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VISA TO BHUTAN

Visa Requirements

To enter Bhutan, all visitors require a visa, except for Indian nationals who need a permit instead.

Visa on Arrival:
Nationals from Bangladesh and the Maldives can obtain a visa upon arrival at the port of entry.

Application Process:
Visas or permits can be applied online via the Department of Immigration's website. Alternatively, visitors may use tourism service providers like Saidpiece Travelers to handle travel document processing and trip planning.

Required Documents:

  • Passport: A copy of your passport, which must be valid for at least six months beyond your planned departure date from Bhutan.

  • Travel Insurance: Must cover the entire duration of your trip.

  • Photograph: A recent passport-sized photo is necessary.

 

Sustainable Development Fee (SDF) & Exemptions:

  • Children 0-5 years: Exempt of SDF (but must still pay the visa application fee of USD 40).

  • Children 5-12 years: SDF of USD 50 per night.

  • Adults 12 years: SDF of USD 100 per night.

 

Permit Costs for Indian Nationals:

  • Children 0-5 years: Free (but a permit cost of 1200 INR per night applies).

  • Adults above 12 years: 1200 INR per night.

 

These requirements ensure a smooth entry into Bhutan, promoting a sustainable and enjoyable visit to the Kingdom.

Please note: The SDF does not cover accommodation, meals, transport, and guide services.

Monks Bhutan

Bhutan Visa Policy

The Royal Government of Bhutan has implemented new incentives to bolster the tourism sector, acknowledging its crucial role in job creation, foreign exchange earnings, and the overall economic development. These measures are now in effect to support and enhance the tourism industry's impact on the economy and ancillary sectors.

Current Incentives and Policy Measures:

  • Sustainable Development Fee (SDF) Discount: Tourists paying in US dollars now enjoy a 50% discount on the standard SDF rate of $200. This adjustment lowers the effective SDF to $100 per person per day.

  • Children's Discount: US dollar-paying tourists aged between 6 to 12 years also benefit from a 50% discount on the SDF.

  • Border Towns SDF Waiver: The policy providing a 24-hour SDF waiver for tourists visiting border towns remains in place.

 

These incentives, effective as of 1 September 2023, are set to continue for four years, concluding on 31 August 2027.

The Royal Government is committed to ongoing evaluations of both domestic and international tourism trends to determine the future of these incentives, consistent with Bhutan's High Value Low Volume Tourism Policy. This strategy ensures the sustainability and effectiveness of Bhutan's tourism sector, aligning with the nation's economic objectives and values.

Chillies Bhutan

F&Q

How and where do I apply for Visa?

Your Visa to Bhutan can be processed online from the website of the Department of Immigration. Or it can be processed by an authorized and registered travel agent such as us.

My Bhutan travel visa is issued on my old passport which was close to expiring. Will there be any problems when I reach the immigration in Bhutan?

If your Bhutan travel visa is issued on your old passport, you will have to bring along your old passport with you to Bhutan. The Department of Immigration will need to verify your details on your old passport too. A fine of up to Nu. 10,000 will be imposed if traveler fail to present both the traveler's old and new passport. Alternatively, please inform your Bhutan travel agent to update your visa if there's still a week to go before your trip.

How much is the visa fee and how long does it take to issue?

The visa fee is USD 40 per person and it is non-refundable. While the process to issue the visa is usually quick, the visa can take up to five working days to process.

I can't find embassy of Bhutan in my country. How do I apply for the Visa?

Your Visa will be applied by your tour operator. You would not need to make an appointment with Bhutan embassy. Embassy of Bhutan does not provide tourist Visa services.

I travel frequently and I can't send my passport for Visa application. How can I get the Visa?

We don't need your physical passport to apply for tourist Visa. We simply need a color scanned copy of your passport to make the Visa application

When is the best time to travel to Bhutan?

You can travel to Bhutan all year round, but the best months are March to May and September to November. For more information please visit Best Time To Visit Bhutan

Is the 50% SDF discount a reduction in the SDF rate?

Bhutan's SDF remains at USD 200 per person per night. The effective SDF with the 50% discount is USD 100 per person per night for US Dollar paying tourists. This is a time-limited incentive until 2027.

Will previous duration incentives (4+4, 7+7, 12+18 nights packages) still be available?

No, the incentives introduced in June 2023 (4+4, the 7+7 and the 12+18 have been revoked and are no longer applicable). However, the 24 hour SDF waiver for border towns in Bhutan remains valid.

Can the 50% discount be combined with the SDF waiver for border towns?

No, it cannot be combined. Visitors wishing to explore border towns before or after the SDF discount must apply for another visa.

Explain the 50 % SDF discount for children aged between 6 to 12 years for US Dollar paying children visiting as tourists?

The 50% discount shall be on the USD 100 rate. Therefore, the effective SDF with the 50% discount for children will be USD 50 per person per night for US Dollar paying tourists. Children who have not yet turned six years old are eligible to visit Bhutan without paying any SDF.

When does the 50% SDF discount take effect?

It starts on September 1, 2023. Until then, the existing system remains in place.

How long is the 50% SDF discount valid?

It's valid until September 2027. Further details post-2027 will be announced one year before the validity ends.

Is the 50% SDF incentive calculated on a per day or per night basis?

It’s calculated on a per night basis.


 

Reference:

  • Tourism Council of Bhutan
     

  • Further Readings: 

  • Custom & Duty Free Allowances

  • Bhutan Visa Application Procedures

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