There are four documents required for a foreigner to travel to Tibet.
2) Tibet Travel Permit (TTP)
3) Alien’s Travel Permit (ATP/also called PSB permit)
4) Military permit
Tibet Visa or Tibet Group Visa
A valid passport with a standard Chinese entry visa is essential for all foreign travelers. A Chinese visa is generally obtainable from most Chinese embassies and consulates in your locality and must be obtained in advance. The cost of a standard Chinese tourist visa varies from US$ 12-120 according to the nationality of the applicant and the type of visa required. Individual visas (an ‘L’ Visa means tourist visa) may be issued for single or double entry, with a validity of one, two, or three months. Multiple entry visas are normally issued for business or educational purposes only, such as the “F” Visa, “X” Visa or “Z” Visa etc, ranging in validity from 6 to 12 months, and are more expensive (US$ 120-250). Normally three working days are required to process a visa application from the date of its submission, but express services are also available at a premium.
For detail of the visa application and formalities please check your regional Chinese Embassy website HERE
Important Tips from Explore Tibet when you apply for Chinese visa
It’s best not to mention Tibet or any places in Tibet as your travel destination when you are applying for Chinese visa (the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu is the only exception). Since Tibet is politically sensitive in China, your consulate may refuse your visa application if you mention travelling to Tibet in your application form, so please keep this in mind when applying. You can mention any city of mainland China such as Beijing, Xi’an, Shanghai, Chengdu-Sichuan, Yunnan, etc. as your travel destination.
Tibet Travel Permits (TTP)
The Tibet Travel Permit (TTP) is necessary for foreigners to get into the Tibetan Autonomous Region. Explore Tibet can apply for the permit for you and currently according to the Tibet tourism bureua policy, all the permit application should be submitted at least 15 days before the trip starting date, but if you are traveling into restricted areas, then you need more additional permits and documents which will take longer time. Once you confirm your trip with us, we request you to send us a clear scanned copy or photo of your passport and Chinese visa at least 20 days in advance by email as it is required for applying for the the Tibet Travel Permit. When the permit is issued we will send a copy of original of the permit to your hotel in China. If you will fly into Tibet then we will send the original permit to your hotel in China as you need it to board the flight. If you will take the train into Tibet, then we will send a copy of the permit by email and you can bring a copy to board the train.
Note: Diplomats, Journalists, professional media photographer and government officials are not able to issue their Tibet permit through ordinary travel agencies. They are only able to travel Tibet under the arrangement of Foreign Affairs Department, Economic Development Committee, etc.
Both Alien’s Travel Permit (ATP) and Military Permits are required if your tour passes through a restricted area. ATP is easily obtainable at your arrival as it should be applied for with your original passport, whereas a Military Permit should be applied for along with the Tibet Travel Permit in advance and it will take about 7 working days to issue.
Tibet Group Visa—Documentation for entering Tibet from Nepal
Entering Tibet via Nepal by land or air
If you plan to enter Tibet from Nepal, you must get your Tibet group visa from the Chinese embassy in Kathmandu. Whether you already have a Chinese visa or not, a Tibet group visa is compulsory for all tourists entering Tibet from Nepal. The Tibet Group Visa is an A4 size sheet of paper, with the name, sex, nationality, passport number, date of birth and occupation of each member of your 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 for staying in Lhasa. There will be two original copies of the Tibet Group Visa, one for immigration at entry and another for exit. Explore Tibet can easily help you obtain the Tibet Group visa through our partner agent in Kathmandu. We highly recommend you to don’t apply for an individual Chinese visa in your country if you decided to enter Tibet from Nepal, because when you apply for the group visa for entering Tibet, the Chinese embassy will cancel your individual Chinese visa.
Below are the costs of group visas for different nationalities
|Category;||Number of working days to obtain visa||Cost for American passport holders||Other nationalities;|
|Very Urgent||1.5 day||USD175||USD85|
|Note; The Tibet group visa is only applicable on Monday, Wednesday and Friday(three days in a week). Also, the local Nepalese agencies charge USD20-50 per person service charge according to the number of people in the group.|