For anyone and everyone, visiting Tibet, it is mandatory to have a travel permit for Tibet, an autonomous region of China. The Tibet tourism bureau can only issue this permit. Popularly known as the Tibet entry permit, it is often confused to be a Visa for Tibet, though it is not. It is a wrong term to use for a permit.
Your Tibet travel permit can be gained through any local travel agency that has a presence in Lhasa. It is the most convenient way to book your tour with one.
There are a lot of online websites that refer to this document as a Visa for Tibet, and there is nothing like a Tibet visa. Tibet officially in clear state is a province of China, and the only visa that you require is the Chinese visa to travel to Tibet. I addition to the Chinese visa, every traveler needs a Tibet Travel permit to enter Tibet and that can only be issued to you by the tourism bureau in Lhasa.
The Process of applying
If you are looking for a Tibet travel permit, the only way to get it is through the travel agencies in Lhasa, so if anyone is telling you anything otherwise, please don’t buy it. And you can gain the permit buy booking a tour service that includes a private tour vehicle and a tour guide for the minimum. It may sound pretty daunting but it’s all in good spirit. Once you have found the tour services that you want to book, they will ask for your visa and passport copies to further continue the process for Tibet entry permit.
The time it’s going to take to process your travel permit completely depends on the journey you are going to have. Say for example you have picked Mount Kailash on your trail; it is going to take in the least minimum at least 25 days to get your permission. But on the other hand, if you are only covering Lhasa city in your trail, you will receive your permit in a week or a few days extra. And if your trail has central Tibet and mounts Kailash, it will take a good 20 days or so to get the permit.
If you are coming from other provinces of China, you have to submit is the passport copy and the visa copy. But if you are coming from Nepal, you will have to apply for the permit in a group and all you have to send is the passport copies.
There are times when there are travelers who don’t have a lot of time in their hand for the Tibet travel permit and neither do they have their visa ready, in such a case passport copy can be sent to the agency in Lhasa and only they have the authority to initiate the process of the travel permit for Tibet, but eventually the visa would be needed to complete the process.
The permit very rarely gets rejected so there is no case of such sort. And to get your permit, the most reliable place has been the Chengdu city; most of the travel agencies are going to ask you to collect your permit and transit from there.