There are two kinds of permits (Tibet visa) for traveling in Tibet: the entry permit (TTB permit, or say Tibet tourist visa) and the Alien's travel permit (PSB permit). You can get them easily from Access Tibet Tour.
When you fly from any city to Lhasa you will need to show this permit when you check in at the airport. Furthermore, whenever you buy a flight to Lhasa you need to show this permit. TTB permits are also needed by groups traveling by Land Cruiser but this will be arranged by the travel agency organizing the trip. Here is a picture of TTB permit (click on the picture to enlarge):
If you want to go further to the "unopened" areas, you need an Alien's travel permit issued by PSB of Tibet. It is called "Alien's Travel Permit" or "PSB permit". Here is a picture of PSB permit :
Because we are a LOCAL travel agency, it's quite easy for you to get a travel permit (Tibet tourist visa) with our help. Simply send us your
1) full name;
3) date of birth;
4) passport number;
- all exactly the same as on your passport. And you need to tell us your occupation because journalists and people that could be involved in political matters could be revoked (they need more complicated procedure to get a permit).
You need to apply for the travel permit at least 10 days prior to your entry date.
Please note that if you do not book any tour from us, we can not help you get the permits. No travel agency can provide "permit-only" service. Here is a note from Lonely Planet:
"Lhasa PSB will not issue travel permits to individuals and will direct you to a travel agency. Agencies can arrange a travel permit to almost anywhere but only if you book a Land Cruiser, driver and a guide."
1. All kinds of people can get Tibet permit through a travel agency except diplomats, journalists, and government officials who should travel to Tibet under the arrangement by the Foreign Affairs Office of Tibet Government.
2. After having a permit, a travel agency could buy you the air tickets, and you can pass the check-in at the airport and the check point reroute with the permit.
3. Only the guide could hold the permit after you establish yourself on Tibet land. You are not allowed to bring with it and travel to anywhere you want because except Lhasa you need another permit named as "Aliens’ Permit". Otherwise if you are stopped by the police you will be sent out of Tibet or have trouble politically and economically. Furthermore, the travel agency which helped to get you the permit will also be in trouble.
Answer: First of all, please note that we never SELL a permit. We only help you abtain a permit from the local authority. As mentioned above, the cost for a permit includes the charge by the government and the service fee by us. Usually this cost is included in the quotation for a package tour.
Answer: Generally it needs three days to get the Tibet permit if you could supply the full necessary documents. But if it needs another 3 days (or more) to Express Deliver the permit.
There is a trick that when you apply for China visa, please do not mention Tibet. After you get China visa you can easily get Tibet permit. Otherwise you have to wait for Tibet permit and then you can get China visa. Of course you will face the risk of that you might be refused to come to Tibet even if you get China visa but your destination is Tibet. In our experience seldom does TTB refuse tourists if they are not of those three kinds of people mentioned above: diplomat, journalist, government officials.
Other documents are the same as you travel to other places of China - you need hold a valid passport with valid visa (issued by Chinese Embassy).
If you are coming to Lhasa from Kathmandu, you'd better get China visa from Kathmandu because no matter you've already got the visa in your country or not, you must get a visa in Kathmandu, which is regulated in an official memo between China and Nepal. For which Himalaya Heart will help you in Kathmandu to process tibet permit but we need your passport photocopyprior one week of your arrival in Nepal.