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Tibet Permit Application Guideline in 2014

Tibet Travel Permit, a special permission from Chinese government, is a must-have document for foreign travelers to Tibet. They are required to show it when boarding a train or plane to Tibet. Each application will be examine manually, some of the unqualified applicants might be declined. Here the sales manager of TibetTravel.Org, Ms.Catherine Go gives some advice to tourists on how to avoid the invalid application.

“Last year, it was not difficult for foreigners to obtain a Tibet Travel Permit due to the political stability in this region and the favorable policy.” said Ms. Catherine, “I believe it will continue this year.” According to Catherine, it would be better to follow the tips below for successful application.

1. Holding a passport valid for at least six months.
For those traveling to Tibet from mainland China, it is best to get a Chinese visa three months in advance. Moreover, a tourist visa (marked with "L") is the best type because Tibet Tourism Bureau requires travelers with an F visa (business) or a Z visa (work) to prove that they are hired by a company in China. Those going to Tibet from Nepal must apply for a visa in the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu.

When stating your tour purpose and itinerary to Chinese Embassy, it is better not to mention Tibet as one of your destinations unless you will enter Tibet from Nepal. Otherwise, your application would possibly be refused or more documents which you might be difficult to collect are required.

2. Choosing a reliable travel agency.
Tibet Tourism Bureau does not issue permits to individuals, and would ask them to go through the travel agency where they book tour services. Dozens of online agencies offer Tibet tours, but not all are able to guarantee the permit. It is advisable to select a big one. As the top online Tibet tour operator, Tibet Travel Org CITS is widely considered as the most reliable agency by travelers.

Note: Journalists, diplomats, government officials and anyone closely involved in politics should apply for the permit through the Foreign Affairs Office of Tibet Autonomous Region, not through a travel agency.

3. Planning the tour in advance.
When applying for the permit, travelers are asked to provide information about when and where they will travel in Tibet, even how to get to Tibet. All the information will be stated on the permit. Once the permit is issued, it is difficult to request an extension or any other changes. Tibet Travel Org CITS also helps tourists customize their tours.

4. Providing genuine documents to the travel agency.
This includes scanned copies of the Chinese visa and passport. Detailed personal information is also needed, such as the full name, gender, date of birth, nationality and occupation. Travelers should get all these prepared 15-20 working days in advance, for it takes 8-10 working days for the relevant departments, such as the public security bureau, tourism bureau and foreign affairs office, to review the materials. If travelers are planning to visit Ngari area of Tibet, it even takes longer, for the materials will be reviewed by local military department, too.

Travelers entering Tibet from Nepal need to arrive in Kathmandu several days in advance as the working days of the local Chinese Embassy is Monday, Wednesday and Friday, "Based on our experience of over ten years, the government may adjust the application requirements anytime, such as the procedure and the number of tourists allowed for one permit," Catherine said. "So, it is easier to join in our group tours to get the permit. Then, we will send it to travelers' hotels in China or give it to them at the airport or train station where they leave for Tibet."

"Foreigners are not allowed to travel in Tibet alone. They must be accompanied by a local tour guide. Therefore, it is a little expensive for an individual to do a private tour of 5-10 days. Our Tibet Group Tour Programs will cut down the cost to US$100-150 per day." Catherine said.
 

5. We got the update information from the goverment on touring Mt. Kailash 2014, foreign tourists are not allowed to visit Mt. Kailash during in June and July. see Mt. Kailash travel permit restriction update 2014, our advice to avoid the trouble. 

Master Catherine Jigme

About the Author - Master Catherine Jigme

With exceptional passion and outstanding leadership, Mrs. Catherine has dedicated herself to Tibet inbound tourism and China tour for 15 years. As one of the handful females who see great potential of Chinese inbound tourism, Catherine has made great contribution to promoting Tibet tourism and enhancing the employment of Tibetans and prosperity of local Tibetan community.

Over the years, she travelled overseas with Tibet Tourism Bureau many times to promote Tibet tourism. Currently, Catherine works as the marketing director of Tibet Vista, an opinion leader behind the whole team of Tibet Vista.

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