Plan and book early
Tibet is part of China and is a sensitive region hence the regulations are different from mainland China.
If you are entering Tibet from mainland China, then you need to get your China visa yourself. In most countries there are efficient visa processing offices. There are two approaches and the first is do not mention you are going to Tibet if you can help it as this substantially complicates the paperwork and the time taken. This only works if you have Tibet sector flights on separate tickets that you don't show the processor. You need to show your tickets in and out of mainland China and make up an itinerary, and we assist.
Once in China we send a copy of the Tibet permit to you, which is good for travel to Lhasa.
The second is showing you are going to Tibet and for this original paperwork has to be sent and requires several more weeks as paper is shuffled in Lhasa.
If beginning your Tibet trip from Kathmandu then we have to provide your China visa and all permits. You don't have to do anything other than send us a passport copy. It will be a group visa and any existing China visa in your passport will be cancelled. Do discuss if this is an issue.
We pre-process the paperwork and once you arrive in Kathmandu then we take your passport and get the visa, which can only be done on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday (and not on China public holidays).
Note that the China visa and permits are issued at the discretion of the authorities, we cannot be responsible for a refused visa.
See our Nepal visa page also.
We take care of all of these for you. These include protected area entry (ie national parks etc) and special permits required in other areas. For mountaineering expeditions the peak royalty cost, liaison officer and special travel permits are always included.
China's policy is to close Tibet to foreigners when there could be trouble, like sensitive anniversaries. Usually this is telegraphed well in advance, and we have already planned around this. For unexpected, usually newsworthy events there is little or no warning and little is written officially, and they give no idea of when restrictions will end. If there is this sort of event we will come up with a suitable alternative so that you can still take a trekking/expedition holiday.