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Tibet Travel Permits

All foreign tourists travelling in Tibet have to apply not only China Visa but also Tibet permit. There are three kinds of permits. Tibet Entry Permit (TTB permit) issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau which is necessary for entry to Lhasa or any other parts of the Tibetan Autonomous Region. The Alien travel permit (PSB permit), when you are planning to travel to the "unopened areas" in Tibet which you can obtain after you arrive in Tibet; the Military Permit, which you have to obtain if you are planning to travel to some military sensitive areas. All of them, Lychee Travel can prepare for you.

Tibet Entry Permit- TTB Permit

It is the basic line to enter into Tibet. You need to show both your passport and the permit when you checking in at the airport when you fly into Lhasa, as well as when you take the train to Lhasa. TTB permits are also needed by groups traveling overland to Tibet. With TTB permit, you can travel in Lhasa region including Lhasa city, Yumdrok Yuntso, Ganden, Tsuphu, Namtso, Drigung Til and Reting. Tibet Entry Permit is the basic line to enter into Tibet. When you change for the boarding passes at the airport, you need to show both your passport and permit. With TTB permits, you can travel in Lhasa region including Lhasa city, Yumdrok Yuntso, Ganden, Tsuphu, Namtso, Drigung Til and Reting. TTB is the abbreviation of Tibet Tourism Bureau. It is obtained through tour operators as part of arrangements for travel. Following is a sample of a TTB permit:

Tibet Entry Permit

Tibet Entry Permit

Alien travel permit

These are required to “restricted” areas in Tibet- much of the Tibetan Autonomous Region outside the Lhasa prefecture-level district, and scattered counties elsewhere. You will need an Alien travel permit issued by the PSB (Public Security Bureau, “PSB”). They are usually only obtainable through tour operators, for tours by four-wheel-drive car. Following is a picture of the Alien travel/PSB permit:

                                   Alien travel permit

Alien travel permit

Military Permission/Permit

Military Permission is required if you want to visit the border areas such as Mt Kailash and eastern Tibet also require a Military Permit (Permission) and a foreign-affairs permit, i.e. Alien Travel Permits (PSB). All these should be arranged by the tour agency if you book a tour. For the special overland tour to Tibet from Sichuan, Yunnan, Xinjiang and Qinghai, Military Permission is a must.

How to get Tibet Entry Permit and Travel Permit?

Normally, travelers can’t apply for the permits by themselves. They have to apply it through a travel agency they travel with. Lhasa PSB will not issue travel permits to individuals which means you have to be with a travel agency when travelling to Tibet. Lychee Travel is a reliable travel agency located in China, can easily obtain travel permits on your behalf as well as offer your various Tibet tours. For applying the permit, you will have to prepare these things:

1. Information of yourself (exactly same with your passport): full name, gender, date of birth, nationality, passport number and your occupation.

2. A copy of your Passport;

3. A copy of your China visa (tourist visa);

We need to know your occupation, because of journalists, diplomat and government officials/political personnel may require more complicated procedure in order to be issued a permit. Please be advised that you need to apply for the travel permit at least 10 days prior to your entry date. Also note travel agencies can arrange a travel permit to almost anywhere but only if you book a tour with them and so does Lychee Travel. We are not able to get a permit for you without booking a tour with driver and guide for you. There is not any travel agency can offer “permit-only” service.

Important Tips for Tibet Travel Permits

1. You must have Chinese Visa before applying for Tibet Permits.

2. If you are applying for Chinese Visa, you'd better not to mention Tibet because you may be refused if you mention Tibet at first. You can easily get Tibet Permit after you got Chinese Visa and entered China. (except for the circumstances that you are diplomat, journalist or government official.)

3. Usually it takes about 3 work days to get Tibet permits after all document are summited.
Once in Tibet, your tour guide is required to retain your permit. You may not carry it on your person, or travel within Tibet with it in your possession. The Alien Travel Permit is required for travel outside of Lhasa. If you attempt to travel outside of Lhasa with only a Tibet entry permit you will be stopped by the police, and sent out of Tibet, and could face legal difficulties. Furthermore, the travel agency which helped you acquire the permit could also face sanctions.
Do not trust a travel agency that offers to sell you a Tibet travel permit without requiring you to book a tour. No legitimate travel agency will offer "permit-only" service. Avoid wasting your money, as this is almost certainly a scam.

4. There is a service charge (imposed by the government) that must be paid in order to get a Tibet travel permit. If you travel with Lychee Travel, it is included in the tour package.

5. Usually it takes about 3 work days to get Tibet permits after all document are summited.

6. If your occupation is diplomat, journalist or government official and booked our tour packages, we can’t assure you get the permits. If the permit is refused, payment of the tour is not refundable.

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