Important informations on Tibet travel permit & Tibet Group Visas
Tibet Permit & Group Visa:
This page provides you important and first-hand information about Tibet travel permit and documents needed to apply for the permits. Tibet is officially a province of China, so a valid China visa is required to travel to Tibet (except if you enter Tibet from Nepal, please see the Tibet group visa section if you enter Tibet from Nepal). As Tibet is different from other places in mainland China, you need some additional travel documents or permits to travel.Tibet Travel Permits (or Tibet visa) are the necessary documents required for a tour to Tibet in addition to Chinese visa. Tibet Travel Permits vary according to the places that travelers plan to visit, but the most basic one is the permit issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau. It is required as a must entry pass to Tibet for every foreign traveler.Due to Tibet's unique ethnic traditions, cultural heritage, tourist service facilities, reception capacity, ecological protection needs and traffic situation, the National Tourism Administration prescribed that foreign tourists, Taiwan and overseas Chinese tourists (except for Hong Kong and Macao residents holding Chinese passports or return certificates) have to get a Tibet Travel Permit before they are allowed to enter Tibet. All tourists can get it through a travel agency except for diplomats, journalists and government officials. They have to go through the Tibet Foreign Affairs Office. Please keep in mind that foreign tourists are generally required to have four kinds of documents to travel in Tibet. Tibet Travel Permit For Hong Kong Residents and Macau Residents: For the residents of Hong Kong and Macau, it is no need to apply for the Tibet travel permit (Tibet visa). All you need to take is your HK/Macau SAR Passport and Home Return Permit.
The Four Essential Tibet Permit / Visa Required;
1) China visa or Tibet Group visa
As Tibet is under the jurisdiction of China, tourist will need to obtain the first document, Chinese Visa, for the purpose of entering China. Tourists can apply for it in a Chinese Embassy overseas or in Hong Kong.If you are entering Tibet from Nepal, you will need to obtain the Tibet Group Visa from the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu. It is an A4 size sheet of paper with the name, sex, nationality, passport number, date of birth and occupation of each member listed in your group. The dates of entry and exit are precisely recorded.All travelers in the group must enter and leave China together. To apply for the Tibet Group Visa, you will need a visa invitation letter from the Tibet Tourism Bureau sent by a tour agency in Tibet. Our office in Lhasa can prepare the necessary arrangements and send them to our local agent in Nepal to help travelers apply for the Tibet Group Visa.
2) Tibet Travel Permit (TTP)
“Tibet Visa,” the Tibet Travel Permit (TTP) is actually the entry permit to enter the province. The Tibet Travel Permit is issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB). It is also called Tibet visa, for the purpose of entering Tibet.TTPs must be applied through a local tour agency in Tibet. It is impossible for foreign tourists to board a train or flight to Tibet without a TTP. The permits specify every destination and attraction you will visit on your tour and cannot be changed once you arrive in Tibet. Therefore it is essential that you finalize your itinerary with your tour operator before they apply for the TTP. If you hold a visa different from the (L) Tourist visa, such as a student or work visa, you will need a letter from your school or company to clarify the purpose of your visit.
3) Alien's Travel Permit (ATP/PSB permit)
If your itinerary includes passing through destinations within a restricted area, you will need an Alien Travel Permit (ATP). The ATP is a travel document issued by the Public Security Bureau, a branch of the police that handles affairs with foreigners.
When you travel to a restricted place in Tibet, your tour guide will take your original passport to the local Public Security Bureau and apply for the ATP on your behalf. The Alien’s Travel Permit is issued by the Public Security Bureau. It is required when tourists are planning to travel to the ‘unopened’ areas of Tibet, like Mount Everest Base Camp in Shigatse, Samye Monastery in Tsedang.
4) Military permit
The military permit is a travel document issued by the military authority in Tibet. You need it to enter politically sensitive areas and border regions where territory is disputed between China and neighboring countries.The military area entry permit is required if tourists are planning to travel to some military sensitive areas in Tibet. Like Mount Kailash in Ali, Rowok Lake in Chamdo.
The Best - Tibet Permit Application Procedure
1. Email us the photo copy of your passport and Chinese Visa at least 20 days before your Tibet tour starts.There are three main types of Chinese Visa, “L”,”F”,“Z”, including other types for studying, travelling and working.Please refer to Apply for Tibet Visa to understand what Travel documents you need to prepare. Note: Any Visa issued by associations like APEC is not equal to Chinese Visa for Tibet Travel Permit application.
2. If you work or live in China or visit China for business purpose, you will need to offer a certificate to prove your purpose for visiting China.
3. Your Tibet Travel Permit will be issued within 2-5 working days after we pass your documents to Tibet Tourism Bureau. The Tibet Travel Permit will be posted to the city from which you depart to Tibet. Please let us know the address and telephone number of your hotel in that city 15 days before you arrive in China. If we want you to pick up the documents at our branch office in that city, we will mention it in the contract.
4. Travelers need to offer unfeigned, effective and related credential, license or certificate through which The Himalaya Ventures Tour Ltd. will apply for necessary permits.Once any counterfeit credential, license or certificate from travelers is confirmed, reserves the right to cancel the corresponding trip, without any refund. Necessary compensation from travelers also occurs when any counterfeit made by the travelers induces loss to The Himalaya Ventures Tour Ltd.
* Please pay attention: When there are important political events or any indication of such political or social unrest, the government may not issue Tibet Travel Permits. Although the conflicts are defused day by day, it is still a problem out of our control. Therefore, we cannot guarantee that you will get the Tibet Travel Permit under those circumstances. Moreover, we cannot predict when it will happen. Please do understand and take it into consideration when planning your trip to Tibet. However, it is not necessary to worry too much because it rarely happens. And any unofficial information you find on the Internet or hear from other people, even from travel agencies, can be considered as rumor. Please do not believe it unless you get an announcement from the government.