How to Get a Tibet Permit or Visa to China: Tips for Travelers

With all the travel to China for the Olympics, the rules have changed to get a Chinese visa, which impacts many people traveling to Tibet. Here is everything you need to know to get your Tibet travel permit and your Chinese visa.

TibetGetting a Permit to Visit or Travel to Tibet

All travelers going to Tibet will need a travel permit for Tibet, which must be arranged for you by a local tour operator. If you are traveling through China to get to Tibet, you will also need to get a Chinese visa ahead of time. If you are traveling through Nepal, then you do not get a Chinese visa ahead of time.

The travel permit to Tibet will be handled for you as they can only be issued in Nepal or China. The visa is $135/person for U.S. citizens and $45/person for all other countries, subject to change.

How to Get a Visa to Travel into China

The Chinese visa must be acquired before arrival if you are flying through a Chinese city that is not Lhasa.
You either need to apply for your visa at a Chinese visa consulate in person, or you need to use a visa service (you cannot mail in for a visa).

You will need to send in the following to apply for your Chinese visa:

  1. Passport StampsPassport – must be valid for at least 6 months after your trip and must have at least 2 blank pages (remember you may need more blank pages if you are going to Nepal or Bhutan or elsewhere).
  2. Chinese Visa Application Form – do not mention Tibet or Hong Kong on your application form or it will be denied. You must list your hotel and contact information.
  3. Flight Itinerary – must show flight into Chengdu, no exit flight is necessary.
  4. Hotel Confirmation – we will send you this for your hotel in Chengdu.
  5. One Passport Size Photo – 2″ x 2″ on white background.
  6. Visa Service Application Form
  7. Photocopies of All Documents – keep on file, just in case.

Unless you are requesting rush service, allow 7 business days for processing, which does not include shipping time. We recommend that you send your visa application by FedEx or certified mail to protect your passport.

Learn more about travel to Tibet or China with Adventures Within Reach:

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