Tourism is Bhutan’s greatest foreign exchange earner and second largest source of revenue after hydropower. As a result, the Bhutanese government is always implementing new changes to improve the tourist sector and provide visitors with a memorable vacation to Bhutan.
If you plan to visit Bhutan after it reopens its gates to tourists on September 23, 2022, you must stay updated with current tourism trends including Bhutan entry permit for regional guests and foreigners.
Read this Norbu Bhutan Travels guide on Bhutan entry permit for regional guests and foreigners for a hassle-free vacation.
This Blog Includes:
- Bhutan Entry Permit for Regional Guests and Foreigners: Entry Permit for Foreigners
- Bhutan Entry Permit for Regional Guests and Foreigners: Applying for a Bhutan Visa for Foreigners
- Bhutan Entry Permit for Regional Guests
- Bhutan Entry Permit for Regional Guests and Foreigners: Designated Places to Obtain Entry Permits
- Inner Line Permit (ILP)
- Extensions Permit
- Vehicle Permit
- What is a Restricted Area Permit?
- Final Thoughts
1. Bhutan Entry Permit for Regional Guests and Foreigners: Entry Permit for Foreigners
Bhutan’s entry permit for regional guests and foreigners is different. Overseas visitors must obtain a valid visa to enter and travel within Bhutan from the Tourism Council of Bhutan or the Department of Immiration or through your travel operator.
On the other hand, regional visitors will need entry permits to enter Bhutan.
Overseas visitors must pre-arrange their visas and make travel arrangements through a registered Bhutanese tour operator or your hotel.
If your visa application is successful, you will receive a visa clearance letter, which you must produce upon entry.
2. Bhutan Entry Permit for Regional Guests and Foreigners: Applying for a Bhutan Visa for Foreigners
When organizing your Bhutan trip, you can leave the paperwork for the Bhutan entry permit for regional guests and foreigners to your tour operator and prepare to have a great time!
You can process your Bhutan visa through a tour operator in Bhutan or the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB). The visa processing begins once you make a full payment for your holiday in Bhutan, including the revised sustainable development fee of USD 200 per person per day.
Additional documents required for your visa approval:
- Scanned color copy of your passport.
- Your full name
- Email address
- Contact information
Bhutan also offers a concessionary levy rate for students and children. Students can submit scanned copies of their ID cards to receive the student discount at various stores and showrooms. Children below five years are exempted from paying SDF, and kids between 6 and 12 pay a concessionary levy rate of 50%.
Once everything has been completed and submitted, you will receive a letter confirming your visa approval, which you will need to enter Bhutan.
3. Bhutan Entry Permit for Regional Guests
Bhutan entry permit for regional guests and foreigners is quite different. Regional tourists from Maldives, India, and Bangladesh can explore Thimphu and Paro by paying a Sustainable Development Fee of Nu 1200 per day per person.
The revised policy states that all regional guests must have a licensed tour guide and a car (hired or personal). So, you will need a trusted tour operator like Norbu Bhutan Travels to make your holiday tenfold better.
Norbu Bhutan can also help you process an entry permit which you must provide at the point of entry (Phuntsholing, Gelephu, Paro or Samdrup Jongkhar).
Documents required to apply for an entry permit:
- Short itinerary printout on white paper.
- Hotel booking receipts from Thimphu and Paro on the hotel’s official letterhead. Booking confirmations from a few certain internet hotel platforms are accepted.
- Duly filled and signed entry permit form.
- Photocopy of Voter ID Card, Passport for adults and Birth Certificate for children.
- Passport Size Photo.
- Letter of undertaking for solo travelers.
4. Bhutan Entry Permit for Regional Guests and Foreigners: Designated Places To Obtain Entry Permits
The Bhutan entry permit for regional guests and foreigners is accessible for tourists at three specified locations; the Border Immigration office, Paro Airport, and Online. Depending on their convenience, regional guests can apply for a Bhutan entry permit at any of these places.
1. Border Immigration Office
As the primary method of entry into Bhutan, Border Immigration Offices experience heavy traffic during peak travel times and extended holidays. The Border Immigration office is the most common place for regional tourists applying for a Bhutan entry permit.
The office is situated at the India-Bhutan border (Jaigoan and Phuntsholing), easily accessible to Indian nationals. That’s why most Indian visitors first travel to Phuntsholing and process their entry permit to visit Bhutan.
If you don’t have a passport or a voter identification card, you must first go to the Indian Consulate in Phuntsholing to obtain an identification slip.
Obtaining your Identification slip process:
- Visit the Indian Consulate taking two of your available identification documents such as an Adhaar card, Pan card, driving license, or ration card and a passport-sized photo.
- Get your identification slip, and then go to the border immigration office to obtain an entry permit using the identification slip.
2. Paro Airport
Paro Airport is the best way to process your entry permit if traveling to Bhutan by air because the documentation requirements are not as stringent as the Border Immigration Office.
3. Online Permit/E-Permit
Since the Online Permit (E-Permit) is not accessible to the public, you must contact an authorized tour operator in Bhutan if you want to apply for a Bhutan entry permit for regional guests and foreigners online.
Contact Norbu Bhutan Travels to process Bhutan entry permit for regional guests and foreigners online. You don’t have to go through the entire process because they will take care of all those detail. You can also explore every nook and corner of Bhutan with their custom-tailored tour packages.
5. What is a Restricted Area Permit for All Tourists?
After arriving in Bhutan, tourists will be issued a 7 or 14 day entry permit. But this Bhutan entry permit for regional guests and foreigners allows tourists to travel only within Thimphu and Paro.
The rest of Bhutan is classified as a restricted area, and the Bhutan entry permit for regional guests and foreigners is invalid even if they intend to visit other fascinating locations like Gangtey and Haa.
So, if you plan to explore more than Paro and Thimphu, you must ask your tour operator to generate a restricted area permit from the Thimphu Immigration office.
Inner Line Permit (ILP)
Bhutan entry permit for regional guests and foreigners is quite the same for exploring places other than Paro and Thimphu in Bhutan.
Without the restricted area and inner line permits, regional guests and foreigners can only travel up to or within Thimphu and Paro.
So, you must apply for an Inner Line Permit at the Thimphu Immigration Office if you intend to go to any location other than Thimphu and the Paro district.
All you have to do to receive the ILP is present a photocopy of your entry permits.
- Extension Permit
If the number of days initially authorized by the Immigration Officer while issuing the Entry Permit is inadequate, you must get an Extension Permit from the Thimphu Immigration Office.
- Vehicle Permit
The Tourism Council of Bhutan mandates all regional tourists to hire a car or bring their vehicle while visiting Bhutan.
If you intend to drive your vehicle in Bhutan, you must also apply for a vehicle permit at Phuntsholing RSTA. You must present your entry permit, driver’s license, and vehicle documentation there.
You must also submit the following documents to apply for a vehicle permit:
- The entry permit
- Registration Certificate
- The driving license
- The insurance paper
- The pollution control certificate.
- Letter of authorization from the owner if you do not own the car
We are confident that our simple guide to Bhutan entry permit for regional guests and foreigners will assist you in gathering all of the necessary paperwork for your travel to Bhutan.
You can always ask questions and seek help from Norbu Bhutan Travels regarding Bhutan entry permit for regional guests and foreigners.
Stay tuned to their important travel updates for further details!