Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

How To Obtain A Tibet Entry Permit In China


by Sharyl Eades



Tibet, also known as the “Roof of the World,” is a mesmerizing destination that attracts travelers from all over the globe. With its majestic landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and spiritual significance, Tibet offers a unique and awe-inspiring experience. However, before setting foot in this enchanting region, travelers must obtain a Tibet Entry Permit, a mandatory document required by the Chinese government.


The Tibet Entry Permit, also known as the Tibet Travel Permit or Tibet Visa, grants visitors access to the Tibetan Autonomous Region. This permit serves as a control measure to manage tourism in the area and safeguard its cultural and environmental integrity. To help you navigate the process of obtaining a Tibet Entry Permit, we have outlined the necessary steps below.


It is important to note that travel to Tibet is regulated, and independent travel is not permitted. Visitors must book their trip through authorized travel agencies who will assist in obtaining the required permits and arranging guided tours. These agencies possess the expertise and knowledge to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip to Tibet.


If you are eager to explore the wonders of Tibet and immerse yourself in its unique culture, continue reading to learn how to obtain a Tibet Entry Permit in China.


Step 1: Understand the Tibet Entry Permit

The Tibet Entry Permit is an essential document for anyone planning to visit the Tibetan Autonomous Region. It is a prerequisite imposed by the Chinese government to regulate travel and ensure the preservation of Tibet’s cultural and environmental heritage.


It is crucial to understand that the Tibet Entry Permit is different from a Chinese visa. While a Chinese visa allows you to enter mainland China, it does not grant you access to Tibet. Therefore, if you plan to visit Tibet, you must obtain a separate Tibet Entry Permit.


The Tibet Entry Permit is issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau or the Public Security Bureau, depending on the nature of your visit. It is essential to determine the purpose of your trip to Tibet as it influences the type of permit you need.


There are various types of Tibet Entry Permits, including:

  1. Individual Travel Permits: These permits are for travelers planning to visit Tibet for personal tourism purposes.
  2. Group Travel Permits: If you are part of an organized tour, your travel agency will obtain a group permit that covers the entire group.
  3. Business Permits: Business travelers, journalists, and researchers visiting Tibet for professional purposes require specific permits.

It is essential to note that the Tibet Entry Permit only grants access to the Tibetan Autonomous Region and certain areas of the wider Tibetan Plateau. If you plan to visit restricted areas such as Mount Kailash or the eastern regions of Tibet, you will need additional permits, such as the Alien’s Travel Permit or the Military Permit.


Understanding the specific type of permit you need for your trip to Tibet is crucial as it affects the application process and the documents required. It is advisable to consult with an authorized travel agency or do thorough research to ensure you have the correct information.


Now that you have a basic understanding of the Tibet Entry Permit, let’s move on to step two: choosing an authorized travel agency.


Step 2: Choose an Authorized Travel Agency

When planning a trip to Tibet, it is crucial to choose an authorized travel agency. Authorized travel agencies have the necessary permits and knowledge to facilitate your journey and ensure compliance with the regulations set by the Chinese government.


Authorized travel agencies are registered with the Tibet Tourism Bureau and are well-versed in the intricacies of the permit application process. They can provide guidance, arrange transportation, and design itineraries that align with your interests and preferences.


Here are some key factors to consider when choosing an authorized travel agency:

  1. Reputation and Experience: Look for travel agencies with a good reputation and years of experience in organizing trips to Tibet. Reading reviews and testimonials from other travelers can provide valuable insights into their quality of service.
  2. Permits and Licenses: Ensure that the travel agency possesses the necessary permits and licenses to operate legally in Tibet. Authorized agencies will display their credentials and permit numbers on their website or promotional materials.
  3. Customization and Flexibility: A reputable travel agency will offer customizable itineraries tailored to your preferences. They should be willing to accommodate any specific requests or interests you may have.
  4. Transparent Pricing: Clear and transparent pricing is important. Make sure you understand what is included in the package cost. Any additional fees or charges should be clearly communicated upfront.
  5. Knowledgeable Guides: Well-informed and experienced local guides can greatly enhance your travel experience in Tibet. Inquire about the qualifications and language proficiency of the guides provided by the agency.
  6. Customer Support: Good customer support is essential, especially when dealing with permit applications and any unexpected issues that may arise during your trip. Choose an agency that is responsive and accessible.

