The Bhutanese visa process may appear complicated, but is actually quite straight forward once you understand the system. Most countries issue visas from their embassies abroad and stamp it in your passport, but not Bhutan. Bhutanese embassies abroad cannot issue Visas for visit to Bhutan. You must apply in advance through a tour operator such as Book Bhutan Tour and receive approval before you travel to Bhutan. once the full payment of your holiday (including a USD $40 visa fee) has been wire transferred and received in the TCB bank account then only visas are approved by the Immigration Department and Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) in Thimphu, which you allowed to enter Bhutan or board the Druk Air flight and Bhutan Airlines.
The actual visa is stamped on the passport upon arrival in the country, either at Paro airport or (if entering by road) at Phuentsholing. You just need to provide us details as per your passport that should include your name, permanent address, occupation, nationality, date and place of birth, passport number, more than six months valid and its date and place of issue and date of expiration. There is no need to send the pictures or sign the visa application at this time. Double-check that the information you send is correct; if there are any discrepancies when you arrive in Bhutan, there will be further delays and complications.
With the exception of visitors from India, Bangladesh and Maldives, all other visitors to Bhutan need a visa.
Indian, Bangladeshis and Maldivian nationals can obtain a visa or entry permit at the port of entry on producing a valid passport with a minimum of 6 month validity (Indian nationals may also use their Voters Identity Card (VIC)).
Bhutan and Switzerland looks alike with the scenery. Swiss and Bhutanese has long diplomacy tie in friendship and has assisted Bhutan in most of its development project. Bhutan and Swiss official can travel without visa, this means that Bhutanese and Swiss officials may travel liberally to each other’s country.
Diplomacy: Bhutanese and Swiss officials and diplomats will not require visa to travel to either country after the governments signed a visa exemption agreement on Oct 8, 2014.
Switzerland is the first country outside the region to sign such an agreement with Bhutan. Until now, visa is exempted for diplomatic and official passport holders from Bangladesh, Maldives, Thailand and India.
Foreign secretary Yeshey Dorji, who signed the agreement with the Swiss ambassador, said this was an exclusive arrangement given to Bhutan.
“The visa exemption will greatly facilitate official travel between the two countries and strengthen contacts and cooperation,” he said, adding that Switzerland is one of the oldest development partners that continue to support the country.
Foreign ministry officials said that Bhutanese, who need to attend urgent meetings in Switzerland, the hub of many international organizations, could now do so without any inconvenience.
Ambassador of Switzerland to Bhutan, Linus von Castelmur, said the visa requirement waiver for officials and diplomats is an expression of trust and solidarity between the two countries, and of the desire to further strengthen friendly relations.
Official and diplomats would be permitted to stay for a period of up to 90 days without visa.
The agreement does not extend to business travelers and tourists. Swiss tourists would require a tourist visa and be subject to the royalty as usual.
Bhutan and Switzerland formally established diplomatic relations in 1985. Development cooperation started from 1960s.
The ambassador said many bilateral partnerships have formed over the years. “An active exchange between the judiciary of our countries is taking place, as part of which Bhutanese students are obtaining legal degrees from Swiss Universities for the first time,” ambassador Linus von Castelmur said.
“Bhutan has changed impressively in the past 30 years. Creativity and new thinking is required to continuously develop this partnership for the next 30 years,” he said, adding that he wishes to continue political dialogue and more professional and economic exchanges in future.
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All of Bhutan outside of the Paro and Thimphu valleys is classified as a restricted area. Book Bhutan tour or your operators obtain a permit for the places on your itinerary, and this permit is checked and endorsed by the police at immigration checkpoints strategically located at important road junctions.
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