How to get the Tibet travel permit

Traveling to Tibet is no longer a hard thing as people think especially for foreign tourists. There are two means of getting to Tibet — as tourists to Tibet can take flight or enter Tibet through the train, and you can do this from many cities in China.


For tourists, traveling to Tibet has always been a trendy thing where tourists have the opportunity of learning from the Tibetan culture, exploring their great sites, lakes, mountain, and the divine Tibetan Buddhism.

There are so many great places to explore in the Roof of the world as Tibet is called. Besides, a considerable number of visitors make their ways to Tibet for one or two reasons.

Some get to Tibet through a train while some choose to get to Tibet through the flight. Whichever way, this depends entirely on individuals choices and tourist’s home country.

However, most of these travelers make their trip to Tibet along the Qinghai –the popularly known Tibet railway, and the highest railway in the world.

Therefore, to explore some of the great sites in Tibet such as Mount Everest Base Camp, Lhasa, Mount Kailash, and so on, most tourists go through the Qinghai railway.


For every traveler who wants to sightsee and explore Tibet, certain travel requirements must be provided before entering Tibet. Therefore, following the law of the Republic of China, there are certain permits necessary for any foreign visitor coming into Tibet or traveling around the Tibet region.

Moreover, these permits are into 2 different phases — one is to land any foreign visitor into Tibet either by train, flight or overland and it’s called Alien’s Travel Permit,  and the second phase of the permit would allow the visitor to travel around Lhasa, and its region, which is also called the Military Permit.

Although having any one of these permits or both doesn’t meant that you would be permitted to visit every places in Tibet or Lhasa. However, there are certain places where there are restrictions, where no permit will get you in there.

Additionally, there are obviously two major routes for any foreign visitor to enter Tibet — China or Nepal. It is worthy to note that each of these routes has its different requirements depending on your home country.


There are two major requirements needed to enter Tibet through China. First, your national passport issued from your home country, and Chinese entry visa. With these two basic requirements, any foreigner can enter Tibet. However, any visiting foreigner to Tibet can get this from the Visa office of the Chinese Embassy available in your home country. Currently, there is a physical collection of the visa, and not available through an online facility.

Applicants can fill up the available Visa forms online before taking it to the Visa office of the Chinese embassy in their home country for further processing.


The Tibet Bureau Permit is the available Tibet travel permit designed for any foreign visitor entering Tibet to tour, explore, or whichever purpose, and must be obtained through the assistance of a registered tour operator.

Individuals are to obtain the permit application through a registered tour operator with a pre-booked itinerary also with the operator before permit application.

However, applicants must provide these when applying for the permit — A scanned copy of your national passport clearly showing the date of issue, and photograph, and must be valid for a minimum of 6 months. Also, applicants are expected to provide a scanned copy of your Chinese Entry Visa and a copy of your itinerary to the tour operator. Within  24 hours, applicants traveling to Lhasa get their permits and almost ten days for anyone going into Tibet by train.


This permit is designed for anyone who wishes to go beyond Tibet and explore other unopened areas in Tibet. However, tourists can get this from the office of foreign affair division of the public security bureau right in Lhasa. Besides, applicants cannot apply in person without the consent of your tour operator. This permit takes a few hours and requires about 50 CNY per application.


For anyone who wishes to enter Tibet from Nepal, the Group Entry Visa is necessary, and it’s obtainable in Nepal through the Chinese Embassy. Since applicants cannot apply in person, however, applicants can only get this through the help of a tour operator.


Getting to Tibet is made easy regardless of your home country, and requires more than ordinary planning. Obtaining the necessary documents and permits make your journey and stay in Tibet fun, fulfilled, and possible.

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