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How to Apply for Tibet Permit

How to Apply for Tibet Permit


One of the main permits for travel to Tibet, the Tibet Permit, sometimes known as the Tibet Tourism Board Permit, is a must for all international travelers to Tibet. International travelers must all have a Tibet Travel Permit in order to get into and travel around Tibet, and the only way to do this is through a registered Tibetan tour operator. The permit is so important, that it is actually impossible to even board a train or flight to Tibet without it.

In order to obtain the Tibet Travel permit, there is a certain procedure that must be followed, and if it is not done properly, you can be stopped from entering Tibet, which will ruin your vacation. For your benefit, and to ensure that you get it done properly, here are the processes and procedures for obtaining a Tibet Travel permit and enjoying your tour of Tibet.

Facts about Tibet Permit

The first thing you need to know about the Tibet Travel Permit is that you cannot apply for it yourself. The permit is issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau in Lhasa, and only applications from approved and registered Tibet tour operators will be approved for travel. In order to get the Tibet travel Permit, you will need to be part of a pre-booked tour of Tibet with a registered tour operator, who will provide you with an approved itinerary, a private guide, private driver, and private vehicle, as well as making all the arrangements for your tour, from the hotels you stay in to the tickets and passes for the attractions you will visit while in Tibet.

The Tibet Travel permit is not a visa or a stamp that goes in your passport, it is a completely separate document that consists of two pages and which contains information about you, your trip, and your tour operator. Information included on the permit is:

  • Permit Number
  • Travel Agency Name
  • Tour Group Number
  • Start and End dates of the tour
  • Entry City, Route, and Departure City
  • Your Name, Nationality, Gender, Passport Number, Profession, and Date of birth

All of this information is normally recorded on the permit in Chinese, with the exception of your name, and the details of the permit and the categories are also all in Chinese. While this may seem a little hard to understand for those who do not speak or read Chinese, the permit is actually designed to be read by Chinese police and military officials at the airport, train station, and various checkpoints into and around Tibet, many of whom speak very little English.

The Procedure for Applying for Tibet Permit

There is a set procedure for getting the Tibet Travel permit, and if that procedure is not strictly adhered to, then you risk being declined the permit and entry into Tibet. The first step to obtaining a Tibet Travel Permit is to apply for a Chinese Entry Visa, if you are planning on entering Tibet from one of the gateway cities in mainland China.

If you are planning to enter from Nepal, you do not need to apply for the visa, as it will be done on your behalf once you arrive in Nepal. Then, you need to find a reputable tour operator that can provide you with the tour that you are looking for in Tibet. All international tourists to Tibet are required to book their trip through a registered tour operator, and independent travel in the region is no longer permitted.

Once you have found the tour operator you want to use, you need to discuss your requirements for your tour of Tibet, and confirm your itinerary for your tour of Tibet. This is important, since the permit cannot be applied for without a confirmed itinerary. Once you have booked and paid the deposit on your tour, we will make the application on your behalf as your tour operator.

Using scanned copies of your passport and visa (for entry via China), we will make the application with the Tibet Tourism Bureau in Lhasa. You will need to scan your passport, including the pages with the Chinese Entry Visa, and send it to us to process your application. All of the information given above regarding the entries on the Tibet Travel Permit must be provided to us, and must match exactly the same information in your passport, or your application will be declined.

Processing for the Tibet Travel Permit normally takes around 15-20 days, though some applications can take a little longer. In order to ensure that you have your permit ready for your departure date to Tibet, we recommend that you make the booking with us at least one month before your planned departure date, or as early as possible. Chinese Entry Visas are valid for three months from the date of issue, so you actually have plenty of time to make all the arrangements with us and get your Tibet Travel Permit in plenty of time for your trip to the plateau.


When applying for a Tibet travel Permit, it is essential that you follow the correct procedure, to ensure that your permit application is not delayed or declined. Our expert advisors will be able to recap the requirements of the permit application when you talk to them, and can help with all of the details and procedures required for all of your tour requirements. The permit is required for travel on the trains and flights to Tibet, as well as around the region, as well as some other permits that will be applied for depending on your itinerary in Tibet. If you have any further questions on the Tibet Travel Permit, or any of the other information given here, then please feel free to get in touch with our professional advisors, who would be happy to assist you.

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About the author

Carmen Edelson is the Founder of Carmen's Luxury Travel. Carmen has been traveling the world for over a decade. Her travels allow her the opportunity to pursue her itch to travel to the best luxury destinations, and experience those first class tastes from around the world.


  1. Agness
    January 4, 2019 at 3:24 am

    Hi Carmen, I really like this article because I am interested in travelling to Tibet in the future. This is a big help.
    Agness recently posted…Uncovering the Rose Red City, Half as Old as Time: Petra, JordanMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      January 12, 2019 at 2:39 pm

      I’m so glad you found it helpful, Agness!

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