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Visa To Tibet

The tourist industry of Tibet is developing quite rapidly as it becomes more accessible to visitors. However, Tibet has a relatively limited capacity for the accommodation of visitors and this, coupled with the desire to protect traditional customs and cultural relics as well as the natural environment, means that the Chinese central government requires foreign tourists, as well as Chinese from particular districts, to obtain appropriate documentation prior to any visit. Similarly, visitors to Tibet are encouraged to travel in groups rather than as individuals.

Before traveling to Tibet, a foreigner must hold a valid passport and a visa from the Chinese embassy in his country. However, this does not apply in circumstances where the country of domicile has signed a protocol with China agreeing visa-exempt entry. The traveler must then apply for a travel permit from the Tibet Tourism Bureau. This may be done direct or through a travel agency. A travel agency will require all the usual basic information such as name, country of origin, age, gender, profession and passport number, travel route, travel dates and telephone number and so on. Alternatively, this information can be submitted directly to the Tibet Tourism Bureau or one of its branch offices. Presently, the Tibet Tourism Bureau has offices set up at home in Beijing, Chengdu, Golmud, Shanghai, Xian, and Hong Kong, and abroad in Nepal, Japan and America and so on. No matter which method is chosen, it is necessary to email or fax a copy of one's passport and visa to the office. Generally, there will be a wait of two to three days before receiving the permit. Consequently, an early application for a permit is recommended, since it is required when buying a ticket to Tibet.

Taiwaness are required to hold the same documents as foreigners; this also applies to overseas Chinese if they are non-Chinese passport holders. Hong Kong and Macau residents need only a Mainland Travel Permit for Hong Kong and Macao Residents or a Home-Visiting Certificate for Compatriots from Hong Kong and Macau. Please note that foreign journalists and political officials may not enter Tibet as tourists as they are required to obtain special certificates.

Whether Chinese or a foreigner, a special permit is required if you plan to travel in border areas such as Tingri, Pemako , Shiquanhe or Purang , etc. It is slightly complicated to get a permit, so you are advised to ask a travel agency to help you.

With the operation of Qinghai-Tibet Railway, more and more tourists will be heading for Tibet. The government is making preparations to simplify these complex procedures and open Tibet to the world. So, in the near future it should become less complicated to travel to Tibet.

Comments and Questions

I am an Indonesia Passport holder studying in Qingdao with Resident Permit. I am planning to travel to Tibet. What other documents do I need?


6/17/2016 9:44:00 PM


Asked by Nana (China)

Dear Nana, you need to apply for a travel permit from the Tibet Tourism Bereau by yourself or through a travel agency. Good luck! :)

7/5/2016 8:51:00 PM


Sunny ( Argentina )


I am British & live/work in China with a residential permit. I want to go to Tibet to tour (and Everest Base Camp!). What exactly do I need visa-wise? Is it something I can organise from China or do I have to go back to the UK to sort a visa?

Thanks in advance!


11/6/2015 12:40:00 AM


Asked by kass (China)

Usually, to tour that area, a tourist visa is fine. As for your case, the resident permit will help. Apart from that, you need to apply for a Travel Permit and join a tour through a travel agency in China. Then you will be allowed to enter that region for a tour. Hope this is not too late for you.

11/15/2015 10:31:00 PM


Susan ( Australia )

Not too late I am planning for next year. So basically I just need to book a tour! Thank you! ?

11/16/2015 4:00:00 AM


kass ( China )

I m German and I study for one semester in China I have a resident permit Visa and I want to ask if I although need a TTP for Tibet. I only want to go to Lahsa with the Tibet Rail

Thanks Eva


3/12/2015 9:28:00 AM


Asked by eva evv (China)

If you plan to get into Tibet instead of only passing by, a Travel Permit is certainly needed.

3/29/2015 4:12:00 AM



I am Indian living in Beijing for last 8 years with working visa. I like to visit kailash and mansarovar lake at july. I hard that Indian passport holder need especial permit. can I get this permit to go to Kailash mt, and mansarovar lake. how ?


3/4/2015 1:23:00 AM


Asked by nongmaithem kiran singh (China)

I also heard so, but I have no idea where to get the permit. You can try to consult the customs when going through the border. Good luck.

