Tibet Tourism Bureau Permit is required permission from Chinese government for all foreign tourists to Tibet. It is also known as "TTB Permit" or "Tibet Entry Permit". Some people also called it as "Tibet Visa" or "Lhasa Visa".This document is needed when boarding a flight or train and checking in the hotels in Lhasa. While taking an overland trip in Tibet, there are some check points along the road, which will ask for your Tibet Permit.
1. Who should apply for a TTB permit?
All foreign tourists should apply for a TTB permit in advance when they are planning to enter Tibet Autonomous Region. They are:
1) Non-Chinese passport holders: USA citizens, Australian citizens, Canadian citizens, Russian citizens, etc.
2) Overseas Chinese people who do not have Chinese passport or ID Card.
A. Nowadays, the Chinese citizens who hold SAR passport, Home-visiting Certificate or Permit from Hong Kong and Macau, need not apply for a TTB permit.
B. Diplomats, journalists and government officials who should travel to Tibet under the arrangement by the Foreign Affairs Office of Tibet Government.
2. How and Where to apply for a TTB permit?
The TTB permit should be entrusted a Tibet local travel agency to apply for from Tibet Tourism Bureau.We are a Tibet local travel agency. It is quite easy for you to get one with our help. However, we have to submit your document and information to Tibet Tourism Bureau at least 15 to 20 days before your leaving for Tibet. Please contact us for your Tibet tour in advance
The detailed procedures of our service:
1) Send us a scan copy of passport, tour date and travel plan at least 25 days prior to your Tibet tour starting; we customize a travel itinerary according to your requirements;
2) Send a deposit for the Tibet travel itinerary we arranged through Paypal or bank transfer and confirm the tour;
3) Send scan copies of your passport and China visa.
4) We submit your personal information to Tibet Tourism Bureau and help you apply for TTB permit;
5) Offer an available address in China (hotel or local agency) to receive your permit.
6) We express the permit to you, or let a tour guide give it to you at airport or train station before your trip.
A. Tibet Tourism Bureau does not accept individual applications for TTB permit. Visitors must apply for it through a travel agency.
B. TTB permit application must be done before your leaving for Tibet.
C. Please tell us your detailed personal information and leave us enough time to apply TTB permit for you.
D. When there are important political events or any indication of such political or social unrest, the government may not issue TTB permit. It is still a problem out of our control, please do understand and take it into consideration when you plan your trip to Tibet.
3. Tibet Travel Permit Required for Tibet Train Travel
According to China National Railway Administration’s regulation, foreigner travelers need to have a Tibet Travel Permit (Tibet Entry Permit) to take a train to/off Tibet. The permit is firstly required when you or your agent book Tibet train tickets at railway station or branch offices. It is also needed when you check in your train at railway station.
The photocopy of Tibet Travel Permit is also available if you book train ticket and board the train at Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai, Xining and Guangzhou. When you arrive at Lhasa, your tour operator will bring you the original permit.
4. Tibet Travel Permit is required for Taking Flight to Tibet
According to Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC)'s regulation, foreigner travelers must provide a valid passport and original Tibet Travel Permit (Tibet Tourism Bureau Permit) when taking a flight to Tibet. Without the Tibet Travel Permit, foreign travelers are not allowed to board the flights to any airports in Tibet. Thus, foreign travelers have to make sure that the original Tibet Travel Permit will be brought and provided when checking in the domestic flights to Tibet. If one takes a flight to Lhasa from Kathmandu, he (or she) has to bring the scanned copy of Tibet Travel Permit to check in at the Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport. After arriving at Lhasa Gonngar International Airport, the local tour guide will bring the original Tibet Travel Permit to the airport to pick up him (her).
(Note: Usually the Tibet Travel Permit is not necessary to book flight to Tibet online. If you book ticket from the ticket counter or from a flight ticket agent, you will have to show the Tibet Travel Permit.)
5. Tips on how to apply for Tibet Travel Permits
1) Don't list places that foreign tourists are not allowed to visit as destinations. Otherwise, the application will be rejected.
2) Avoid traveling to Tibet in March. Since 2008, March has been a politically sensitive month in Tibet.
3) Avoid visiting Tibet when political events or significant are held in China. During the time, the government will tighten security.
4) Try best to find more travel mates. The more members in your group, the more chances to get a permit.
5) Although we can apply the urgent application, it is not advisable. Please send your documents to us in advance.
6. Other Tibet Permits You May Need
Tibet Travel Permit is the most important permit for Tibet trip, but it is not the only permit you may need. Generally speaking, if you just visit Lhasa area, you don't need other permits. But if you extend your trip to other prefectures in Tibet, you will have to apply for several other permits.
Tibet Border Pass
Remote destinations, such as Mount Everest, Zhangmu, Yadong, Mount Kailash, Manasarovar Lake, etc., are located in the border area between Tibet with other countries. To travel to these destinations, one has to obtain a Tibet Border Pass (or Frontier Pass) which is issued by Tibet Armed Police Border Corps in Lhasa. It can't be applied by travelers individually. One has to contact a Tibet travel agency to apply the Borde Permit from the Tibet Armed Police Border Corps in Lhasa.
Aliens’ Travel Permit
Aliens' Travel Permit is a permit for foreigners to visit the areas outside Lhasa, like Shigatse, Shannan, Nyingchi, etc. Issued by Tibetan Local Public Security Bureau, it also known as the PSB permit, and can be easily applied in Lhasa, Shigatse, Nyingchi or other prefectures.
Tibet Military Permit
Visiting the unopened area only with the TTB permit is not enough. Military Permit is additional needed if your itinerary included some military sensitive places, including Ngari (Mt. Kailash, Lake Manasarovar, etc), Nyingchi (Pomi, Rawu, etc.) and some remote places in Shannan area.
Tibet Group Visa
Tibet Group Visa, also called Group Visa is a must document, along with Tibet Entry Permit used for tourists planning to enter Tibet from Nepal. As a special Chinese Visa, the Tibet Group Visa is valid for mainland China visit as well. After you finishing your Tibet tour, you can use the same Group Visa to extend your trip into other destinations of China. If you have such plan, we can apply for your Group Visa in the maximum validity.