Bhutan visa procedure and regulations
Other than Indian, Bangladeshis and Maldivian nationals, all visitors to Bhutan require a visa; all visas are issued from Thimphu; visas are only issued to tourists booked with a local licensed tour operator, directly or through a foreign travel agent. Applications for tourist visas are submitted by the tour operator. Visa clearance from Thimphu must be obtained before coming to Bhutan. Visa clearance takes at least 10 days to process. Air tickets to Bhutan cannot be purchased without visa clearance. At your point of entry the visa will be stamped in your passport on payment of US$20, two passport photos will also be required. Visas are issued for a 15day period; extensions can be obtained in Thimphu at a cost of Nu.510.
Bhutan visa must must applied for a minimum of 30 Day before travel. All visas must be approved by Bhutan Foreign Ministry, from where a clearance number will be issued. A visa application form must be mailed, along with four copies of original passport size photographs. The actual visa is stamped on arrival in Bhutan while visa is cleared in advance and a visa clearance number issued.
For all travelers, entering Bhutan by Druk Air, the visa clearance number is forwarded to concerned overseas Druk Air stations and without the Clearance Number; passengers are not allowed to board the flight. Visa Clearance Number is also required while issuing Druk Air tickets.
For all travelers, entering into the country by surface through Phuntsholing (the border town south of Bhutan), the visa is stamped on arrival and Clearance Number is forwarded to Foreign Ministry's office for references and record.
Visa fee is US$ 20.00 per person for 14 Day visa, which can be further extended with additional fee of US$ 15.00. Visa fee is payable on arrival in cash.
Before entering into Bhutan a valid passport and Entry visa is essential except to the National from India and Bangladesh. All entry visa will be permitted only to those who are commercially in organized group. All these kinds of visa can be obtained directly from a travel agent abroad. Before entering into Bhutan visa clearance should be taken place at Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Thimpu and must hold it before boarding to the flights for Bhutan. Making payments of USD 20 at the port you are supposed to use the visa will bi stamped on your passport and for the procedure you need two passport size photographs. Be notice through this procedure that no visa will be gained from Bhutanese Embassies that is in your country. For extension of visa, up to six months, at the cost of Nu. 510 at Thimpu, is possible after necessity is considered.
Visa fee cost USD 30 of which USD 10 is supposed for Tourism Development program. Though all these terms and condition meets, entry into Bhutan from Assam, India, is Restricted. All except Indian national needs the valid passport to enter. Travelers to enter into Bhutan there are two ways. Entering from each port, i.e., either directly by air (only Druk Flight) to Paro, or overland through Phuntsholing (boarder town to India), with all necessary documents for transiting is required.
Application to: Visa applications for all tourists processed by the travel/tour agent through the Tourism authority of Bhutan (TAB). The travelers who are cleared of visa processing will get the invitation letter and are subjected to travel to Bhutan. Clearance of the process the travelers will get visa at paro airport or at Phuntsholing upon their arrival.
Duration required for Visa procedure: at least 2 weeks before from the date of traveling plan.
Required documentation and information for visa Process:
Full Name (as in Passport)
Date of issue and expiration of Passport
Date and Place of Birth
Please check once more, nothing is mistaken. Otherwise you will be in complication while in airport or in Phuntsholing for obtaining visa.
As the visa clearance system finished and the visa confirmation number to Druk Air in Kathmandu will be sent by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs then Druk air is supposed to issue tickets. Until Druk air receives the confirmation number of the clients it doesn’t issue the tickets. The original or actual visa will be stamped at the Paro airport while you arrive there. Therefore every traveler are needed to check and confirm they have not mistaken the information details.
Tour Programmes booked and subsequently cancelled shall be subject to cancellation charges as follows:
- within 30 days of start of programme ~ no charges
- within 21 days ~ 10% of rate
- within 14 days ~ 15% of rate
- within 7 days ~ 30% of rate
- less than 7 days or without notice ~ 50% of rate
- after arrival in Bhutan ~ 100%
There is no charge for delays in arrival and departure because of weather conditions disrupting flights or road blocks. The tourist must however bear the cost of food, accommodation, transportation, and other services required.
Note: INR (Indian Rupees) denominations of 500 and 1000 are not accepted in Bhutan.
Cost of travelling in Bhutan and discounts
Tourists can book a package holiday to Bhutan through both International and Bhutanese local tour operators. Information is available from travel agencies.
The Royal Government of Bhutan sets minimum selling prices for packages to Bhutan and this must be paid in US dollars prior to arrival in Bhutan.
The minimum tariff for tourist visiting in a group of 3 persons or more is as follows:
High Season Tariff – USD$ 250 per person per night for the months of March, April, May, September, October, and November.
Low Season Tariff – USD$200 per person per night for the months of January, February, June, July, August, and December.
The minimum price includes:
- All internal taxes and charges (including the royalty)
- All Meals
- All travel with a licensed Bhutanese Tour Guide
- All Internal Transport
- Camping Equipment and Haulage for Trekking Tours
- With effect from 01/07/2009, the government has revoked the 25% discount on Diplomatic visas.
- There shall be no charge for CHILDREN up to the age of 5 years. However, those between the ages of 6-12 years accompanied by elders/ guardians shall be given 50% discount on daily rates and 100% discount on Royalty.
- Full time STUDENTS below the age of 25 years holding valid identity cards from their academic institutions shall also be given a 25% discount on daily rates.
- A discount of 50% on daily rates shall be given to one person in a group of 11 to 15 people. 100% discount shall be given to one member in a group exceeding 16 persons.
- 50%discount on Royalty shall be provided after the 8th night and 100% discount on Royalty shall be provided after the 14th night.
- Visitors availing discounts under Sections A, B & C shall not be eligible for discount under E.
Detailed information on Druk Air flights, tour and trekking programmes, festivals, places of interest, hotels etc can be obtained from the tour operators.