Tibet Travel Permits --- The Documents for Opening the Door of Tibet

Tibet is known for its amazing landscape and mysterious culture. Most of the travelers want to discover the unique beauty of Tibet on their own. But unfortunately, for international clients, they could not travel to Tibet the same as the Chinese people. I mean, they can not have a free tour in Tibet due to the sensitive reasons both on historical and pollical factors. There are some special documents required to limit their flexibility of the tour in Tibet. We gave them a general name --- Tibet Permits. So, what are Tibet Permits? Who needs Tibet Permits? How many kinds of Tibet Permit? Let’s talk it one by one.

What are Tibet Permits?
The documents that internationals tourists have to provide when traveling to Tibet. Here “Tibet” just refers to Tibet Autonomous Region, not the traditional Tibet area that includes some parts in Sichuan.

The sample of Tibet Travel Permit - the first page


Who needs Tibet Permits?
International tourists, that means the travelers without Chinese passports or Chinese national identity card. For example, even if you are Chinese, but you are holding an American passport, you have to apply for Tibet Permits when visiting Tibet. For Hongkong and Macao residents, they don’t need Tibet Permits as long as they have Home Return Permit along with their Hongkong and Macao ID card. Taiwanese are not allowed to travel to Tibet so far.

How many kinds of Tibet Permit?
There are eight kinds of Tibet Permits in total. But the most three common permits you will need are Tibet Travel Permit, Aliens’ Travel Permit, Military Permit.  

Tibet Travel Permit, well-known as Tibet Visa, is the basic paper for foreigners to travel to Tibet. It’s kind of a key to the door of Tibet Autonomous Region. Tibet Tourism Bureau is in charge of issuing it. Tibet tourism insiders usually call it TTB as well.

Tibet Travel Permit - The second page


Aliens’ Permit, if you will travel out of Lhasa, you need to get the Aliens’ Permit. For instance, most of the foreigner visitors choose Tibet as the tour destination because of Everest, the highest peak in the world. And you must get the Aliens’ Permit for visiting Everest. It’s an easy permit, you need to get it in Shigatse at the spot for around half an hour. If you want to visit Shannan Prefecture, you also need to get the Aliens’ Permit in Tsedang. Actually, Chinese Passport Holders need the same permit with a different name to visit Everest, 边防证. They need to get it at the police station of their Registered Residence before the tour starts. It’s for free or just CNY10/person. But if you are not available to get it, for example, you live far from the hometown, you could also get it in Lhasa. However, it costs CNY100/person, and it will be issued with a minimum number of 5 persons. It means you have to pay for CNY500 if there are no other Chinese to share the cost.

Aliens' Permit



Military Permit, is the permit for visiting those sensitive areas, like Ngari Prefecture, etc. When you are planning to visit the holy Mt. Kailash or the sacred Lake Manasarovar, you have to get it in advance. 

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