How to Get Tibet Permit in Chengdu

Many foreign visitors would like to visit Chengdu firstly before entering Tibet. A common question they have is “I would like to get to Lhasa by train or by air from Chengdu, but how can I get a Tibet visitor’s permit in Chengdu?” This is a major concern for people planning to travel from Chengdu to Tibet since all foreign visitors must have a Tibet Travel Permit in order to enter Tibet.

Why Do Foreign Tourists Go to Chengdu Before Entering Tibet?

1. Chengdu, the economic center of southwest China, is the most popular gateway city to Tibet as it is the nearest city from which to fly into Tibet – a 2-hour flight to Lhasa and a 1.5 hour-flight to Nyingchi. Chengdu is also connected with Lhasa by a 3,360 kilometer railway that transports millions of tourists each year.

2. Before the Qinghai-Tibet Railway was put into operation in July 2006, Chengdu was the only city with direct flights to Tibet. Now, although there are direct flights flying from the other cities in mainland China such as Beijing, Shanghai and Xi’an, to Tibet, some flights still make a stopover or transfer to another flights in Chengdu. Although Chengdu is now not the only transfer station to enter Tibet, it still plays an important role for tourists to enter Tibet. Many Tibet travel agencies have been set up in Chengdu.

3. Chengdu also enjoys a close bond with Tibet both in economy and culture, attracting many Tibetans to settle down in this city. Many government departments have also opened offices in Chengdu to serve local Tibetans and handle relevant affairs. Traveling from Chengdu to Tibet is considered the fastest way to get a Tibet Travel Permit.

Can Foreigners Directly Apply for the Tibet Travel Permit in Chengdu?

The Tibet Tourism Bureau Chengdu office used to issue Tibet travel permits to foreigners for many years, during which tourists were usually able to get the permit within 3-5 working days and sometimes within just one working day with an emergency request. At that time, tourists were even allowed to travel in Tibet independently after obtaining the permit. However, the Chengdu office of Tibet Tourism Bureau was deprived of its right to issue Tibet travel permits in late 2006. Instead, the Lhasa head office has been placed in charge of issuing Tibet Travel Permits for all foreign visitors.

That is to say, although Tibet Tourism Bureau has opened branch offices in Chengdu, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, its head office in Lhasa is the only option for foreigners. All of the necessary documents such as tour itinerary, passport and Chinese Visa must be sent to Lhasa by a Tibet Travel Agency and reviewed by the local tourism bureau, public security bureau, foreign affairs office and other relevant government departments. Once approved, the issued permits will then be handed over to local travel agencies before being delivered to the city where the tourists will begin their trip.

Please note: 

1. Tibet Tourism Bureau in Lhasa is now the only place to issue Tibet Travel Permit, so it will spend more time on processing Tibet Travel Permit, about 10-15 working days. You’d better handle it 30 days in advance to ensure that you have enough time.

2. You can’t directly apply for the Tibet Travel Permit, but through a Tibet travel agency, which will help you with your itinerary including ground transportation, guide services, hotel reservations, etc.

3. You will be asked to show a valid Tibet Travel Permit either at the railway station or at the airport before entering Tibet. The Tibet Tourism Bureau will issue a paper permit to your travel agency, which will deliver the permit to you in turn. You have to take it with you during the whole journey in Tibet.

4. More detailed information, you can consult our attentive consultants, they can also arrange a Tibet tour for you. Please contact us by Email:, or Phone: 0086-871-63511469, Wechat: 908400838, Emergency Call:+86-13668720322.

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