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Visa & Permits Requirements

China Visa: The visa to enter China can be obtained from a Chinese consulate that has jurisdiction of your residential area. All individuals entering China must hold a passport that is valid for at least six months for a single or double entry visa and at least nine months for a multiple entry visa. There are two ways to apply for your visa: (1) you, a family member, or a friend can go directly to the consulate or (2) you may use a visa service agency. Tip: It is better not to list Tibet as your destination on the visa application. Just list Chengdu or Beijing, whichever is you’re in-bound city is as your travel destination. Tibet Permit process will consume 15-20days to be get issued so hurry up once your trip date is confirmed.

IMPORTANT: If you are planning to enter Tibet from Kathmandu DO NOT get your Chinese visa in advance. The Chinese visa is issued as a group visa in Kathmandu and is arranged by Potala Travel along with your Tibet entry permit.There are three different types of permits and a visa(either) that you will need to enter Tibet:

  1. Tibet Travel Permit
  2. Military Permit
  3. Alien’s Travel Permit
  4. China Visa / Group Visa.


Tibet Travel Permits (TTP) are required for all travelers wishing to visit open tourist areas of Tibet and you will need to show the original document to pass through airports, train or bus stations. Once you have your Chinese visa, you will need to send a copy of your passport and visa to us as we coordinate your trip. We will apply for this permit through the Tibet Tourism Bureau.


Military Permit are required when you are entering any politically sensitive areas and are issued by the Military authority.


Alien ‘s Travel Permit is issued by the Tibetan Local Public Security Bureau when you are entering any restricted areas other than Lhasa Prefecture like Shigatsem Ngari and Tsetang etc.


Tibet Group Visa is mandatory when you are entering Tibet from Nepal, you will need an invitation letter from Tibetan Tourist Bureau to obtain this visa and Potala travel will assists you with all the require documents once you confirmed a trip with us. You will not need of Chinese visa if you are entering Tibet from Nepal so do not consider applying Chinese Visa because the Chinese embassy in Nepal will cancel your Chinese visa and will issue you a visa called Tibet Group Visa. You will need to pay for the group visa separately according to your nationality.
With your deposit, the following information must also be submitted, in full, for each member of your group, to secure your Tibet travel permits:


  1. Full name
  2. Gender
  3. Date of Birth
  4. Passport number
  5. Nationality
  6. Occupation

The above information should exactly match the information on your passport. Your occupation is also necessary because journalists and people that may be involved in political matters could have their permits revoked. (A more complicated procedure is then required to get a permit). Please send us copies of all traveler’s passports, Chinese VISAs and work permit copies, if you have a job in China. Scans must be under 300 kb for easy download. Once we receive your deposit, we will make all the reservations according to your itinerary within one week. We will send you a confirmation letter when all bookings are secured.

If you want to venture into the “restricted” areas, you will need an Alien’s Travel Permit (known as PSB Permit), issued by the Public Security Bureau (PSB). We will tell you if you need one and we can help prepare it for you. As of August 2009, individual tourists are not allowed in Tibet (this could change depending on political situation), and you are highly recommended to work with a travel agency.