All international tourists wishing to enter Bhutan need a visa which must be pre-arranged. If you will be travelling with a tour agency like us, leave this headache to Bhutan Green Travel (BGT). We are one of the licensed local Bhutanese tour operators since early 2011 and will do everything to obtain your Bhutan Tourist Visa. At the time of booking, all you need to send us are a recent passport photograph and a coloured-scan of your passport photo page, which we use to apply for your visa – see the sample given here. Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of six months with enough blank pages after the date you intend to leave Bhutan.
The Royal Government of Bhutan requires all applications for tourist visas to be lodged via an online form. BGT will prepare and apply for the visa on your behalf once the payment (including SDF and visa fees) has been received in full. Normally, these fees are included in your pre-booked holiday package. Additionally, a valid travel insurance policy is a mandatory requirement for the whole of your stay. After submitting the completed visa application form, your visa will then be processed and approved within five working days. It is advisable to apply for a Bhutan visa at least 4 weeks before your departure. Unlike most countries in the world, Bhutan visas are not granted by their consulates and embassies. All visas are approved by the Department of Immigration from Thimphu. Once your visa is obtained, we will in turn, deliver it to you as an electronic document by email at least 2 weeks or so prior to travel. The visa can be issued for a maximum of 90 days. At the point of entry in Bhutan, you will be required to present your passport, e-Visa Clearance Letter, and air ticket so that the immigration authorities can confirm everything is correct and then an entry stamp is issued on your passport after completing immigration procedures.
You must carry a valid passport and have obtained the appropriate visa when travelling with Bhutan Green Travel. Children are required to hold individual passports. We do not accept any responsibility if you are refused entry into any country due to failure on your part to carry all required documentation.
Regional Tourists (Visitors from India, Bangladesh & Maldives)
All Indian nationals do not need a visa to enter Bhutan. A valid travel document such as original passport with a minimum of 6 months validity or original Voter Photo Identity Card (verifiable online) issued by the Election Commission of India is required at the port of entry to obtain an entry permit. An accompanied child (below 18 years) travelling without passport should possess birth certificate in English along with school ID Card in the case of student. The entry permit is generally issued for a maximum of 7 days and can be further extended depending on the actual length of stay. In addition to the entry permit, a separate route permit is also required for those travelling other than Phuentsholing, Thimphu and Paro. The route permit can be processed only upon arrival in Bhutan on producing the entry permit and requires travellers to be in Thimphu on any working day (Monday to Friday) from 09:00 to 17:00 hrs.
Note that Indian nationals flying to and from Kathmandu by Drukair or Bhutan Airlines require a valid passport according to the Nepalese Immigration Regulations.
Bangladeshi & Maldivian Nationals
All Bangladeshi and Maldivian nationals visiting Bhutan do not require a visa. A valid passport having at least six months validity is required to obtain an entry permit at the point of entry.
Online Permit System
Regional tourists visiting Bhutan also have an option similar to that of international tourists to apply for entry permit and route permit in advance using the online system introduced by the Department of Immigration under Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs and the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB). This facility provides a smooth visitation for tourists from India, Bangladesh and Maldives by availing the services of a local registered Bhutanese tour operator and TCB certified hotels.
Indian Tourists Travelling in Personal Vehicles
Indian tourists entering Bhutan via Phuentsholing and subsequently travelling inside Bhutan in their own vehicles must obtain a vehicle permit from the Road Safety and Transport Authority (RSTA) in Phuentsholing. The mandatory vehicle documents such as valid Indian driving license (in original), insurance of vehicle in original (duly attested), valid Pollution under Control (PUC) certificate and Indian-registered vehicle number with original RC are required for obtaining the vehicle permit. A road fee is applicable. If the owner and the driver of the vehicle driving into Bhutan are not the same person, then there should be a written authorization from the owner.