Military Permit for Tibet Tours

With the splendid landscape and unique religious culture, Tibet is always a dreaming tour destination for travelers all over the world. But meantime, Tibet is an Autonomous Region in China, which means it is relatively independent compared with other provinces. Besides, it’s located in the southwest of China, next to Myanmar, India, Bhutan, Nepal, and Kashmir, the location makes it become a very important gateway to China. The historic and geographic reason caused the complicated political situation in Tibet. Because of it, however, Tibet is considered more and more mysterious to the public. For Chinese passport holders, they must obtain a certain permit to enter some military sensitive areas in Tibet. For foreigners, the regulations can only be stricter. That’s why besides of Tibet Travel Permit and Aliens’ Travel Permit, there is another common Tibet Visa for foreign tourists, the Military Permit.

In what kind of situation, the foreign travelers have to apply for Military Permit?
If your Tibet tours itinerary contents some military sensitive areas in Tibet, a Military Permit is
Indispensable in addition to Tibet Travel Permit and Aliens’ Travel Permit. Technically, all the areas which are at the border with other provinces in China or other countries are defined as military sensitive regions. Specifically speaking, those areas require Military Permit include the following:

Nyingchi: all the places, such as Draksumtso, Pomi, etc.
Ngari: all the places, such as Mt. Kailash, Lake Manasarovar, etc.
Chamdo: all the places, such as Chamdo, Riwoche, etc.

Special Note: Inbound China overland tours also request Military Permit.
For example, go to Ngari from Lhasa, Urumqi or Kashgar by air or travel to Tibet from Sichuan, Yunnan, Xinjiang or Qinghai province.
Exception: Military Permit is not needed for Lhasa to Kathmandu or Kathmandu to Lhasa overland tour.

Military Permit

Where and when to apply for Military Permit?
It’s issued by the Military Office in Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet Autonomous Region. Foreign travelers have to apply for it prior your Tibet tours at least 20 days. And it usually takes one to two weeks to get it after submission.

How to apply for Military Permit and the cost of it?
It’s not issued for the individual visitor but only for a group organized by authorized Tibet travel agencies. Which means, you have to tell your tour plan to a Tibet tour company and book a tour from them, they will handle everything according to the itinerary. The net cost is CNY100 per person.

What kind of documents should you provide to the travel agency to apply for Military Permit?
If you are planning to visit any of those mentioned sensitive areas, you should provide the scanning copy of valid passport and Chinese Visa to your travel agency in advance. But for travelers who will take a flight to Lhasa from Kathmandu no need to provide the Chinese Visa. Because when you get into Kathmandu, you are requested to issue a new Group Chinese Visa, which is totally different from the individual Chinese Visa you got from the Chinese Embassy in your country. The Nepali agent who works as a partner of your Tibet Tour Agency will take care of it.

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