A visa is required. We cannot assist in processing this document, but we provide instructions on how to apply.
All About the Kingdom of Bhutan Visa
A destination shrouded in mystery, this small Himalayan country with 4 millennia of history has only allowed the outside world to peek inside its mountainous borders since the mid-1970s.
Since then, the Kingdom has carefully opened up to travellers under a government policy of “High Value, Low Impact” travel. This is reflected in the visa policy of Bhutan, which favours high-quality tourism, attracting travellers interested in exploring the country’s rich and varied history and nature.
The cliff-top monasteries and pristine forests are not the only attractions that make this destination one of a kind, either. A carbon-negative economy and a unique government approach to happiness and well-being are sure to intrigue even the most well-travelled individual.
If you’re ready to discover whether happiness truly is a place and want to know how to get there, then look no further. This guide has been designed to give visitors a detailed overview of how to request a visa for Bhutan.
Is There a Bhutan Visa on Arrival (VoA)?
Yes. A VoA is only available to Bangladeshi and Maldivian nationals carrying a valid passport with a minimum validity of 6 months. Meanwhile, Indian nationals may enter upon producing a Voters Identity Card (VIC).
If you qualify, then upon arrival, you will be asked to complete the VoA application form and present proof of booking of a TCB-certified tour. The VoA will then be placed in your passport by a customs officer when you pass through immigration.
Is a Visa Required for Bhutan?
Yes, all tourists with the exception of nationals from India, Bangladesh and the Maldives must obtain a tourist visa to Bhutan prior to their travel (for more information on this point, see our section titled ‘Bhutan Visa on Arrival (VoA)’ below).
Bhutan’s visa policy states that you must use a licensed Bhutanese tour operator to book your travel to the Kingdom. All international travellers wishing to enter this Himalayan nation must apply for their Bhutan travel visa through a tour operator endorsed by the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB).
Can I Travel to This Country Without Booking a Tour?
No, it is a strict government regulation that to travel to Bhutan, your visa must be requested through a licensed tour operator.
What Are the Bhutan Visa Requirements?
The first step of this process is deciding which tour operator you would like to hire for your visit. The TCB has an extensive list of fully licensed tours that cater to all types of travellers, from extreme adventurers to foodies and history buffs.
Based on the itinerary chosen, your travel agent will calculate the amount you must pay in advance. The next step will be to wire the tour payment, plus the one-time entry permit fee, to the country’s national bank through one of their certified national partners.
Be sure to keep the bank wire receipt, as a copy will have to be sent to the local operator.
Once all of this is complete, you are well on your way to requesting your travel permit. The additional visa requirements for Bhutan include the following:
- Confirmed booking with a tour operator endorsed by the TCB (paid in full).
- Copy of the picture page of your valid passport.
- Your passport must be valid for a minimum of 6 months after your planned visit and have at least 1 blank page for the visa stamp.
- Tour itinerary.
- The Department of Immigration may ask for additional documents if required.
What Are the Bhutan Visa Requirements for Indian Citizens?
Indian, Bangladeshi and Maldivian nationals travelling with a passport with a minimum of 6 months’ validity can obtain a permit at their port of entry.
This process has been further streamlined with the launch of an Online Permit System. This system facilitates the online processing of permits for tourists from these 3 countries through registered Bhutanese tour operators and TCB-certified hotels.
Visitors who use this system can obtain their permits prior to their arrival in Bhutan, similar to international tourists.
Thanks to the 1949 Treaty of Friendship between India and Bhutan, freedom of movement between the 2 nations is permitted on a reciprocal basis. For this reason, Indian nationals may also use their VIC in place of a passport.
If you’re entering via a land border, Indian nationals will additionally be required to apply for a Route Permit from the Bhutanese Road Safety and Transport Authority.
For more helpful information for Indian travellers to the Kingdom, check out our Bhutan Visa for Indians page.
Bhutan Visa Application Process
For citizens of countries other than India, Bangladesh and the Maldives, you apply for your entry permit through your tour operator by sending them the photo page of your national passport, as well as the completed Bhutan visa form. To facilitate the process, make sure to have the following information/documents at hand:
- Full name, date of birth and nationality.
- Passport number, issue and expiration dates.
- Point and date of entry/exit from the country.
- Details of any prior visits to the Kingdom.
- A recent, passport-size photo.
Once your holiday has been paid in full and the funds have been received by the TCB, the Council will process the travel permit in 72 working hours.
Upon approval, you will be issued a clearance letter which must be printed and submitted at your port of entry. At this point, the official visa will be stamped in your passport.
How Much Does a Bhutan Visa Cost?
A visa for Bhutan costs 40 USD. This amount will be wired in advance to your tour operator or travel agent when you make the tour payment.
The Bhutan visa fee is waived for Indian, Bangladeshi and Maldivian nationals.
Frequently Asked Questions
Find out more about acquiring your travel permit for this fascinating South Asian country by reading our FAQs below.
However, keep in mind that spring and autumn are peak tourism seasons in the Kingdom and tours may fill up fast. To make sure you can reserve the itinerary you’d like, we recommend making your travel arrangements at least 90 days prior to allow time for all the formalities to be completed.
- Shantipath, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi - 110021, India, Telephone: +(91)(11)2419-8000, Emergency Telephone: +(91)(11)2419-8000, Email: email@example.com
If transiting through Kathmandu, you will have the opportunity to pass over 4 or the 5 highest mountains in the world before descending into Paro International Airport!
The only land crossings are at the country’s border with India.
For example, the minimum daily package for a group of 3 travelling in January, February, June, July, August or December is 200 USD per person per night. This includes lodging (minimum 3-star accommodation), all meals, a licensed Bhutanese tour guide, all internal ground transport, and the SDF mentioned above.
Discounts are available for children and students.
Also, although the national language is Dzongkha, there are over 19 other dialects spoken in the country.