Research multiple authorized travel agencies and compare their offerings, reviews, and prices before making a decision. It is also helpful to seek recommendations from fellow travelers or seek advice from travel forums and online communities.


By choosing an authorized travel agency, you ensure that your trip to Tibet is planned and executed smoothly, with the necessary permits in place. Now that you have selected an agency, we can move on to step three: preparing the required documents.


Step 3: Prepare the Required Documents

Before applying for a Tibet Entry Permit, you need to gather and prepare the necessary documents. These documents ensure that your application is complete and increases the chances of obtaining the permit successfully. Here are the essential documents you will need:

  1. Passport: You must have a valid passport with at least six months of validity remaining. Make sure your passport is in good condition and has blank pages for the visa and permit stamps.
  2. Chinese Visa: If you are entering China before traveling to Tibet, you must obtain a Chinese visa. The Chinese visa should be issued by a Chinese embassy or consulate in your home country or the country where you currently reside.
  3. Travel Itinerary: Prepare a detailed travel itinerary that includes your planned destinations, activities, and duration of stay in Tibet. This information will be required for the permit application.
  4. Hotel Bookings: Provide proof of hotel bookings for your stay in Tibet. The travel agency may help you arrange accommodations or provide the necessary documentation for this step.
  5. Photographs: Prepare several passport-sized photos (usually two or three) that meet the specifications recommended by the Chinese government. These photos will be attached to the permit application.
  6. Additional Permits: If you plan to visit restricted areas in Tibet, such as Mount Kailash or the eastern regions, you will need to apply for additional permits, such as the Alien’s Travel Permit or the Military Permit. Consult with your travel agency to determine if these permits are applicable to your itinerary.
  7. Other Supporting Documents: Depending on the nature of your trip, additional documents may be required. For example, if you are traveling for research purposes, you may need to provide a letter of invitation or a research permit. Ensure that you have all the necessary supporting documents as specified by your travel agency.

It is important to note that the requirements for the Tibet Entry Permit may vary from time to time, and the travel agency will inform you about any specific documents needed for your application.


Once you have gathered all the required documents, you can proceed to the next step: submitting your application for the Tibet Entry Permit.


Step 4: Submit Your Application

After preparing all the necessary documents, it’s time to submit your application for the Tibet Entry Permit. Since independent travel to Tibet is not permitted, you must submit your application through an authorized travel agency. They will assist you in the application process and submit the documents on your behalf.


Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to submit your application:

  1. Contact Your Travel Agency: Get in touch with your chosen authorized travel agency and inform them about your travel plans. They will provide you with an application form and guide you through the process.
  2. Complete the Application Form: Fill out the application form accurately and provide all the required information. Double-check the form to ensure there are no errors or omissions. Attach the necessary documents, including your passport, Chinese visa, travel itinerary, hotel bookings, and photographs.
  3. Review and Verify: Before submitting the application, review all the documents and information provided. Make sure everything is accurate and up to date. Any mistakes or discrepancies could delay the approval process.
  4. Submit to the Travel Agency: Once you are confident that all the documents are in order, submit your application to the travel agency. They will review it and ensure everything is complete before forwarding it to the relevant authorities.
  5. Pay the Necessary Fees: There may be processing fees associated with the Tibet Entry Permit application. Consult with your travel agency regarding the payment process and any applicable fees. Ensure that these fees are settled promptly to avoid any delays or complications.

After submitting your application, it is important to be patient and await the approval process. The duration for processing the Tibet Entry Permit can vary, but it typically takes around 10-15 working days. Your travel agency will keep you updated on the progress and inform you once the permit has been approved.


During this waiting period, it is advisable to focus on other travel preparations, such as booking your flights and arranging travel insurance. By the time you receive approval for your Tibet Entry Permit, you will be ready to move on to the next step: collecting your permit and preparing for your journey into Tibet.


