Unlike other Countries, Bhutan is contrasted in terms of Visa and Permission for the less tourism impact in its Local Authenticity and Culture. The motto behind the Visa Requirements is “High Value, Less Impact tourism”. There is no Visa On Arrival or Free Visa Policy in Bhutan. Only Indian Citizens have freedom of Movement due to reciprocality and Bangladesh and Maldives are eligible for Free Visa. Except for these Three Countries; India, Bangladesh, and the Maldives, citizens of any nation are required of the Bhutan entry Visa.
Remember, Bhutan Entry Visa is not alone enough to visit Bhutan, Travelers must have to get permission to visit places other than Paro and Thimphu.
Bhutan Visa Exemption
Unlike other countries, Bhutan has given a selected and only a few nations eligibility of free visa or VIsa Exemption.
Freedom of Movement in Bhutan for Indian
Indian Citizens are not required to obtain a visa for Bhutan Entry. Indian Citizens have freedom of Movement in Bhutan. To get the freedom of Movement, Indian Citizens have to show one from the following list:
- Indian Passport
- Aadhar Card
- Voter Id with Photograph
- Identification Slip issued by the Indian Consulate Office in Phuentsholing upon presenting proof of Indian citizenship
Visa Free Facility
Bhutan has provided Visa-Free entry to only Bangladesh and Maldives. They even do not require to book any travel package from any locally licensed tour operator or their international partners.
Along with Indian, Bangladeshi and Maldivian, the Non-ordinary Passport Holder of Switzerland and Thailand are also eligible to seek Bhutan Entry without Visa Requirement up to 90 Days.
Bhutan Entry Visa Requirements
Nationals other than Indian, Bangladeshi and Maldivian, everyone seeking entry to Bhutan must have to obtain a Bhutan Entry Visa. All foreigners who are duly required to obtain a Bhutan Entry Visa must have to enter Bhutan either from Phuntsholing, Gelephu, or Samdrup Jongkhar if coming by land or only from Paro if coming by air.
Although the Bhutan Entry Visa is necessary for almost everyone, visa processing is so simple and easy.
Bhutan Tourist Visa Processing
Bhutan does not provide the service of Visa by its Diplomatic Mission Abroad. Only the head office of the Department of Immigration of the Ministry of Culture and Foreign Affairs under the Royal Bhutan Government at Thimpu issued the Bhutan Entry Visa.
Foreign Tourists Seeking Bhutan Entry have to apply for Visa only through the Licensed Bhutan Tour Operator or those international partners of a respective licensed tour operator who submit the document to the Department of Immigration through the licensed tour operator. To Get a Bhutan Tourist Visa the tourist also has to book a holiday with them.
Required documents to process the Visa
To obtain the Bhutan visa, the foreigners who are required to obtain a Bhutan Visa have to provide the Scanned Softcopy of the Passport that has the validity of more than 6 Months in a JPEG Format. The Soft Copies must have to clearly show the Applicants Full Name, Nationality, Occupation, Passport Number, Date of issue and Expiry, Place of Issue, Date of Birth, and Permanent Address.
Bhutan Tourist Visa Fee
The Applicable Bhutan Tourist Visa processing Fee is US$40. The Fee does not apply to Indian, Bangladeshi and Maldivian.
Along with the Visa Fee, the tour Operator also collects the daily fee as per the number of days staying in Bhutan which covers the Food, Accommodation, Transportation, and Guide. The Separate amount is not required to pay, the price of the Holiday covers those daily fees.
The Daily Fee does not apply to Indian, Bangladeshi and Maldivian and except for them, no independent tourism by foreigners is strictly prohibited.
The exception of booking a holiday is allowed to those who receive a formal invitation from a citizen of Bhutan or a Volunteer organization, and those guests of the Bhutanese Government.
Bhutan Tourist Visa Extension
Foreigners in Bhutan who are duly required to obtain the Visa can also extend the Visa if they want to stay for more in Bhutan. For this purpose, the foreigners have to ask the respective Licensed Tour Operator whom you are traveling in Bhutan. The Licensed tour Operator then extends the visa after collecting the Daily fee and Extension Fee.
Is a Bhutanese Tourist Visa Enough to visit Bhutan?
The default Visa is valid for 7 or 14 days and only allows you to visit Thimpu and Paro only. The rest of Bhutan is considered a Restricted Area and need to obtain Restricted Area Permission. The Permission can be obtained from Immigration Checkpoints. Furthermore, to visit Buddhist Temples, tourists also have to obtain a Temple Permit as well from the Ministry of Culture.
Any visitors who don’t need to book a trip and have not booked must obtain the Restricted Area Permit and Temple Permit at the Immigration Office In Thimphu.
The Permits are subject to validity and extendable as well. The Indians, Bangladeshis, and Maldivians are exempted from the issuance and extension charge.
Do the Restricted Area Permit, and Temple Permit fees have to be paid Separately after booking a Holiday?
On most holidays, the price of the holiday package includes the Permission Fees. Licensed Tour Operators proceed for the Permission. If you are traveling to Bhutan and have already booked a holiday, be sure about the inclusion of the fees, many travel agencies offer a very cheap price excluding those fees to attract the tourist to book from them.
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