Tourists of all nationalities (except Indian citizens) are required to get a visa-clearance letter before reaching Bhutan. The visa will be issued / stamped by immigration only after a tourist has reached Bhutan. There is no foreign embassy or mission that would grant a visa or a visa clearance letter.
All tourists have to apply for a visa clearance letter only through a tour operator. Tourists only with visa clearance letter can board a flight and reach Bhutan.
It is recommended to apply for a visa clearance letter several months prior to your visit. The visa processing may not take more than 10 days but still it would help in booking airline seats and other travel related formalities like accommodation etc. Air line tickets are issued only after a visa is acquired.
A list of authorized tour operators can also be seen from the tourism council of Bhutan website.
Once you pick a tour operator from the above mentioned website, the tour operator will help you through the visa application formalities and also give you an estimate of the visa fee and other costs relating your trip.
Checklist of things required to get visa clearance letter
The following details will be asked / required by the tour operator for processing the Bhutan tourist visa.
a) Full name (as it appears in the passport):
d) Passport No.:
e) Date of issue:
f) Date of expiry:
g) Place of Issue:
h) Date of birth:
i) Place of birth:
j) Permanent address:
k) Passport Size photographs (electronic form)
The visa clearance letter will be issued after you have paid the visa fee and full cost of your trip. Your visa clearance letter will be sent to you by the tour operator before your travel date.
Estimate of Visa fee and other entry Requirements
Every visitor must pay £126 (off-season) to £158 (peak-season) per day for his / her stay. Individuals and groups of less than four people have to pay a surcharge and students and children get a discount. Your tour operator will give you the updated rate or inform about any change in the rate.
a) The immigration authority will issue and stamp your visa upon upon arrival after payment of $20.
b) Two passport size photographs are also required at the entry point.
c) Every visitor is required to must hold confirmed return or onward tickets. In case of onward travel complete set of all documents for the next destination.
Visa clearance time
The visa processing may take around ten days.
Import conditions on various items
a) 2 Cartons of Cigarettes - subject to 100 percent Customs Duty and 100 percent Sales Tax
b) 1 bottles of spirit - each bottle must be up to one liter size
c) 1 bottle of perfume up to 2 ounces
d) 50 gm of Gold
e) 1 kg of Silver
f) Maximum 10 pieces of clothing whether stitched or non-stitched.
g) Other household or personal goods including electronics and bedding shall be limited to one piece each.
It is highly recommended to get / confirm updated information on import of various items from your tour operator as well.
Prohibited or restricted Items
All Illegal drugs, Guns, explosives and arms, weapons / knives, Plants, Meat and meat products , Pets, Religious or other rare cultural artifacts, harmful materials, Counterfeit currency and goods , Pornographic material, other illegal goods and any other items and goods which are prohibited by any laws or international treaties to which Bhutan has signed or vowed to abide by.
Relevant ministries / Government departments may be contacted if you plan to take any of restricted or prohibited items.