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Tibet Travel Permit

Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB) permit, also called Tibet Entry Permit, is issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau. It is necessary for entry to Lhasa or any other parts of the Tibetan Autonomous Region. When you fly from any city to Lhasa you will need to show this permit when you check in at the airport. Furthermore, whenever you buy a flight to Lhasa you need to show this permit.

Who should apply for the Tibet Travel Permits?
Overseas tourists (Non-Chinese passport holders) and Taiwanese must obtain a Tibet Entry Permit issued by the TTB. Tourists can join a group organized by a travel agency, which will usually handle the permit for them in advance.

For individual tourists the offices of the TTB will do it for you. One can only obtain the permit where he or she departs for Tibet.

Visitors to Tibet from Chengdu, Golmud, Xi'an, Chongqing, and other places can only buy their airplane, train, or coach ticket and check in at the airport after submitting the original permit.

And visitors from Katmandu still need the permit to obtain a paper visa or a signature on your visa from the Chinese Embassy in Nepal to buy their airplane tickets and enter Tibet. While in Tibet, you are not allowed to travel alone even with the permit.

Tibet Tourism Bureau can issue Tibet Travel Permit for people with tour passports and visas
If your visa type is “F”, not “L”, you also must or have to apply for Tibet travel permit with Tibet Foreign Affairs Office
Businessman who want to invest money in Tibet and enjoy the tour during their spare time can get Tibet travel permit from Tibet Economic Development & Foreign Trade Committee
Journalists, government officials, ambassadors could not get Tibet Travel Permit even though carrying the tour passport
Taiwanese can get Tibet travel permit from Taiwan Affairs Office Tibet Branch.

What documents should be submitted?
The necessary materials to apply for the Tibet Permit are similar to those demanded for a visa including
A copy of the visa and the first page of the passport
One’s basic information, such as name, nationality, age, gender, Phone number, passport number, occupation (journalists and diplomatists are excluded as common tourists to Tibet).
Tour itineraries, general tour schedule

The permit usually takes 2 days to issue. However, it is best to allow at least two weeks for mailing and processing. When you receive the permit you will have enough time to arrange the tickets, hotels, and your preparation for rest.
2. Passport & Visa
Overseas tourists to Tibet must hold a valid passport issued by his or her homeland and a visa issued by a Chinese embassy or consulate. However, tourists from a country that has agreed upon a visa-free protocol with China can visit Tibet without a visa with the max staying time of 30 days.

More details about China Visa can be found in China Visa FAQ page
3. Alien's Travel Permit (PSB Permit)
If you plan to travel into the closed areas of Tibet, such as Tingri, Dromo, Nyalam, Nhagartse, Medog ,Burang and Pemako counties, you must further apply for an Alien's Travel Permit which is issued by the Public Security Bureau (PSB) of Tibet. The opened areas of Tibet currently only cover about 16% of the whole region, so apply for one if you plan to have a deep exploration of the land.

These documents can also be done by your travel agency. The information you need to submit is similar to those required for the Tibet Entry permit.
4. Other Permits
Travel into sensitive borders such as Mt. Kailash and Eastern Tibet still needs permits from the Military Area and Foreign Affairs Office of Tibet. A permit from the local Cultural Antique Department is also needed if you go to Tholing Monastery, Ruins of Guge Kingdom (Tsaparang) in Ngrai.

Which group of people need handle “the ratification of travel to Tibet?
1、Non-Chinese citizens ID card holder—visitors from Taiwan, China;
2、Non-Chinese passport holders--foreign passport holders
Tips: overseas Chinese also should handle ““the ratification of travel to Tibet” if they don’t have Chinese passport.

Tips: now the government has cancelled the provision that people from Hong Kong, Macao must provide ratification of travel to Tibet. The visitors from Hong Kong, Macao can travel to Tibet if they hold the passport of Special Administrative Region (SAR) or the ratification of returning homeland (the ratification was issued before 1998, and has 10-year validity) or the pass of movements to mainland of the residents in Hong Kong, Macao.

Notes for foreigners to Tibet
According to the provision from the National Tourism Bureau, foreign visitors, Taiwan visitors and overseas Chinese (except the Hong Kong, Macao residents who hold the passport of Special Administrative Region or the ratification of returning homeland) in Tibet are not allowed to travel by themselves. They must travel in group whatever there are how many visitors.

Any organized travel groups from overseas must apply for the ratification to Tibet in Tibet Travel Bureau and its administrative institutions in various places by the travel agency you entrusted. For the foreign visitors who want to visit Tibet, the Tibet Tourism Bureau has build up administrative institutions in various places to serve for them, such as in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Ge’ermu and so on.

How to handle “the ratification of foreigners’ travel to Tibet”?
Issue a passport: at first, foreign country visitors need issue passports in the foreign country embassy to the People’s Republic of China, excluding the countries which have concluded the agreement of non-issuing passports.
Application for the ratification of travel to Tibet:
Please send your personal information (including your name, nationality, age, gender, vocation and passport number), route, approximate travel time, travel intentions and your contact phone number to the Tibet Tourism Bureau in offices around the designated directly or through the local agency .And at the same time send us the copy of your passport home page and visa by fax or E-mail, and you will receive relevant confirmation formality of entering in Tibet in 2 or 4 days.

You can immediately get the “ratification of foreigners’ travel to Tibet” while your passport and visa have been received.
Although only need 3 days to verify and issue the ratification, please conduct your application procedures as soon as possible, because we need to arrange the booking work of your airport ticket, hotel, guide and car etc. Therefore, your relevant data about your travel line in Tibet, the time, and the place and etc. can be confirmed.