Everything you need to know about a Bhutan Visa
nationals need a visa to enter Bhutan if you are visiting the nation for
tourism purposes. However, a Bhutanese tourist visa can be obtained only upon
arrival in the country.
But you must apply for a VOA prior to your travel dates
through a registered tour operator in Bhutan. Once you get the visa approval,
you can travel to the country.
remember to carry a photocopy of the visa pages of your passport and flight
tickets when you travel to Bhutan.
Tourist visa on arrival
Now, as we already mentioned, a Bhutanese VOA can be issued to tourists only when you book your visit with a locally licensed tour operator.
This can be done directly or through a travel agent in the UK. You can get the entire list for approved tour companieshere.
The process is very simple. First, you need to complete your tour reservation after paying the required fee. The tour operator will then submit the completed visa application form on your behalf.
For this purpose, you need to send a scanned copy of your passport and the visa fee payment (which is usually included in the tour booking cost). Your passport should be valid for at least six months from your planned travel dates to Bhutan.
The touring agency will then submit the visa for approval in Thimphu. If approved, the Immigration Department and the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) will send a Letter of Invitation to the tour operator, the immigration desk at the airport, and the TCB.
They will also send a copy of the LoI to both the arriving and departing Bhutanese airlines so that you can book your tickets. Even you will receive a copy of the LoI, which you will need to make flight reservations and present to the immigration desk after you arrive at Paro International Airport. After that, an entry stamp will be issued on your passport.
All residents in the UK, excluding citizens of Bangladesh, India and the Maldives, are required to secure visa clearance in advance from Thimphu before being granted entry into Bhutan.
You can also enter or exit the country only through certain points, including Phuntsoling, Samdrup Jongkhar and Gelephug (by land) or Paro (by flight).
If you need additional information about the entry policies of Bhutan, you can contact the Honorary British Consul to Bhutan.
Below is the complete address:
Bhutanese Honorary Consulate
2 Windacres Warren Road
Phone Number: 01483 538189
Once you enter Bhutan, you must note that the Tourism Council of Bhutan requires you to pay a fixed, non-negotiable minimum daily tariff.
This amount will include all the expenses for your trip such as accommodation, food, transportation, and services of licensed guides and porters.
If you need a business visa, you can lodge an application at the Bhutan Ministry of Foreign Affairs through a sponsoring organization in Bhutan.
If and when this visa is approved, a copy will be sent to you and you can use it to enter Bhutan.
After arriving at the airport, you will need to present your passport, two passport-size photographs, and the required visa fee of USD $20.00. Then the original visa sticker will be stamped on your passport.
UK Emergency Travel Documents
UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are accepted by Bhutanese authorities for entry into Bhutan. But this should be accompanied by an e-visa. Additionally, you cannot use an ETD to leave Bhutan.
If you wish to lodge an application for an ETD during your stay in Bhutan, you have to apply online and then submit a police report to the Department of Immigration.
They will, in turn, transfer your visa to the ETD. If you do not follow this rule, you might face complications when departing from the country.