The Department of Immigration, under the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs in Bhutan, is the only authority that issues visas for travel to Bhutan. With the exception of Indian visitors who will need a permit, all other visitors must obtain a visa to enter Bhutan.Nationals of Bangladesh and the Maldives shall be eligible for a visa on arrival at the port of entry. Nationals of Switzerland and Thailand holding diplomatic and official passports shall be also eligible for a visa on arrival at the port of entry.
Although visitors from Bangladesh and Maldives can process visas on arrival, it is recommended that these be applied online to reduce wait time and for faster clearance at the port of entry. The visa fee is USD 40 per person and it is non-refundable. While the process to issue the visa is usually quick, the visa can take up to five working days to process.
Following documents are required to process the visa:
- A passport copy is required. The passport must be valid for six months from the intended date of departure from the Kingdom;
- Travel insurance valid for the duration of the trip and
- A recent passport size photograph.
The Sustainable Development Fee enables investment in transformative programmes that preserve our cultural traditions, protect our heritage and environment, upgrade infrastructure, create opportunities for our young people, and build resilience.
SDF amount is as follows:
- Guests from India are levied SDF of Nu. 1,200 or equivalent amount in INR per person per night, which will remain in effect for two years, following which time it may be reviewed and revised in keeping with the principle of the preferential rate after two years.
- Visitors from all other countries are levied SDF of USD 200 per person, per night. There will be a concessionary levy of 50% on the SDF for children between the ages of 6-12 years and exemptions of SDF for children aged 5 years and below.
- The SDF funds go to the national exchequer and are allocated to various projects that enhance facilities, services and infrastructure for nationals and guests who visit Bhutan, as well as funding free healthcare and education.
There are a few options available for making the SDF payment:
- When applying for the visa or permit, the SDF can be paid via wire transfer or credit card and further, the certified Travel Agents can assist you with the payment procedures (click here).
- The SDF must be paid in USD, but Indians may also pay in INR.
- If eligible for a visa on arrival, guests must pay the applicable SDF in USD at the port of entry.