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Byevisa » Bhutan Tourist Visa

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.

All permits are Single Entry and remain valid for the duration of your tour.
As mentioned above, once your travel agent has received the tour payment, the TCB will issue the travel permit in a maximum of 72 working hours. As you don’t have to send away your passport to apply for this permit, you have a bit more time flexibility.

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.

Like most other international travellers, US citizens are required to apply for a visa to Bhutan and pay the corresponding Bhutan visa fees through their tour operator.
The US does not have diplomatic representation in the Kingdom. If any issues may arise, please contact the US embassy in New Delhi:
  • Shantipath, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi - 110021, India, Telephone: +(91)(11)2419-8000, Emergency Telephone: +(91)(11)2419-8000, Email: acsnd@state.gov
A full list of TCB registered tour operators can be found on the Council’s webpage.
Yes. Many visitors assume that they will be committed to a fixed itinerary. However, tour companies will in fact accommodate most requests if made well in advance. We recommend doing some research into hotels beforehand to have an accurate idea of where you will be staying.
There are no direct flights to this country from the US, Europe, Japan or Australia. All visitors must have at least 1 stopover in a neighbouring country before continuing on to their destination.

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.

When looking at travel packages, you may notice the Sustainable Development Fee (SDF) of 65 USD per day added to the total. This fee goes towards free education, free healthcare and alleviating poverty in the Kingdom. For Indian nationals, this fee is substantially lower at approximately 16 USD.
The minimum daily package is the minimum selling price for packages set by the government.

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.

There is no limit on the number of travellers allowed. However, in order to protect the country’s rich culture, traditions and natural environment, the government favours small-scale, high-quality tourism over the mass tourism found in some other destinations.
Unless one of your nationalities is from the list of Bhutan visa-free countries, there is no advantage to using one passport over the other, so long as it is valid for 6 months past the end of your trip and has available blank pages.
Ultimately, entry is at the discretion of the immigration officer at your point of entry. However, you can travel comfortably knowing that your visit has the support of your licensed local operator, who will be able to assist you.
If you wish to work in this country you will need to seek approval from the Department of Labour, Ministry of Labour and Human Resources in conjunction with your company. Individuals with an employment visa will be allowed to live and work in the Kingdom for up to 1 year.
Yes, this is a remarkably safe country with low levels of crime. There can be, however, some small risk of natural disasters such as monsoons and seismic activities. By travelling during the tourist seasons (spring and autumn) and reviewing basic safety protocols, you can greatly reduce your risk during your visit.
There are no vaccinations required for entry. It is recommended that you be up-to-date on all routine vaccines, in addition to Hepatitis A, B and Typhoid.
The official religion here is Vajrayana Buddhism which is practised by about 75% of the population.
All Bhutanese citizens are required to observe the national dress code, known as Driglam Namzha, while in public. This does not apply to tourists, although many temples, dzongs and religious sites will require you to cover your arms and legs to enter, so it’s better to dress appropriately at all times.
This country has an extremely diverse climate, due to its vast variations in altitude. Post-monsoon, from late September through November, you will enjoy bright sunny days with some early snow in the mountains. Winter brings strong winds and overnight temperatures drop below zero. Spring is generally dry and pleasant.
The local currency is the Bhutanese ngultrum (currency code: BTN). Its value is tied to the Indian rupee, which is widely accepted in shops and restaurants. ATMs are available in the main towns and cities where ngultrum can be withdrawn using a Visa or MasterCard. In addition, many hotels and handicraft stores accept payment by credit card.
Bhutanese cuisine is spicy. Many dishes would not be complete without a good dose of chilis and this staple is enjoyed in nearly every meal.

Also, although the national language is Dzongkha, there are over 19 other dialects spoken in the country.

Below you will see a sample of a permit along with the entry and exit stamps:
You can learn more about travelling to this enchanting Himalayan country in the following links:
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