet. This is based on the area or the region in Tibet you plan to tour. So there are some areas in the country where a Military Permit is mandatory to be able to travel there. Military Permit is necessary for some remote areas as well as those areas that are military sensitive.

    This is one of the lengthiest methods for the processing of the travel documents. It takes around 20 days. In order to get a Military Permit in Tibet you have to apply for this in advance prior to leaving for Tibet. You have to give a copy of your respective passport as well as China Visa. This is generally applied through the Travel Agency. The Military Permit is issued by the Military Office in Lhasa.

    Tibetan Regions that Require Military Permit

    • Ngari Region: Mount Kailash, Lake Mansarovar, and all other areas too.
    • Nyingchi Region: Draksumtso, Pomi, Rawu, and other remote Shannan areas.
    • Chamdo Region: Chamdo, Riwoche, and various other provinces too.

    Note: In case you are travelling from Sichuan or to Sichuan (Overland Sichuan), or Xinjiang, Yunnan, as well as Qinghai provinces you will require Military Permit.

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