In order to streamline and facilitate smooth visitation by tourists from Bangladesh, India and Maldives, the Department of Immigration, Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs and the Tourism Council of Bhutan are pleased to announce that the Online Permit System has been launched and is operational.
The system will facilitate the online processing of permits for regional tourists through registered Bhutanese tour operator like “World Tour Plan” and TCB certified hotels. The facility is offered as an optional channel to process permits for visitors from the region and will be applicable for entry from Paro and Phuentsholing. Visitors who use this facility will be able to obtain their permit clearances and route permits ahead of their arrival in Bhutan similar to international tourists.
It is hoped that through this facility better quality service can be provided to the guests from the region and that their experience in Bhutan is enhanced.
Please be reminded that it’s mandatory for you to avail following services for Bhutan e- Permit from a registered Bhutan tour company.
- Passport valid for minimum 6 months from the date of travel.
- Voter Card and Adhar card are not accepted for e-Permit.
- Scanned copy of your passport in color.
- Full tour payment to your Bhutan Tour operator.
- Bhutanese licensed guide
- Bhutanese vehicle for your tour.
- Three star hotel or Tourism council of Bhutan registered farm houses in all the places.
- Confirmed travel itinerary
Important thing to note for online Bhutan travel permit
The online applications have to be scrutinized/verified and approved by Department of Immigration. Government offices are closed on weekends ( Saturday & Sunday ) and Government holidays so any online application(s) submitted on a holiday will be processed only on next working day.
Advantage of online Bhutan travel permit
- You don’t have to stand in queue outside the immigration office to make permit especially in the border towns. Sometime when the number of applicants are more getting a travel permit will take several hours.
- You don’t have to make another special travel permit in Thimphu to travel to other places.
- Permit is given to you in advance saving time and hassle of having to go through several protocols.
Online Permit: As mentioned above, Online Permit (E-Permit) is not accessible to public. So you cannot apply for permit in advance on your own. Instead you need to reach out to Authorized Tour Operators of Bhutan like “World Tour Plan” for the same. You need to mandatory book all the Hotels, Vehicle (for throughout your trip) and Tour Guide through them as they mandatory need to furnish those details while filling up your form online.
Well so anyone who’s planning to travel by shared vehicle or not interested in full time Tour Guide, Online Permit is not going to work out for them. Also due to restrictions from TCB, authorized tour operators of Bhutan are not allowed to deal with anything below 3* hotels. So again, this option is not feasible for anyone on a budget trip.
Timing for e-permit: All the Immigration Offices works on weekdays from 9AM – 5PM BST with a lunch break of 1 Hour (1PM – 2PM). All the Immigration Offices are closed on Weekends ( Saturday & Sunday ) and Bhutan Government holidays. Immigration Counter at Paro Airport is the only exception to the above which works on all days. Please note that BST is +6:00 from GMT and 30 minutes ahead of Indian Standard Time (IST).
Extension Permit: If the number of days allowed by Immigration Officer, initially, while issuing Entry Permit is not sufficient, you need to get an Extension Permit (for extra required number of days) from Thimphu Immigration Office.
Vehicle Permit: Tourists planning to drive their own vehicle or rented vehicle have to additionally get their Vehicle Permit from Phuentsholing RSTA after obtaining Entry Permit.
E-permit Charge: We charge a nominal administrative fee for the travel permit. The travel permit does not cost anything if you apply it yourself at the entry points but usually it involves several hours of waiting in queue.