Tibet permit is actually a secondary travel document to a special zone besides China visa with which you can come to China for the first step of your travel though you must get approved by Tibet Tourism Bureau before you obtain China visa. It is a certificate only for the travel, and there are a few names about it such as Tibet permit, Tibet travel permit, Tibet entry permit, Tibet tour permit, and etc, while correct one is Tibet travel permit. Tibet travel permit is classified in to a few kinds if you travel through all over Tibet.
To start your trip to Tibet, you must get the first permit to get in to Tibet no matter how many or how less places you want to visit, and whatever how long or how short you want to stay in Tibet. This kind of permit is also named as Tibet entry permit, but it is not only for the entry in to Tibet. With which you can also travel to some places within its power limit. See photo copy of TTP below:
Tibet Entry Permit
Before further explanation tourists must have the followings in mind.
a. It is compulsory for foreign tourists, but China’s citizens do not need that.
b. Some tourists misunderstand it as “Tibet visa” which is absolutely wrong because Tibet is under China’s domination, in the same way that if tourists visit Guam you must get US visa
c. Tibet travel permit cannot be bought without a tour, because it is travel permitted document. Any purchase or selling of it without a tour is a kind of illegal action, which will take you to risk your stay because you may be checked with by the police.
d. It is issued NOT only by Tibet Tourism Bureau but by a few government offices as well.
e. Besides the full information on your passport, any untrue identity supplied by you will take the risk of refusal for Tibet permit, and your plan to Tibet will be spoiled.
f. It can NOT be obtained if tourists apply directly with government offices without some appointed agents like Tibet Century International Travel Service
g. It is free of charge as shown on the certificate of Tibet permit, but it is Not free because any travel agent will charge tourists for the service fee
Tibet travel permit or Tibet entry permit can be issued by a few government institutions. Mostly you can get it from Tibet Tourism Bureau (hereinafter we call it TTB) if you, as a tourist, go to Tibet only for a tour. To make it clearer outline arrays can illustrate a few different ways of obtaining Tibet travel permit.
If you hold a tour passport and you go to Tibet only for a tour, TTB can issue you the Tibet permit
But if you are a journalist or a government official or an ambassador, even though you hold a tour passport you must or have to get Tibet travel permit from Tibet Foreign Affairs Office since you are a big banana, like the journalist, it is often named as “uncrowned king” This is equally treated
If your visa type is “F”, not “L”, you also must or have to apply for Tibet travel permit with Tibet Foreign Affairs Office
Businessman who want to invest money in Tibet and enjoy the tour during their spare time can get Tibet travel permit from Tibet Economic Development & Foreign Trade Committee
Taiwanese can get Tibet travel permit from Taiwan Affairs Office Tibet Branch.
A second permit or travel document is also needed or a must after you stand on the roof of the world and you want to travel to places out of Tibet travel permit limit. This is called Alien’s Travel Permit ( short form: ALP) This kind of permit can be only obtained from Foreign Affairs Division, Public Security Bureau Tibet and it is AFTER you get in to Tibet. What’s more, if the places you travel to are within the military control, you must or have to get the third permit named as Military Allowance (short form: MA) which can be issued by the concerning military offices.
To draw a conclusion, Tibet permit is a travel certificate or a travel document although it draws out some other kinds of permits related to a tour such as ATP and MA. And it can be easily issued for tourists if they are NOT within the unwelcomed people by Tibet local government or China. And it is NOT Tibet visa in terms of China’s sovereignty.