Tourist Visa in Bhutan
The Kingdom of Bhutan, or Bhutan for short, is a landlocked country on the southern slope of the eastern Himalayas, between China and India. Bhutan visa is the most important part of traveling to Bhutan. Foreign citizens traveling to Bhutan can only apply for visas through Bhutanese travel agencies and overseas cooperative travel agencies authorized by the Bhutan government. Read on to know more about Tourist Visa in Bhutan.
Introduction of Bhutan tourist visa
Bhutan tourist visa is a kind of document required for foreigners to travel to Bhutan. Generally speaking, the validity period and stay period are relatively short, and it can only be used for tourism-related activities.
Unlike most countries in the world applying for visas, Bhutan visas can only be applied online. Even if there is a Bhutanese embassy in your country, they do not provide Bhutan visa processing. According to the Bhutanese government regulations, in addition to visa-free passport holders from countries such as India, Bangladesh, and Maldives, tourists from other countries need to apply for a Bhutan visa in advance.
Types of Bhutan visa
What types of Bhutan visas are there? Bhutan visa only has official visa and tourist visa.
Official visas are issued to foreign government officials who hold diplomatic or official passports to visit Bhutan on business.
Many countries do not have diplomatic relations with Bhutan, so Bhutan does not have embassies or consulates in their countries. Foreign government officials visiting Bhutan on business and applying for business visas can be contacted and arranged through the Bhutanese embassy in India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Kuwait or the Bhutanese mission to the United Nations (New York, Geneva).
Tourist visas are issued to those who visit Bhutan privately. Foreign citizens who visit or travel to Bhutan for private purposes must apply for visas through Bhutanese travel agencies authorized by the Government of Bhutan and their overseas cooperative travel agencies.
Bhutanese authorities do not accept individual visa applications and independent travel. You must apply through a local travel agency in Bhutan. After being approved and issued by the Bhutan Tourism Office in Yanbu, tourists can get a visa.
After the Bhutan Immigration Department receives the information application submitted by the travel agency, it usually takes 7-10 working days to get the visa. So please be patient. After the visa application is approved, the travel agency will book air tickets, hotels and arrange travel schedules on behalf of the applicant.
The name on the air ticket must be exactly the same as the name on the passport, otherwise, you cannot board the plane. If necessary, the visa may be extended within Bhutan for a period of up to 6 months at a fee of 510 Ngultrum.
1. After you get the Bhutan visa, you must print it out as soon as possible. When you check in at the airport, you need to show the Bhutan visa to get the boarding pass.
2. Show your passport and the printed Bhutan visa to the customs staff at Bhutan Paro International Airport or the land border with Bhutan and India, and staff will stamp your passport with the visa stamp.
Documents required to apply for a Bhutan visa:
- Valid passport for more than 6 months;
- Visa application form;
- Two 2-inch white background photos;
- $40 USD visa fee.
In order to prevent foreign tourists from negatively affecting Bhutan's natural environment, culture and local people's lifestyle, the Bhutanese government implements a low passenger flow and high-efficiency tourism policy, and controls the number of tourists by establishing a minimum consumption level.
The government of Bhutan stipulates that only travel agencies and hotels authorized by the government can receive foreign tourists. Foreign tourists must authorize the local travel agencies to apply for visas, air tickets, accommodation, and tour guides.
The total cost of the Bhutan trip can be divided into two parts: the visa fee (40 USD per person) and the minimum daily consumption.
The minimum consumption for groups of 3 people and above is as follows:
- Peak season: USD 250 per person per night (March, April, May, September, October & November).
- Low season: USD 200 per person per night (January, February, June, July, August & December).
Minimum daily consumption includes:
- A-class hotel in Bhutan (equivalent to 3-4 star hotel standard, luxury hotel surcharge is extra)
- Bhutan tour vehicle (SUV/minibus, etc.)
- Hotel welcome reception
- English-speaking tour guide certified by the Tourism Bureau of Bhutan
- Meal and bottled water (three meals a day)
- All attraction fees
- Bhutan tourism surcharge and other taxes
- Equipment required for trekking in Bhutan (sleeping bags, tents, toilets and bathing tents, other equipment please specify in advance)