All visitors to Bhutan require a visa.
Indian, Bangladeshis and Maldivian nationals can obtain a visa at the port of entry on producing a valid passport with a minimum of 6 month validity (Indian nationals may also use their Voters Identity Card (VIC)).
All other tourists must obtain a visa clearance prior to travel to Bhutan. Visas are processed through an online system by your licensed Bhutanese tour operator, directly or through a foreign travel agent.
You are required to send the photo-page of your passport to your tour operator who will then apply for your visa. The visa will be processed by the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) once the full payment of your holiday (including a USD $40 visa fee) has been wire transferred and received in the TCB bank account. Once received the visa clearance will be processed within 72 working hours.
At your point of entry you will be required to show your visa clearance letter, the visa will then be stamped into your passport.
Bhutan Visa Application Procedures
How to get or apply Tourist Visa to Bhutan
You can’t personally apply for tourist Visa yourself. Application has to be done by an authorized travel agent in Bhutan on behalf of you.
This is the steps which you have to take:
1. Book a Bhutan tour package with a licensed travel agency
2. Purchase & confirm you air-tickets on DrukAir
3. Ensure that you have a passport with at least six months validity at the point of arrival in Bhutan
4. Provide the information required as listed below
• Full name as per passport
• Mailing address
• Contact No. (mobile preferred)
• Submit a scanned copy of your passport as per sample
• Submit a scanned copy of student ID for student discounts as per sample
Visa will only be processed upon payment of tour package cost to Tourism Council of Bhutan.
*Department of Immigration would like to inform all travellers that w.e.f. 26th September 2011, the department will accept only valid passport copies (clear scan of passport page with datasheet and picture) of travellers and no passport size photographs will be entertained.
Question: I’ve paid for my tour package. How long does it take to process my visa to Bhutan?
Answer: You should expect to get your visa only between 10 to 3 days prior to your departure. Remember to print out a copy of your visa so that you can present it at the Drukair Check-in counter and also at immigration point.
Question: Do I need to send you my passport for Bhutan visa application?
Answer: No, we only require a clear color scan of the detail page of your passport as per above sample. Bhutan travel visa application is a digital submission process, thus we do not need to retain your passport but only submit a digital scan of your passport.
Question: I have just renewed my passport and my visa is issued on my old passport. What should I do?
Answer: If you have more than two weeks to your date of departure, it is advisable that you contact us to have you details updated with the Department of Immigration of Bhutan. Should your departure date be too closed, you should bring along your old passport for verification at the immigration checkpoint, should it be available.
During your check-in at the airport counter, Drukair will also require you to sign an indemnity form to release the airline from any further liability.
Question: How would my Bhutan visa look like?
Answer: Your visa application will be a digital submission and it will come as an electronic document. You will need to print out the document and carry it with you. Visa verification is required when you check in for your Drukair flight and when you reach the immigration checkpoint at Paro International Airport.
Question: Am I allowed to bring cigarettes & alcohol into Bhutan?
Answer: Yes, all foreigners are allowed to bring with them one litre of alcoholic spirit and up to 200 sticks of cigarettes OR 30 pieces of cigars.
*Do note that all cigarettes all be subjected to 100 percent customs duty and 100 percent sales tax (Nominally 1,600Nu per carton). Travellers should declare their dutiable items at custom and pay the admissible taxes.
Tourist Duty Free Allowance into Bhutan
a. Spirits: 1 bottle not larger than one litre
b. Cigarettes: 1 carton (containing 200 pieces) subject to 100 percent customs duty and 100 percent sales tax. (nominally at 1,600 Nu per carton)