How to Apply for a Bhutan Visa as a US Citizens?

In an international travel plan, arranging travel documents and applying for a visa can be a bit of a hassle. To make your travel hassle-free, we will walk you through detailed information on acquiring a Bhutan visa for US citizens. This guide will present you with the process for applying Bhutan visa for United States citizens and will shed light on the requirements. As obtaining a visa is a crucial part of your trip to Bhutan, we got your back with all the details you need to know about a Bhutan travel visa for a US citizen.  

Bhutan is a small Himalayan kingdom with alluring natural beauty that attracts thousands of international tourists every year. The south Asian landlocked country is an extraordinary destination for adventure travel. The captivating natural beauty of versatile terrain and the culturally rich lifestyle of the natives ensure a unique experience for travelers. Your visit to Bhutan will surely be a rewarding experience. But first, you need to go through the visa procedure in order to enter the country. The travel documents requirements for Bhutan can differ based on your nationality. In that regard, US nationals must acquire their Bhutan visa before their arrival in the country. 

Monastery in Punakha, Bhutan
Monastery in Punakha, Bhutan

What are the Bhutan Visa Requirements for US Citizens?

Bhutan requires a visa for all international travelers. Therefore, for all other nationals, including US citizens, a Bhutan visa document is a must. There are certain requirements for a Bhutan tourist visa for US citizens which you must follow to obtain the visa. 

1. General Requirements for Bhutan Visa for US Citizens

In order to enter Bhutan as a tourist, you must have your visa first. There is no service of visa on arrival for US nationals in Bhutan. Additionally, the Bhutanese government has made it mandatory for all international tourists to apply for visas through licensed tour operators. In another word, you cannot apply for a visa in Bhutan by yourself. You must carry on with the visa-obtaining process through a tour operator. 

2. Visa Application Process

To apply for a visa, you must fill out an application form and submit it to the government. Besides the application form, you will have to provide the following materials:

  • A recently taken passport-size photo
  • A scanned copy of your passport bio page
  • A copy of the flight itinerary
  • Travel insurance document which includes COVID coverage

After you submit these to your tour operator, the operator will submit the documents to the Bhutanese government on your behalf.

3. Visa Clearance Letter 

You will also require a visa clearance letter to carry on with the process. You will receive this letter after the submission and approval of your visa application form. The visa clearance letter is a mandatory requirement when you arrive in Bhutan. You have to present this letter to immigration officials in Bhutan and also carry a copy of the letter with you throughout your trip.

4. Validity and Expiration of Bhutan Visa for US Citizens

The Bhutan tourist visa for a US citizen is valid for up to 30 days. For further extension of the visa, you must submit the required application to the Bhutanese immigrant officials through your tour operator. It may require an additional fee. And, your stay in Bhutan is only valid until your Bhutan visa expiration date. 

Travel Documents Required for US Citizens to Travel to Bhutan 

As an international tourist, traveling from the United States, you will require a handful of travel documents to visit Bhutan. The documents required for your travel plan to Bhutan are:

  • Bhutan visa for United States citizens: You cannot travel to Bhutan without a Bhutan visa and this must be acquired before entering Bhutan.
  • Passport: A passport is another important travel document that must have a validity of at least six months.
  • Flight itinerary: This is a must-have document for your Bhutan visa application process. 
  • Visa clearance letter: This letter will be provided to you by your travel operator after the approval of your visa.
  • Vaccination record: You must have a legit record of vaccination against COVID-19 to enter Bhutan.
  • Travel insurance: Getting travel insurance which includes coverage against COVID-19 is crucial for your safety during the trip.

What is the Bhutan Visa Cost for US Citizens?

The general cost of the Bhutan travel visa for US citizens is $40 per person, which applies to all tourists regardless of their nationality. For visa extensions, the fee is $20 per person, and the extension application must be submitted at least seven days before the visa’s expiration.

In addition to the Bhutan visa fee for US citizens, the Bhutanese government has also imposed a Substantial Development Fee (SDF) tax. The tax amounts to $200 per person per night of stay in Bhutan. This fee is typically included in the travel package, and there is no additional charge required.

How to Apply for a Bhutan Visa as a US Citizen?

As a US citizen, you must apply for a Bhutan travel visa through a licensed tour operator. The Bhutan government does not allow independent visa applications for foreigners.  So, after selecting a licensed tour operator, you must go through the following process to acquire a Bhutan visa:

  • Provide a copy of your passport, a recently taken passport-size photo, the travel insurance document, and a Bhutan flight ticket to your tour operator.
  • Wait for the confirmation of your visa application approval from the Bhutanese Department of Immigration.
  • Receive a copy of your approval letter from your tour operator.
  • Take the letter to the Bhutanese immigration officer in Bhutan after your arrival and get a visa stamp.