3/29/2015 4:10:00 AM



Hello, I fly in and out on a business trip from US to China every other month on business trip visa. And I would like to plan to visit Ali mountain in Tibet. I am an Americsn with American passport. What do I need to do?



9/24/2014 4:27:00 AM


Asked by Mr P (United States)

To travel in Tibet, you are forbidden to travel on your own. So you have to join a tour (even only you in the group) through a travel agency. They will help you to appply for a Tibet Travel Permit, with which you are allowed to get into Tibet together with your visa and passport. And I heard to visit Ali Mountain, a military permit is also needed. For this issue, you can also turn to a travel agency.

10/27/2014 9:44:00 PM


Joe ( Argentina )

I'm working in Dalian, China. So, I already have the chinese visa M. I want to know what else do I need to go to Lhasa? May I go using this kind of visa?
Thank you!


8/28/2014 1:11:00 AM


Asked by Bernardo (Brazil)

I was in the same situation with you. U have to join a tour and your travel agency will apply for the Tobet Travel Permit for you. As you hold the M visa, you also need to prepare a proof of your work (ask your boss for this) and a copy of your visa. Of course, you have to take along with your passport too.

8/28/2014 5:36:00 AM


Monica ( Australia )

I am from nigeria and i married a chinese woman i have double f visa and i want to travel to i want to know if stamp of tibet immigration will be in my passport and also want to know if still need another visa to re enter mainland


9/9/2013 1:32:00 PM


Asked by Frank (Nigeria)

to visit Tibet, you need to apply a Tibet Entry Permit (TTB Permit), if you plan to visit closed areas of Tibet, such as Tingri, Dromo, Nyalam, Nhagartse, or Purang and Pemako counties, you must further apply for an Alien's Travel Permit which is issued by the Public Security Bureau (PSB) of Tibet.
foreign visitors are not allowed to visit Tibet individually, so you have to book a tour through a travel agency, and the agency will help you to handle the permits to Tibet.
you don't need another visa to go back to the city you live, the Chinese visa is valid in Mainland China including Tibet.

9/9/2013 6:36:00 PM



I had opted for Kailash Manasasarovar trip throgh travels in india in 2012. But I was told that there is age restriction for this tour . Is it true . Kindly clarify on this. What is age limit. I am born on 14.12.1947.Thaning you.HARIHARAN BANGALORE


7/2/2012 6:29:00 PM


Asked by HARIHARAN.D (India)

not sure about the age limit, but i think there might be some health requirement, coz the place you are going to visit is high mountains with thin air on the mountain. you'd better consult the travel agency for detailed information.

7/3/2012 2:37:00 AM



Hi, we are Malaysian. as understand we can't visit to Tibet on free and easy without joining tour, if yes, how can we apply travel permit in Malaysia? or must be apply in china, take how long ? what are the document we need to be ready for applying ?
And, someone has told us that it have to be in the group of 6 person with same citizen than only allow to apply the permit to enter tibet, it that true? (our group only 3 malaysian and 1 chinese).Thanks.


6/4/2012 9:45:00 PM


Asked by Sy (Malaysia)

according to the lastest regulation. a group of 5 or more of the same nationality will be granted the Tibet Travel Permit. can the permit can only be apply trhough a Chinese Travel agency, so i'm afraid you can not get that in Malaysia.
it usually takes about 7 - 10 days to process the permit.

6/5/2012 7:29:00 PM



I am an Indian citizen but a resident of Australia. We are a group of friends who want to go to kailash mansarovar Yatra. Some of us have ( Indian Passports & living in India ) and some have Australian passports and some have Indian passport with Australian resident permits. Do we have to Indivisually get visas in India & Australia or all the passports can be processed as a group in Katmandu for the yatra.


3/21/2012 6:13:00 AM


Asked by Navin (Australia)

it is better for you to apply the Chinese visa individually.
as for foreign visitors visiting Tibet, you need to serverve a group tour through a travel agency and the agency will help you to apply the Tibet Travel Permit. Individual foreign visitors are not allowed to visit Tibet.

3/21/2012 7:15:00 PM