Bhutan Visa Guide for Indian Citizens
It comes as no surprise that Bhutan being one of the closest neighbours of India is also one of the most popular destinations for Indians going on vacations. While being nearby is a major contributor to being a common choice, it is also vital to remember everything else this country offers.
Officially known as the Kingdom of Bhutan, this country is situated on the Silk Road. Along with the serenity and beauty of its mountain setting and dazzling views of nature, it also offers palaces, museums, etc. to its visitors.
Do Indians Need a Visa to Visit Bhutan?
No, Indian passport holders do not require a visa to travel to Bhutan. India is one of the few countries which shares a border with Bhutan and is on very good terms.
As a result, Bhutan visa for Indians is not necessary like the citizens of a few other countries. Instead, as an Indian citizen, you have to carry other credentials to gain entry to Bhutan. The lists of necessary credentials to gain entry in Bhutan are listed later in this article.
Do Indian Citizens Require a Permit to Gain Entry into Bhutan?
Yes, Indian passport holders have to obtain an entry permit, issued from the Immigration Office in Phuntsholing, to gain entry into Bhutan. This permit is valid for a period of 7 days and those travelling to Bhutan by road need to produce it in every checkpoint for verification.
Indians intending to extend their stay for more than 7 days need to visit the immigration office, located in Thimpu and apply for an extension of the term of the validity of their permit.
Documents Required for Bhutan Entry Permit for Indian Citizens
Indian citizens must carry some documents to enter Bhutan. The documents listed below are necessary to obtain an “Entry Permit” at the Immigration Office while entering Bhutan.
- A copy of your passport.
- In case you do not have your passport, you can also produce your Voter ID card issued by the Election Commission of India.
- For children below the age of 18, Birth Certificate and valid school identity card must be produced.
- 2 passport-sized coloured photographs.
- Accommodation and lodging details, including the address of the hotel.
The “Entry Permit” allow you to only visit Thimpu and Paro. If you want to visit other places in the country, you must acquire a special Bhutan permit for Indian citizens. The documents necessary to apply for the “Special Area Permit” are as follows.
- You must carry a photocopy of the Route Permit which is included in your Entry Permit.
- Duly filled application form.
- In case you are driving your car, you will also require an Extension Permit which can be obtained at the office of Road Safety and Transportation Authority (RSTA).
How to Apply/Get a Permit to Bhutan?
To obtain the permit to enter Bhutan you will need to visit the Immigration Office of the Royal Government at Phuentsholing. Located at the Indo-Bhutan border, you must produce the documents required for Bhutan permit at this office. Subsequently, you will be issued an “Entry Permit” which allows you to enter and travel through the country. Important to note, even if you are to enter Bhutan by air, you must obtain this permit at the Paro International Airport.
Since you cannot travel beyond Paro and Thimpu with the Entry Permit, you must apply for additional documents for Bhutan immigration for Indian citizens. You can apply for your “Special Area Permit” at the RGoB Immigration Office at Thimpu. Usually, the office issues these permits within an hour. In case you are driving your own car, you must also visit the RSTA for your Extension Permit.
Where is the Indian Embassy in Bhutan?
Located in Thimpu, the Embassy is functional through weekdays and remains closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
- Address: 193, Jungshina, Thimpu.
- Phone number: +975 2 322162
- Website: www.indembthimpu.gov.in
- Emergency consular number: +975 17128429
Is it Important to buy Travel Insurance for Bhutan?
It is not mandatory for you to buy an international travel insurance policy while visiting Bhutan. However, it is advisable to have a policy in place since it can effectively cover you against many types of unforeseen circumstances. Be it a medical emergency from a sudden trekking accident, or loss of luggage; everything is covered under policies offered by Digit. Even if you need to be hospitalised, the expenses are covered under these policies.
Insurance of liability charges can be especially helpful if you are driving your car since it takes off the stress from your mind while travelling through Bhutan. Furthermore, though it is not free, these policies come quite cheap at Rs. 175 per day for one adult, for a sum insured of $50,000. This makes it one of the most economical options in travel insurance. The customer service offered by Digit is also convenient since you can reach us over the phone any time, even on national holidays.