How to Get a Tourist Visa for Bhutan

Bhutan Tourist Visa

Bhutan Tourist Visa

Getting a tourist visa to Bhutan is a bit of a hassle but not impossible.  All visas are issued from from Thimphu, and visas are only issued to tourists booked with a local licensed tour operator.

Applications for tourist visas are submitted by the tour operator.  Visa clearance takes at least 10 days to process.  Air tickets to Bhutan cannot be purchased without visa clearance.  At your point of entry the visa will be stamped in your passport on payment of the visa fee. Two passport photos will also be required.  Visas are issued for a 15-day period; extensions can be obtained in Thimphu.

The Tourism Council of Bhutan sets a non-negotiable minimum daily tariff for all visitors to Bhutan.  The rate includes all accommodations, all meals, transportation, services of licensed guides and porters, and cultural programs where and when available.  The rate is the same for both cultural tours and treks.  The latest daily tariff is posted here at the Bhutan Government website.

At this time only Drukair, the Bhutanese government airline, is the only airline that services Bhutan international flights.  Entry by air is available only via India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Thailand.  The border with China is closed.  Drukair will board only travelers with visa clearance from the Tourism Authority of Bhutan.

Ok, without further ado, I’ll tell you in plain language below how to get a Tourist Visa for Bhutan. Start planning your trip to Bhutan at least 2 months in advance for peak season holidays (Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Sep, Oct, Nov and Dec) and at least 30 days for the off-season.

Visa required for U.S. citizens before you go to Bhutan:  Yes.  You will need a passport valid for at least six months following the date of your arrival to Bhutan and a visa to enter and exit Bhutan.  All visas are approved from Thimphu and are only issued to tourists booked with a local licensed tour operator.

Visa required for non-U.S. citizens before you go to Bhutan:  Other than Indian, Bangladeshis and Maldivian nationals, all visitors to Bhutan require a visa.

Go to my Bhutan visa page for information if you need information on another type of visa for Bhutan.

Select a licensed tour package

The master list of licensed Bhutan travel operators is here.

Some reputable tour package providers are as follows:

Submit application to the tourist operator

The travel operator will usually ask for scanned copies of your passport, full name, contact details, etc.

Wire the fee to the operator

You will need to wire Bhutan visa fees together with your Airline and Tour Payment to your Bhutan travel operator in order for them to process your Bhutan Visa and purchase Druk Air tickets.

Ask the tour operator for the bank wiring details.

Receive your invitation letter

The Bhutan Travel Operator will send you an official letter from the Bhutan visa office, which you have to bring with you when you come to Bhutan.

The actual visa will be stamped on your passport upon your arrival at the airport or on the border town if you are coming by land via India.

Processing time is normally 10-15 days.

Receive visa upon arrival

Don’t forget to bring with you the official letter from the Bhutan visa office.

Vaccination information

Don’t get sick!  Check vaccination requirements here.

Further Reading

About Addison Sears-Collins

Hey! I'm Addison Sears-Collins, the founder of Visa Hunter. You can learn more about me here. Connect with me by liking my fan page on Facebook, connecting with me on Twitter, or check out my website Automatic Addison where I build robots and embedded systems. accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to the accuracy of the information contained on this site. Please read the Visitor Agreement and Disclaimer. If you think there is an error in the information, please bring it to our attention so that we can correct it. Also, some of the links above could be advertisements or affiliate links, which means that I will earn a commission (at no additional cost to you) should you decide to click on the links and make a purchase. I recommend sites from time to time, not because I earn money or get a tiny commission if you click on the affiliate links and make a purchase, but because, I want you to focus on the places that will deliver you the most value and the best results. Good luck!