How can I apply or get my tourist visa to Bhutan?
Please keep in mind that you cannot apply for a Bhutan visa yourself, this can only be done by government-authorized tour operators. The Embassy of Bhutan does not provide a visa service for tourist. You have to first contact a Bhutan tour operator to carry out the visa process. This will be explained in detail below.
What are the steps to get a Bhutan visa?
First, as mentioned in question one, you will need to contact with a Bhutan tour operator, that has been authorized by the Bhutan government, to apply for the visa on behalf of you. And you can only entry Bhutan when you are on a tour package provided by a registered tour operator.
After you confirm your trip and finish your payment, the visa application will be processed by the Tourism Council of Bhutan. We, Bhutan Pelyab Tours, are responsible for sending your application to the Tourism Council. The process can ONLY continue after the payment to the Tourism Council of Bhutan.
What are the documents that I need to provide to Bhutan Pelyab Tours for my tourist visa?
In order to help you applying for the visa, we will ask you:
– Country of residence and City
– Contact number (mobile phone preferred)
– A scanned copy of your passport
For students, you can submit a scanned copy of student ID for student discounts.
* We DO NOT require your physical passport for the application of visa, only a clear scanned copy.
How long will it take for me to get the visa?
After receiving your passport copy, we will apply for your visa when your full payment has been obtained in Bhutan. The visa clearance will be processed within 5 days working by the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB).
We can arrange for your visa within a one-week period. So it is possible to book your trip this week and be in Bhutan in 7 days.
How will I receive my Bhutan visa?
Your visa application will be a digital submission and it will come as an electronic document. It is important that you print out the document and carry it with you. Visa verification is required when you check in for your Drukair flight and Bhutan Airlines flight and when you reach the immigration checkpoint at Paro International Airport.
My Bhutan travel visa is issued on my old passport which was close to expire. Will there be any problems when I reach the immigration border in Bhutan?
In case 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 Nu 9,900 will be imposed if the traveller fails to present both of their old and new passports. Alternatively, please inform your Bhutan tour operator to update your visa if there is still a week to go before your trip.
During your check-in at the airport counter, Drukair and Bhutan Airline will also require you to sign an indemnity form to release the airline from any further liability.
I travel frequently and I can’t send my passport for visa application. How can I get the Visa?
We do not require your physical passport to apply for tourist visa. We simply need a color scanned copy of your passport for the visa application.
I would like to travel alone, backpack style and free-and-easy. Can I apply just the Visa without the accompanying tour package?
Please understand that it is not possible to separate visa application from tour package. However, you can still travel alone and free-and-easy. A guide and driver will accompany you and then the activities within the day can be up you. You do not have follow the plan of the tour.
Although we will need to fix the night stop in advance to reserve the accommodation for you, you can discuss with us now or with your guide when you are in Bhutan if you want to visit some other places or want to do some specific activities or have a picnic lunch.
Would we need travel insurance?
All visitors in Bhutan are advised to get their insurance coverage from their own country.
I would like to visit Bhutan in 3 weeks, is that possible?
Yes, we can arrange your visit in just 1 week. But this depends on the availability of Drukair and Bhutan Airlines tickets and the preferred hotels.
Is there a limit on the number of tourists that can enter Bhutan each year?
The government do not set a limit on the number of tourists admitted into the country each year and a total of 209,570 foreign individuals visited Bhutan in 2016.
How should I pay for my tour?
You can pay for your tour by wire transfer or payment online. We will provide you with the full instruction on how to transfer your payment once you have confirmed your tour.
Do you accept credit card/ debit card? Which cards do you accept for payment online?
Yes, we do. We accept Master card and Visa card for the payment.
Once you have agreed to the pricing of tour, we will send you a secured payment link.
When should I pay for my tour?
After your tour is confirmed, the invoice will be issued and sent to you for the payment in advance. Please be aware that the government will only provide tourist visa after the full payment has been made.
In the case the tour booking is made in advance from 5 months or more, you can choose to pay 100% of the tour or pay for the flight tickets first, and the rest can be made 3 months before the date of arrival in Bhutan.
For the arrangement of your booking, we ask you for payment 3 months in advance for the tour. For trips in peak season (March – May, September – November), flight tickets may fill up quickly. So if you are visiting Bhutan during these time, we will need to book your flight tickets as soon as possible, 3 months prior to your trip or even more. We will ask you for flight ticket payment only at an earlier stage. Once we receive your deposit, the ticket will be issued and also the hotel reservation.
What if I have to cancel or postpone my trip?
If you have not paid any deposit, there is no cancellation fee for ticket reservation. In case your ticket and hotel are already booked, cancelling your trip may incur cancellation fee. Postponing your trip will incur minimal fee.
Do you have satisfaction guarantee?
Yes, we do. Your visa to Bhutan is guaranteed by Bhutan Pelyab Tours.
Are cigarettes available in Bhutan?
It is not allowed to sell and buy cigarettes in Bhutan. Smoking is also prohibited in public places, hotels and offices.
Am I allowed to bring cigarettes & alcohol into Bhutan?
Yes, all foreigners are allowed to bring with them one littre of alcoholic spirit and up to 800 sticks of cigarettes; or 1200 sticks of bidis; or 150 pieces of cigar; or 750 grams of other tobacco or tobacco products.
*Do note that a person importing tobacco and tobacco products originating for personal consumption from India, shall pay 100 percent sales tax; and from countries other than India, shall pay 100 percent sales tax and 100 percent customs duty.
Can I use Credit cards in Bhutan?
In Bhutan, you can pay by Visa or MasterCard at hotels and shops in Thimphu and other towns. Please notify your bank of your travel plan before coming to Bhutan, or else your card may be locked.
Is there ATM facility in Bhutan?
Yes, if you have Visa and/or Master card, you can withdraw cash from the banks in towns.
Can I use Travellers Cheques in Bhutan?
Yes, you can use it at the banks in Bhutan. However, please keep in mind that you will need to go to the main branch to do this, and this method is not very common here.
Can we buy antiques in Bhutan?
The export of antiques is prohibited by law. Tourists are recommended to only buy artifacts which are certified for sale and export. The official certify seal for artifacts is provided by the government.
How is the Internet in Bhutan?
The Internet is quite good in big towns like Thimphu, Paro, Trongsa and Bumthang. There are many internet cafes in these areas. If you are using a smart phone, you can get Bhutanese SIM card from Bhutan Telecom or Tashi Cell for 3G and 4G. Almost tourist hotels have Wi-Fi but it may be limited to the lobby, restaurant and rooms.
What about the electricity in Bhutan?
Bhutan use 220/240 volts and electrical supply is generally good, but this can be less stable when you are in small towns. If you are using computers and other sensitive equipment, please be prepared for fluctuations and power surges. Although some farms have solar and wind electrification, many rural areas are still without electricity.
Primary Socket Types: European, British and Indian. Adaptors can be found in hardware shops in Thimphu if needed.
Can I talk to someone over the phone?
Of course! You can call us at + 975 1795 2136. Or you can leave us your phone number and the time we can talk to you, our team will contact you to discuss about your tour and answer your questions about your trip.
Remember that you are always welcome to contact us and we would do our best to help you!