Anyone that is traveling to Tibet will find out that they need Tibet entry travel permit in order to enter the region. However,not everyone has a clue of what a Tibet travel permit is.
A Tibet travel permit is basically special permission that is granted to the applicants by the Chinese government. This travel permit is not a Visa, which is why everyone must also request a Chinese Visa ahead of time. The Tibet travel permit is a paper document that is completely separate from a person’s Visa and passport, and it is necessary to have when a person wants to board a plane or train to Tibet.
Everyone will need to book a guided tour for their time in Tibet, or they will not be able to apply for a travel permit. A person’s travel agency will fill out the application information and send it to the Tibet Tourism Bureau in Lhasa along with a copy of a person’s passport and Chinese Visa. The Tibet travel permits take approximately three weeks to be approved and the tour agent will send it to travelers prior to their trip. Most of the time the travel permit is delivered to a person’s hotel after they arrive in China.
There are a couple of restrictions when it comes to Tibet travel permits and one of them is the number of people that are running the tour. Anyone that is just traveling to Lhasa will be able to go with only a guide, but tours that are going to other areas will need a tour guide, a driver, and a private vehicle. Tibet may also restrict the number of people entering the region and they can do so at a moment’s notice. Therefore, everyone should be prepared to change their plans if something prevents them from entering Tibet on the dates that they want to go.
Some people believe that they need to obtain a Tibet Visa along with their entry travel permit, but that is not true. In fact, there is no such thing as a Tibet Visa. The Visa that everyone will need is the Chinese Visa that is mentioned above. When applying for a Chinese Visa, people should not mention their plans of visiting Tibet. Instead, they should focus on requesting their Visa for the time that they will be in China.
As soon as everyone has all their documents in order and planned their tour in Tibet, they should send everything to their tour agent, so a Tibet travel permit can be obtained. The tour agent make this easy for travelers, so that everything goes smoothly once they arrive in China.