Tips for a Successful Bhutan Tour

International trips require proper planning for them to be successful. From visa applications to tour packages, everything must be well-planned to make the trip a success. A small mistake may ruin your travel plan or even may cause you to extend your trip. And in that process, the travel document arrangement and visa obtaining is the vital part. Here we present you some of the important points to note for a successful trip to Bhutan for US citizens:

  • Pick a licensed and trustworthy tour operator as all of your visa work will be through your tour operator. 
  • Make sure to submit all necessary documents to your tour operator.
  • Pay the required visa fee in time through your travel operator.
  • Make sure to check in with your tour operator regarding your visa update.
  • Once you receive the confirmation, ensure to check the visa validity and expiration.
  • Make sure to pack everything necessary for the trip.

Photo of Tatiana, our recent client to Bhutan
Photo of Tatiana, our recent client to Bhutan

How to Travel to Bhutan from the United States?

There are no direct flights from North America to Bhutan. To reach Bhutan, you must take connecting flights from countries such as Nepal, India, Thailand, Singapore, or Bangladesh. Similarly, it’s not possible to reach Bhutan directly overland from the United States. However, you can travel to Bhutan by land transport after arriving in neighboring countries by flight.

Traveling to Bhutan from the United States via land:

  • First, you need to travel to nearby countries such as India, Nepal, Bangladesh, etc. by flight.
  • After you land, you can take a public or private vehicle to reach Bhutan via land.

Traveling to Bhutan from the United States via air:

  • You have to take a flight to an international airport in Delhi, Kathmandu, or any nearby international airport.
  • From there, you can take a direct flight to Paro International Airport in Bhutan.

Paro Airport, Bhutan; one point of arrival after getting Bhutan VISAfor US Citizens
Paro Airport, Bhutan

Is Traveling to Bhutan from the US Expensive?

The travel cost to Bhutan from the US depends on your itinerary. From luxury trips to short trips to Bhutan, you will find a wide range of cost differences. The $200 cost mark per day is set by the Bhutanese government as a part of sustainable tourism. However, if you want to experience the trip in a lavish fashion, your expenses may rise with the increase in the quality of the service. Moreover, if you plan to extend your Bhutan trip and explore Nepal at the same time, Nepal and Bhutan Tour has a well-curated itinerary for you.

Why Travel to Bhutan?

Located in the lap of the Himalayas, Bhutan’s surreal nature captivates several adventure seekers. Most known for its diverse terrain, the landlocked country has a lot to offer to visitors. Along with the abundantly flourishing flora and fauna, the warm and welcoming nature of the locals will make your trip worthwhile in every way. Some of the major attractions of this beautiful south-Asian country are:

  • Visit Paro valley, a home to famous Bhutanese landmark.
  • Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery.
  • Explore the capital city of Bhutan, Thimphu.
  • Visit the valley town Punakha.
  • Visit famous hot springs such as Gasa, Gelephu, and Dhur.
  • Experience rich culture and tradition by attending festivals.
  • Explore unique Bhutanese cuisines. 
  • Enjoy the peaceful environment and serenity of nature.

Beautiful City of Thimpu, Bhutan
Beautiful City of Thimpu, Bhutan

All in all, traveling to Bhutan is a wholesome experience. As Bhutan emphasizes tourism sustainability, the nation provides the best hospitality experience for tourists. If you want to get the most out of your visit, make sure to check out the Best Time to Visit Bhutan for further insight. You can also look into Bhutan Travel Guide to get detailed information. 

The Ending Note

Undoubtedly, Bhutan is a spectacular country for travel lovers. However, obtaining a Bhutan visa for US citizens can be a bit time-consuming, but it’s definitely worth the effort. Another important aspect to consider while planning your trip to Bhutan is choosing the right tour operator. As the tour operator will handle all crucial parts of your trip, such as the travel plan and visa application process, it is essential to choose one wisely. Himalayan Glacier can be your best choice for your Bhutan trip.

As one of the most reputed and trustworthy tour operators, we guarantee you an unforgettable and hassle-free travel experience. We have conducted numerous national and international trips, including countless successful trips to Bhutan. With a success rate of 98%, we have received thousands of positive client reviews regarding our quality services. Therefore, to cross off your Bhutan trip from your bucket list, contact our team of experts and plan your trip right away. You can also reach us via WhatsApp at (+1-410-307-0007).

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