Tempa Tsering was born on 15 May 1950 in Drumpa, Gyaltse, Tibet. After the invasion of the Chinese forces in Tibet in 1959, he and his parents escaped into exile in India. He completed his high school from Dr. Grahams Homes, Kalimpong. After finishing his high school, he studied B.Sc. Zoology in Madras Christian College and served as the Minister of St. Thomas Hall, a resident hostel of Madras Christian College. He was the first Tibetan to graduate from Madras Christian College.
Later, he was elected as the member of the Central Executive Committee of the Tibetan Youth Congress and its advisor. In 1973, he joined the Tibetan civil service, as interpreter and office secretary at the Bylakuppe Tibetan Settlement ; From 1973-74, as lower division clerk; From 1974-80 as deputy secretary at the Department of Information and International Relations of the Central Tibetan Administration; From 1981-85 as deputy secretary (and later as additional secretary) at the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama; From 1988-1990 as additional secretary at the Department of Home; as chief coordinator at the Chief Representative’s Office for the five settlements in the state of Karnataka; From 1991-1999 as the secretary of the Department of Information and International Relations.
In 2000, the Tibetan Parliament in Exile, from a list of nominees proposed by the Dalai Lama, elected him as minister (Tibetan: Kalon). He held the portfolio of Kalon for the Department of Home, until the term of the 11th Cabinet (Tibetan: Kashag) expired in 2001. In 2006, nominated as Kalon by Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche and later approved by the Members of Assembly and took the portfolio of Kalon for the Department of Information and International Relations along with the representative of the Dalai Lama in New Delhi. Since 2005, he was the representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in New Delhi till 10 August 2016. He was succeeded by Kasur Ngodup Dongchung.
He married Jetsun Pema, younger sister of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.