If you want to travel to the Thunder Dragon Kingdom, you must have a Bhutan visa and it is important to understand the visa policy. To preserve the tradition & culture as well as the impact of tourism on the environment of the country, the government has issued a policy following the slogan “High Value – Low Impact”. Thus, it is necessary to obtain a Bhutan visa which is carried out through the tour operator only. If you are planning a trip to Bhutan, let Multi Country Asia Tours help you by providing essential information in relation to Bhutan visa.
Bhutan Visa Exemption
Bhutan Visa Exemption for Indian Citizens
According to the Treaty policy between India and Bhutan signed in 1949, citizens in India are free to visit Bhutan without limitation on allowed stay. Additionally, Indians neither have to book the trip to Bhutan through travel agency nor pay $250 for the daily charge. The Indians are able to get entry into Bhutan by air or by road and use some acceptable documents below to show at the customs departure when entering the country:
• Indian Passport
• Indian voter ID card
• An Identification Slip
Notes: In case you don’t carry a passport or voter ID card, you have to present a valid of Indian citizenship & your personal photos in Phuentsholing to get an Identification Slip.
Bhutan Visa Exemption for Bangladesh & Maldives
Like India, Bangladesh and Maldives are the 2 countries which also receive Bhutan visa exemption as a large number of Bangladeshi and Maldivian travelers to the country each year coupled with the strong and strategic relationship between Bangladesh and Bhutan since Bhutan was the first country recognized the independence of Bangladesh in 1971.
Citizens from Bangladesh and Maldives don’t have to pay $250 for each day charge when visiting Bhutan. Thus, they just need to present a valid passport at the port where an entry permit is required.
Bhutan Visa Exemption for Other Countries
Owners of diplomatic, official or service passports in Thailand and Switzerland don’t require a visa to entering Bhutan for up to 3 months.
How to Obtain a Visa to Bhutan
Normally, you can apply for a visa in the embassy; however, you cannot if it is a Bhutan visa. Why? Because it is examined only when you travel to the country. You can have a visa if you contact in advance directly to the travel agency before arrival.
When you book a tour Bhutan, make sure that you have your passport valid at least 6 months to ensure that your visa will be issued. You just need to provide the specific information as below and remember to check it carefully to make sure that nothing will be mistaken:
• Your Photo
• Full name
• Date & Place of Birth
• Contact Number & Permanent Address
• A Scanned Copy of Your Passport
If you are a student, you have to provide your student ID’s copy.
Bhutan Visa Process
The application for a visa in Bhutan will be approved by the MFA – Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Thimphu and this procedure takes 10 days to be processed, at least. Firstly, the travel agency submits your application enclosing with your passport’s copy to the TCB – Tourism Council of Bhutan. After making sure that you have paid US40$ for the visa fee, the tour operator will make the final application with the approval letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and it takes up to three days to be approved.