The Bhutanese visa process may appear complicated, but is actually quite straight forward once you understand it. Most countries issue visas from their embassies abroad and stamp it in your passport, but not Bhutan. Bhutanese embassies abroad cannot issue Visas for travel to Bhutan. You must apply in advance through a tour operator such as Book Bhutan Tour and receive approval before you travel to Bhutan. Visas are approved by the Immigration Department in Thimphu, with 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)).
All applications for tourist visas must be initialized by a Bhutanese tour operator such as Book Bhutan Tour. The operator submits the visa application to Department of Tourism (DOT) in Thimphu. It, in turn, checks that you have completely paid for the trip and then issues an approval letter to the tour operator. With this approval in hand, the tour operator then makes a final application to the Department of Immigration, which then takes about a week to process the Visa. In emergencies we are able to make special request for expedited process.
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