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Immigration related - guidelines for Indian nationals...
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Immigration related - guidelines for

Indian nationals visiting Bhutan

(A) FOR TOURISM

Indian nationals travelling to Bhutan are required to carry any of the following ‘Travel Documents: -

Original Indian Passport having minimum of 06 months validity;

Original Voter Photo Identity Card (verifiable online) issued by the Election Commission of India;

(c) Accompanying children (below 18 years), if not having Passport, should possess ‘Birth Certificate’, properly reflecting the name of the child and name of the parent (in English only) along with school ID Card of the child. Incase certificate is in any OTHER regional language, then a certified copy of it duly translated in English language must also be carried along.

2. Only above mentioned three “Travel Documents’ are admissible, as proof of Indian Citizenship, to enter Bhutan. Other documents such as ‘Aadhaar Card’, ‘PAN Card’, ‘Driving License’. ‘Ration Card’ etc are not accepted by the Immigration Authorities of Bhutan for this purpose.

3. A prior hotel booking for stay at all places proposed to be visited in Bhutan is advisable for all Indian visitors, as it could be asked for by the RGoB Immigration authorities;

4. Indian nationals coming to Bhutan via the road route, are required to obtain an ‘Entry Permit’ on the basis of a valid Travel Document from the Immigration Office of RGoB at Phuntsholing, located just ahead of the Indo -Bhutan border gate opposite Jaigaon, West Bengal, India.

5. Similarly, Indians coming to Bhutan via the Air route, must possess any one of the above mentioned Travel Documents for being issued an ‘Entry permit’ upon arrival at the Paro International Airport.

6. The Phuntsholing Regional Immigration Office normally remains open from 6 AM to 8 PM on all working days and remains closed on Saturdays / Sundays and other local holidays. Hence, travelers should check their date of arrival accordingly, in case entering Bhutan via Jaigaon - Phuntsholing road route.

7. Travelers arriving by Air can obtain ‘Entry Permit’ on all days through the Immigration Office at Paro International airport upon arrival.

8. The ‘Entry Permit’ is generally issued for a maximum of 07 days and can be further extended for tourism purpose, depending on the length of stay based on valid documentation.

9. ‘Entry permit’ allows the Indian tourist to visit Thimphu from Paro and / or Phuntsholing only. Any tourist going beyond to places other than Thimphu would need to acquire an additional ‘Route Permit’ for the other places to be visited, from the RGoB Immigration Office at Thimphu on any working day (Monday to Friday) only from 1000 hrs to 1600 hrs. ‘Route Permit’ is not issued on Saturday / Sunday and any local holidays. This office is located opposite the Royal Thimphu Golf Club (RTGC).

(B) ONLINE PERMIT SYSTEM

10. Indian tourists visiting Bhutan also have the option of applying online for ‘Entry Permit’ in advance, before reaching either the Paro International Airport or Phuentsholing Immigration Office, through the ‘Online Permit System’ (OPS) introduced by RGoB. OPS facilitates the online processing of entry permits only for

Indian tourists applying with a valid Passport (and not with a Voter Photo ID Card) through a registered Bhutanese Tour operator with mandatory stay at a Tourist Council of Bhutan (TCB) certified hotel etc. Further details can be processed at info@tourism.gov.bt. Visitors availing the OPS option will be granted the ‘Entry Permit’ via email before their arrival in Bhutan.

11. Issuance of ‘Identification Slip’ by CGI, Phuentsholing to Indian nationals for visiting Bhutan has been discontinued from 01/01/2019 onwards, as already notified on the CGI website.

12. PIO, OCI & NRIs are treated as ‘non-Indian’ tourists for the purpose of travelling to Bhutan by RGoB and thus have to necessarily obtain in advance an appropriate ‘Visa’ to enter Bhutan. Their Visa application would need to be processed as prescribed by TCB for international tourists. Details are available at www.tourism.gov.bt.

(C) DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR TRAVELLING IN PERSONAL VEHICLES

13. Indian tourists wanting to enter Bhutan via Phuntsholing, in their own vehicles and thereafter travel inside Bhutan in those vehicles after having obtained the ‘Entry Permit’ from Phuentsholing Immigration Office must visit the ‘Road Safety and Transport Authority’ (RSTA) office in Phuentsholing for processing of the ‘Vehicle Permit’. Following documents would be mandatorily required by RSTA for considering grant of the ‘Vehicle permit’ :-

Valid Indian driving license (in original)

Insurance policy of Car/Vehicle (Original / duly attested).

Valid Pollution under Control (PUC) certificate

Vehicle must have Indian registration number with original RC

Owner of the vehicle and person driving the vehicle into Bhutan must be the same person. If the owner and the driver are not the same, then there should be a written authorization; from the owner, for the driver, to that effect.

Road fee as per applicability.

The ‘Vehicle Permit’ is valid only for the travel up to Thimphu. If the vehicle is to be driven to places beyond Thimphu, then the ‘Vehicle Permit’ would need to be taken for these places as well again, from the RSTA office at Thimphu.

(D) USEFUL WEBSITES / CONTACT DETAILS

14. Additional information relating to Tourist / other visits by Indian nationals into Bhutan is available on:-

www.tourism.gov.bt

www.mfa.gov.bt

www.drukair.com.bt

www.bhutanstudies.org.bt

www.bhutan.gov.bt

info@tourism.gov.bt

15. If required, clarifications can also be got from: -

Mr. Sangay Tenzin, Regional Director, Regional Immigration Office, Phuntsholing (+975-5253079) and stenzing@mohca.gov.bt);

Mr. Kinley Tshering, Immigration Officer, Regional Immigration Office, Phuntsholing (+975-5251584) and kinley@mohca.gov.bt) ;

Mr. Karchung, Chief of RSTA, Phuntsholing (+975-5253952) ;

Mr. Tshewang Rinzin, Chief Immigration Officer, Paro International Airport (+975-272500 & +975-271272) and tshewangr@mohca.gov.bt. ;

Mr. Jigme Tenzin, Dy. Chief Immigration Officer, Immigration Office, Thimphu (+975-2323127) and www.mohca.gov.bt

Mr. Prem Prasad Adhikari, CRTO, Thimphu at ppadhikari@rsta.gov.bt

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(C) DISTANCE AND DRIVING TIME OF IMPORTANT PLACES IN BHUTAN

From

To

Distance

(in Kms)

Approx.

travel time

Thimphu

Paro

65

2 hrs

Thimphu

Phuentsholing

176

6 hrs

Phuentsholing

Bagdogra (India)

170

4 hrs

Thimphu

Wangdu Phodrang

70

4 hrs

Thimphu

Punakha

77

3 hrs 15 min.

Punakha

Wangdu Phodrang

13

45 min.

Wangdu Phodrang

Tongsa

129

4 hrs 30 min.

Tongsa

Bumthang

68

2 hrs 30 min.

Bumthang

Mongar

198

7 hrs

Mongar

Lhuntshi

76

3 hrs

Mongar

Tashigang

90

4 hrs

Tashigang

Chorten Kora

52

1 hrs 30 min.

Tashigang

Samdrup Jongkhar

180

6 hrs

Samdrup Jonghkar

Gauwhati (India)

110

3 hrs

Samdrup Jonghkar

Phuntsholing

380

9 hrs 30 min.

 
 
 
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