Bhutan Visa

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Bhutan Visa

Bhutan levies fees depending on the number of nights you plan to stay there and your home country. This fee is called the "Sustainable Development Fee," and it does not include any other expenses like accommodation or transport, or food (like it used to before the pandemic). 

Bhutan Visa Process & Fees for Citizens from India, Bangladesh & Maldives

* For citizens of Indians  - you need to pay Rs. 1200 (approximately 16-17 USD) per night per person as the sustainable development fee (SDF). Before the pandemic, these countries were exempted from this fee. 
* For citizens of Bangladesh & Maldives - you will need to pay USD 100 as SDF per person per night (like all other nationals). 

Visitors from India require a permit (and not a visa). However, visitors from Maldives & Bangladesh need a visa, but the process is the same for both these permits & visas. 
For these nationals, you can get the permit or the visa at the port of entry or apply online before traveling there or through your tour agent. You will have to pay the sustainable development fee while applying for this permit. You must also have valid insurance for the duration of your visit, which you can buy beforehand or purchase when you arrive.  

Bhutan Visa Process & Fees for other nationals

* For citizens of all other countries worldwide, the sustainable development fee (SDF) for a Bhutan Visa is USD 100 per night per person. 
There is a separate one-time non-refundable fee of USD 40 per person as the visa processing charges. 

Tourists from other nations need to obtain visas before reaching the Bhutan trip. You can either apply yourself (for your group) online or if you're traveling with a travel agent, they can apply for this on your behalf. 
The Bhutan visa is a single-entry visa valid for six months from the date of entry.

To apply for the visa online, you will need to have 
1. Digital copy of a valid passport. The passport must be valid for at least six months from the day you enter Bhutan.
2. Valid insurance
3. Arrival & Departure Dates
4. Recent photograph
5. Payment details of SDF fee & visa fee. 
Generally, it takes about 5 days to receive a revert on your visa


Visa Policy for Indians

Indians do not need a visa to visit Bhutan. This is because of the 1949 treaty signed between the two countries which allows free movement of Indians in Bhutan and vice-versa. In fact, the same applies to travelers from Bangladesh and Maldives.

However, Indians need to pay a sustainable development fee of INR1,200 (USD17) per day. 
Children below the age of 5 needn’t pay any entry charges, and children from the age of 6 to 12 will be required to pay a fee of INR 600 per day. 

These charges, called Sustainable Development Fees (SDF) is to help the government maintain the tourist traffic and regulate tourism from India, Maldives, and Bangladesh.

This permit is only valid for Phuentsholing, Paro, and Thimpu.
To travel beyond these three destinations, one has to extend the permit from the immigration office in Thimpu. Also, if one needs to extend the stay beyond 7 days, it can be done in the immigration office of Thimpu as well.

To increase tourism in the eastern regions of Bhutan, the government has levied the SDF for tourists visiting districts that fall in the east from Trashigang to Trongsa. 

a) Indian passport with a validity of at least 6 months
b) Voter Identity Card issued by Election Commission of India
c) Carry a photocopy of your Passport and 2 passport sized photographs
d) Insurance for the duration of your visit
e) Payment details of SDF

Visa for Indians - Fee & Requirements

1. Indian Passport with a validity of a minimum of 6 months
2. and/or Voter Identity Card issued by the Election Commission of India

Entry through the Borders 

Immigration Office of Royal Government of Bhutan located in the border city of Phuentsholing issues an 'Entry Permit' for Indian Travellers entering Bhutan by road.

The immigration office is only open from 8.00 am to 10 pm (Indian Time). The office is open only on the weekdays (closed on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays)
  1. Prepare an itinerary of your stay and take a print out of your hotel bookings
  2. Take copies of Passport/ Voter ID card 
  3. Passport size photographs

Entry through flight

Indians arriving by air must carry any one of the documents mentioned above to get Entry Permit at the Paro International Airport.
This permit is valid only for Paro and Thimpu. For travelling beyond these two cities, the tourists will require a 'special area permit' that will be issued by RGoB Immigration office in Thimpu between Monday and Friday.

Your Bhutan visa would be enclosed as an electronic document and will be received 3-10 days prior to your departure. A print out of that needs to be taken out and shown at DrukAir flight check-in counter and at the immigration checkpoint in Paro International Airport.

Please note - 'Identification Slip' is issued by Indian Consulate Office in Phuentsholing in the case of absence of a valid travel document. Proof of Indian Nationality has to be presented while applying for it.

Countries that do not need a Visa for Bhutan

India, Bangladesh and Maldives

Note: For any traveller who is not from India, Bangladesh or Maldives, a visa is required to enter and visit the country. The visa is issued by Tourism Council of Bhutan, whose centre of administration is in Thimphu. However, if an individual holds a service or diplomatic passport of Switzerland or Thailand, then he/she does not require a visa to visit Bhutan for up to 90 days.

Application for Bhutan Visa cannot be filed directly by an individual. Rather, Bhutan's local and authorized tour operator, with whom the tour package is booked, does this on your behalf. A local tour operator can either be booked directly or through a foreign travel agent.

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