Bhutan Entry Permit: All You Need To Know
Bhutan is different from any country you might have visited. It has a charm of its own and one visit to Bhutan is never enough. Bhutan is a very safe country for solo travelers and it has a hassle free entry process.
Bhutan offers visa for Indian passport holders on arrival. However, once you arrive in Bhutan, you will be required to obtain an entry permit which is free and it has a very straight forward process. There are two ways to enter Bhutan- one is by road and the other is by air. If you are going to Bhutan by road, you will reach there in five hours from Bagdogra airport. Your entry point in Bhutan will be Phuentsholing. Once you reach here, you will have to obtain an entry permit from the immigration office. You can either get the immigration form from the hotel reception where you are staying in Bhutan or get it from any shop near the immigration office at Phuentsholing. You need to fill up the form and submit it to the authorities of the office with the required documents on all working days between 9 AM to 5 PM. The office will be closed on weekends and Government holidays.
The documents include:
A photocopy of the identity card. You can use your passport or a voter ID card. Aadhaar card is not accepted as an identity card here.
Proof of hotel booking.
A passport size photograph
Incase you are traveling solo, you will also have to present a letter stating that you will be traveling solo at your own risk and provide a few emergency contact numbers.
If you are traveling by air, you will land in Paro. You can get your visa at the immigration desk at the airport itself. Stand in the queue with the documents when you land and you will get the visa within 30 minutes max. If you are not carrying a passport or a voter’s ID, you will have to visit the Indian Consulate Office in Bhutan so as to get an identification slip and then apply for the entry permit at the Bhutan Immigration Office.
Read more: Bhutan Entry Fee: All You Need To Know
Here are a few common questions answered.
Do I need an agent to process my visa?
You do not need any travel agent for your entry permit. It is a hassle free process. You only need to get your documents ready and get them signed. If you are short on time or want a longer duration permit, contact a travel agent. The entry is issued for 7 days to travel beyond the 5 km radius of Phuentsholing. For a longer stay, you need to visit the Thimpu Immigration Office.
What are Bhutan visa fees?
There is no charge for Indians for entry into Bhutan. However, an agent might charge you for his services, this will not be an entry charge but a service charge.
The permit is valid for which locations?
The permit you obtain is valid only for Thimpu, Paro. Phuentsholing and Punakha. If you want to visit other areas, you will have to head to the immigration office in Thimpu with the documents mentioned below:
The entry obtained from Thimpu
Proof of hotel stay at the location you want to visit
A photocopy of your proof of identity
Letter of undertaking if you are a solo traveler.
What should I mention in my letter of undertaking?
If you are a solo traveler, you need to write a letter of undertaking manually which states that you are responsible for your security and the letter should be addressed to ‘The Immigration Office, Immigration Office, Bhutan. Provide emergency contact numbers on the letter.
How will I receive the permit?
The permit will be issued on the passport if you are carrying your passport as an identity proof. If you have a voter’s ID card, you will get a signed and stamped page. You will have to submit this page at the time of exiting Bhutan.
Can I drive to Bhutan in my car from India?
You can drive your car to Bhutan but you will have to get a permit for the vehicle from the Transport Authority Office at the bus stand. In order to apply for the permit, you need insurance, RC book, tax receipt, PUC, Bhutan entry permit and your driving license. It will take a couple of hours to get the permit, hence, you need to plan well in advance.
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