Do You Need Visa to Visit Bhutan?
Visa is required
Do You Need Visa to Visit Bhutan? Check It Out!
Visa Types & Categories to Apply for Bhutan
To streamline and facilitate smooth visits by tourists from Bangladesh, India, and the Maldives, the Department of Immigration, the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Affairs, and the Bhutan Tourism Council have launched the Online Permit System. The system facilitates the online processing of permits for regional tourists through registered Bhutanese tour operators and certified TCB hotels.
There are more than 1000 licensed and active tour guides working in the country.
To ensure that visitors are provided with high-quality professional services, each guide must complete a training course. Guides are trained to specialize in both cultural and adventure tours. Many guides complete language courses in German, Japanese, Thai and other languages so that they can communicate easily with guests, and they are all knowledgeable in English. All tour operators must use only registered and certified guides.
Please visit this website to see the list of certified tour guides.
The facility is offered as an optional channel for processing permits for visitors from the region and is applicable for entry from Paro and Phuntsholing. Visitors using this facility will obtain permit clearances and route permits similar to international tourists before they arrive in Bhutan.
Most people, except those from a few neighboring countries, will need a visa to visit Bhutan. With the exception of visitors from India, Bangladesh, and the Maldives, all other citizens traveling to Bhutan need a visa.
Citizens of India, Bangladesh, and the Maldives can obtain permits at the port of entry upon presentation of a valid passport for at least 6 months validity (Indian citizens can also use their Voter Identity Cards (VIC)).
All other tourists must obtain a visa clearance prior to travel to Bhutan. Visas are processed by your licensed Bhutanese tour operator directly or by a foreign travel agent through an online system.
You are required to send a bio page of your passport to your tour operator, who will then apply for a 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 transferred by wire and received in the bank account of TCB. Once the visa clearance is received, it will be processed within 72 working hours.
You will be required to show your visa clearance letter at your point of entry, and the visa will be stamped on your passport.
The Royal Government of Bhutan sets minimum selling prices for Bhutan packages. They must be paid in US dollars prior to arrival in Bhutan.
The minimum daily package per tourist per night stop in Bhutan for tourists traveling in groups of 3 or more is as follows:
- USD 200 per person per night for the months of January, February, June, July, August, and December.
- USD 250 per person per night for the months of March, April, May, September, October, and November.
Tourists traveling in groups of two (2) persons or less shall be subject to a surcharge, in addition to a minimum daily package rate. They are as follows;
• Single person-US$ 40 per night.
• Group of 2 persons-US$ 30 per person per night.
The surcharge will not apply to representatives of foreign travel agents on a business study or promotional visit duly approved and cleared by TCB.
EMBASSY INFORMATION AND LOCATION
Do I need to use a tour operator to book my trip to Bhutan?
Yes. It is a government regulation that you must use a licensed Bhutan tour operator to book your trip to Bhutan or one of its international partners.
Do I need a visa to get to Bhutan?
All international tourists wishing to enter Bhutan require a visa to be pre-arranged by a Bhutanese Tour Operator license or one of their international partners. Visa clearance must be obtained from your tour operator prior to travel. For holders of Indian passports (or VIC), Bangladeshi nationals and Maldives may obtain a visa at the time of entry.
How much does it cost for a visa?
For international tourist visas, a cost of USD 40 applies. You can pay this in advance to your tour operator or travel agent. No costs are incurred for holders of Indian passports (or VICs), Bangladeshi nationals, and the Maldives.
How am I supposed to get to Bhutan?
There are a number of airports from which you can fly to Bhutan (Bangkok, Delhi, Kolkata, Bagdogra, Bodh Gaya, Dhaka, Kathmandu, Guwahati, Singapore, and Mumbai.). Two carriers are currently operating in Bhutan, Drukair and Bhutan Airlines. Also, there are three land border crossings that you can cross overland to the kingdom. All crossings are only along the Indian border-Phuentsholing, Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar. All travel arrangements to Bhutan shall be made through a local tour operator. A list of tour companies operating in Bhutan can be found on this website. Your chosen tour operator will make all the necessary arrangements.
What does the minimum daily package of $200/$250 per day include?
The $200 per day (January, February, June, July, August) and $250 per day (March, April, May, September, October, November) package includes a minimum of 3-star accommodations, food costs, an experienced guide, and transportation within the country. The price also includes a $65 per day Sustainable Development fee for free education, free healthcare, and poverty alleviation. All these services will be arranged by your tour operator.
What is the local currency in Bhutan?
The Ngultrum is the official currency of Bhutan. 100 USD equals approximately 7,249.00 Bhutanese Ngultrum. Its value is tied to the Indian Rupee which is widely accepted in the country.