Step 5: Await Approval

After submitting your Tibet Entry Permit application, the next step is to patiently await the approval. The duration for processing the permit can vary, but it typically takes around 10-15 working days. During this waiting period, there are a few things you can do:

  1. Stay in Touch with Your Travel Agency: Maintain regular communication with your authorized travel agency. They will keep you updated on the progress of your application and inform you once the permit has been approved.
  2. Make Alternative Travel Plans: While waiting for the permit approval, it is a good idea to have alternative travel plans in case of any unforeseen delays or issues. You can explore other destinations within China or engage in nearby activities to make the most of your time.
  3. Research and Plan: Utilize this waiting period to gather more information about your desired destinations in Tibet. Research the local culture, traditions, and attractions to enhance your overall travel experience. Plan your itinerary in detail and make any necessary adjustments based on the information you gather.
  4. Prepare for the Journey: Use this time to prepare for your upcoming trip. Check your travel gear, purchase any necessary equipment, and pack accordingly. Familiarize yourself with the weather conditions and cultural norms of the region to ensure a smooth transition into Tibet.

Remember that the processing time for the Tibet Entry Permit can vary, and it is crucial to remain patient throughout the waiting period. Avoid making any concrete travel arrangements until you have received the official confirmation of your permit approval.


Once your permit has been approved, you will be ready to move on to the final step: collecting your Tibet Entry Permit and embarking on your journey to the enchanted land of Tibet.


Step 6: Collect Your Tibet Entry Permit

After the waiting period, the moment you have been eagerly anticipating has arrived – it’s time to collect your Tibet Entry Permit! This crucial document will grant you access to the Tibetan Autonomous Region and allow you to embark on your journey to this mesmerizing land.


Here’s what you need to know about collecting your Tibet Entry Permit:

  1. Confirmation from Your Travel Agency: Your travel agency will inform you once your Tibet Entry Permit has been approved and is ready for collection. They will provide you with the necessary instructions and details regarding the pickup location.
  2. Travel Agency Assistance: Coordinate with your travel agency to arrange the pickup of your Tibet Entry Permit. They may request additional documents, such as your passport or identification, to verify your identity and ensure a smooth handover.
  3. Double Check the Permit: As soon as you receive your Tibet Entry Permit, carefully review all the information printed on it. Verify that your name, passport number, and travel dates are accurate. Notify your travel agency immediately if you notice any discrepancies or errors.
  4. Keep Multiple Copies: It is essential to make multiple copies of your Tibet Entry Permit. Keep one copy with you at all times during your travels in Tibet. Additionally, have spare copies stored in different pockets, bags, or with your travel documents in case of loss or damage.
  5. Follow Permit Regulations: Familiarize yourself with the regulations and conditions outlined on the Tibet Entry Permit. Adhere to all guidelines and restrictions specified on the permit during your stay in Tibet. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in fines, penalties, or even denial of entry to certain areas.

Remember, the Tibet Entry Permit is a vital document, and you must carry it with you at all times during your journey in Tibet. Be prepared to present it to authorities when requested, such as at checkpoints or when entering monasteries or restricted areas.


Now that you have successfully collected your Tibet Entry Permit, you can fully immerse yourself in the captivating beauty, unique culture, and extraordinary landscapes that await you in Tibet. Cherish every moment of your journey and create unforgettable memories in this enchanting region.


Safe travels and enjoy your adventure in the mystical land of Tibet!



Obtaining a Tibet Entry Permit is an essential step for anyone planning to visit the Tibetan Autonomous Region. While the process may seem complex, with the right guidance and preparation, it can be a smooth and seamless experience. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can navigate the permit application process successfully.


Remember, understanding the permit requirements, choosing an authorized travel agency, and preparing the necessary documents are crucial steps to ensure a successful application. Patience is key during the waiting period for permit approval, and it provides an opportunity to plan and prepare for your journey.


Collecting your Tibet Entry Permit marks the final step before embarking on your adventure to Tibet. Make sure to review the permit for accuracy and carry multiple copies with you at all times. Adhere to the regulations and conditions stated on the permit to ensure a responsible and respectful visit to this culturally and ecologically significant region.


As you explore the timeless beauty of Tibet, immerse yourself in its rich culture, breathtaking landscapes, and spiritual heritage. Engage with local communities, visit monasteries, and marvel at the awe-inspiring scenery that makes Tibet truly unique.


Remember, traveling to Tibet is an experience unlike any other, and it is important to approach it with an open mind and a deep respect for the local culture and environment. By following the necessary steps and being mindful throughout your journey, you will create lasting memories and leave with a profound appreciation for the wonders of Tibet.


Safe travels, and may your time in Tibet be filled with enchantment, discovery, and transformation.