With an exception of visitors from India, Bangladesh, and Maldives, all other visitors to Bhutan need a visa.
Indian, Bangladeshis and Maldivian nationals can obtain a visa or entry permit 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 ( Tourism Council of Bhutan) 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.
Entry formalities for travellers to Bhutan
No foreign embassies/ Missions/ Agencies can issue Visa for Bhutan except the Department of Immigration, Thimphu, Bhutan. The visa approval letter can be processed only after the deposit of full tour payment in USD to our Bhutan National Bank a/c as required by the TCB (Tourism Council of Bhutan). It takes at least 7 – 10 working days to process the Visa. The Visa approval letter will be mailed to you. You have to carry this document when you board the flight to Bhutan. The actual visa will be stamped in your passport upon arrival in Bhutan.A valid passport is required for travel to Bhutan and the validity of the passport should be minimum 6 months from the date of departure. Scanned copy of the original passports of each passenger in color in JPEG format and information as may be asked for shall be required to process the visa.
Entry Permit for Bhutan:
Indian nationals will get Visa upon arrival at immigration check point. The following documents are needed to get the permit:
- Original Passport with a minimum validity of 6 months from the date of departure from Bhutan or original Voter ID. No other document shall be acceptable by the immigration.
- Passport size photographs (required 2 nos. for land entry).
- For Children, original Birth certificate in English and student ID is required.
- If the guests are arriving from or travelling to, any other country other than India, the only document acceptable is 6 months valid original passport. No other document shall be accepted by the immigration.
- OCI Card or PIO card are not valid documents to travel to Bhutan as Indian Nationals. They will be considered as Foreign Nationals and will need 6 months valid passport only. In such case all rules as applicable to foreign national shall be applicable to them and they will be subjected to VISA and Royalty charges.
- If you are entering Bhutan via land, it is to be noted that the permits are issued only during working days and hours (Monday to Friday between 9 am to 4 pm during winter and 5 pm during summer). Please note that the permits are also not issued on Bhutan National Holidays also. It is suggested that the travellers arriving in Phuntsholing on Friday should arrive latest by 10 AM in order to complete the entry formalities. No permits are issued on Saturday, Sunday and Bhutan government holidays.
Special Route Permit for places other than Phuntsholing, Thimphu, and Paro:
Special Permit is required to visit places beyond Thimphu and Paro from the Department of Immigration, Thimphu. No charges will be applicable for this permit. Please bring Voter ID card or Passport of each person including the child. This special permit is given only after the guest has entered Bhutan. Permits are not issued on Saturday, Sunday & Bhutan Govt. holidays.
Online e-permit facilities, one can avail only if you travel through Bhutan Travel Coordinator in Bhutan. For online permit we required your only passport coloured scanned copies, Voter ID or other documents are not valid for online. We need at least 24-48 hours working day to get approval.