Permits and visa to Tibet

Many tourists from all around the world come to visit Nepal because of its astonishing, diversified landscapes, the empire of the Himalayas and varied cultural practices. Tibet, neighboring to Nepal, stands aloof on the roof of the world; the forbidden land of the Himalayas also draws many travelers in spite of many obstructions. Many tourists wish to visit Tibet.
Himkala Adventure Pvt. Ltd. presents some information regarding the permits and visa to go to Tibet from Nepal. So, get well informed with Tibet Travel permits and visa procedure before you plan for the Tibet tour.

Tibet Travel Permits and Visa Categories
There are mainly 4 documents required for foreign tourists who want to travel legally.

  1. Chinese Visa (From China to Tibet) or Tibet Group Visa ( From Nepal to Tibet)
  2. TTB (Tibet Entry Permit) – Email passport and visa photocopies to us at least 20 – 40 days in advance.
  3. PSB (Alien’s Travel Permit) – This is for the trip with Everest Base Camp and all those unopened area – Apply after your arrival in Tibet.
  4. Military Permit & Foreign Affairs Permit – This is mainly for Kailash, Sichuan, Yunnan and for Tibet Overland

General Information about Tibet Travel Documents

  1. Chinese Visa - You can apply  for  Chinese visa in Chinese Embassy in your country ( If you go to Tibet via mainland China)

Tibet Group Visa – But If you enter Tibet from Nepal, no Chinese Visa but Tibet Group Visa is needed

  1. TTB (Tibet Entry Permit) – You have to obtain TTB (Tibet Entry Permit) to enter Tibet. It is needed by foreign citizens, overseas Chinese with no Chinese passport and Taiwan citizens but Hong Kong and Macau citizens do not need TTB.
  2. Alien’s Travel Permit (PSB – ATP) – You need this permit when you are planning to travel to the unopened areas in Tibet.
  3. Tibet Military Permits – Foreign Affairs Permit, Tibet Tour Guide’s License Permit, Driver’s License and Working Certificates, Vehicle Transportation Permits, Border Passing Permits etc.

Necessary Tibet Travel Documents

  1. Passport – All individuals entering Tibet must hold a Passport valid for at least 6 months.
  2. Chinese Visa or Tibet Group Visa
  3. Entering Tibet via Mainland China, apply for China Visa

Tips when you apply for a Chinese Visa to Tibet: Don’t mention Tibet or any places in Tibet such as Lhasa, Everest as your travel destination when applying for Chinese Visa (Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu is the exceptional) because you may be refused by stating that you will go there otherwise you need to get a Tibet Permit beforehand and apply for a Chinese Visa with it which gets more complicated.

  1. Entering Tibet via Nepal by Land or Air

You should get Tibet Group Visa in the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu, no matter whether you have already got Chinese visa or not. A group visa is valid for 15 to 20 days. This visa is not placed in your passport. The Tibet Visa is an A4 size sheet of paper, with the name, sex, nationality, passport number, date of birth and occupation of each member of you group listed. The dates of entry and exit are precisely recorded. Usually the visa is valid only for the length of the trip you have booked but it’s possible to extend the visa for few additional days but only staying for Lhasa. There will be two original copies of the Tibet Group Visa, one for Immigration at entry and another for exit.   

  1. Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB) Permits – Tibet Entry Permits

Tibet entry first page and second page covering your travel info and names etc
TTB Permits are necessary for entry to Lhasa or any other part of the Tibetan Autonomous Region, and are obtained through tour operators as part of arrangements for travel.
After you decide to travel with us, you send your following details:

Full Name| Gender | Date of Birth | Passport Number | Nationality | Occupation
Note: We need the photocopies of passport and Chinese Visa by e-mail at [email protected]
With this permit you can visit Lhasa, the Potala Palace, Shigatse and Namtso Lake. A Tibet Entry Permit is available for independent traveler now. Only with an Entry Permits, your Travel Agency helps you buy a flight, train ticket to Lhasa. Usually, a Travel Agency needs 20 days to apply for this permit.

Please remember this:

  1. All information should be exactly the same as on your passport. You should mention the occupation because Diplomats, Journalists, Media photographers, Government Officials won’t be issued for their Tibet Entry Permits through ordinary travel agencies. They are able to travel only by the arrangement of Foreign Affairs Department, Economic Development Committee etc.
  2. Please note that you can get this permit only from this Agency where you book for the trip because the Travel Agency must have confirmed itinerary and the Tibet tour guide accompaniment.
  3. Alien’s Travel Permits (PSB)

Permits to visit places that are not declared open are known as Aliens’ Travel Permits. They are issued by the Police (Public Security Bureau, “PSB”). A single permit is normally issued to all the people who are travelling together, the permit naming just one of them and stating now many others are accompanying him; the Passports, or at least photocopies of Passports and visas, of all persons travelling must be presented in order to obtain a permit.


  1. If you only travel to Lhasa, Gyatse, Shigatse; there is no need to apply for PSB.
  2. If you want to do overland tour from Yunnan, Sichuan, Qinghai or Xinjiang Province to Tibet, we need your entry stamp to China to apply the PSB before your tour starts.
  1. Military Permit and Foreign Affairs Permit

Tibet Military Permit and Foreign Affairs Permit documents are to travel to some military sensitive areas such as Yunnan, Sichuan to Tibet Overland, Kailash Mansarovar, Pomi etc. These documents are important and normally the application needs to be prepared one month in advance. So, early tour confirmation with travel agency is necessary.

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