Indians don’t need a Visa for entering Bhutan. If you are an Indian, you will have to get only a Bhutan Entry Permit/Pass, which can be obtained at any of the entry points from where you are entering Bhutan.
How To Get An Entry Permit/Pass For Bhutan from the Phuentsholing Entry-Point? Upon entering Bhutan through the Phuentsholing entry point, you will find the immigration office immediately on your right.
- There is a simple, one-page Form that Indians need to fill and submit with a copy of passport / identity card & one passport sized photo. Note, this is on a per person basis. Which means, if you are 3 people on this trip, 3 separate forms need to be filled up.
- Wait in a queue until your name is called and you go in for your Bhutan Entry Permit/Pass
- Once called in, the Immigration officer will fill in your details in his computer records, have your fingerprints scanned and give you a printout of the Bhutan Entry Permit/Pass.
- Take this printout of the Bhutan Entry Permit/Pass to an adjoining room to get it verified and signed by a senior official there.
- Once verified and signed, you have your Bhutan Entry Permit/Pass ready for your Bhutan trip.
There is a photo-copy shop right across the street.
What You Need To Look-out For When In A Queue For The Bhutan Entry Permit/Pass: After submission of form, it is apparently a queue system until your name is called, but note, queue jumping is not uncommon. There is no number system here, and hence, name calling can be very haphazard. Plus, it is just one person manning the counter. Therefore takes a lot of time getting the permit!
Two smarties jumped their queue, taking full advantage of the lone official who had heaps of papers to take care of, while we were waiting. Only when we pointed out to the official inside that a couple of clever agents/guides were not respecting the queue, did we get to finish the formalities. This had swallowed our almost 2 hours! Visa formalities for foreigners (other than Indians and Nepal citizens) is also on arrival and seemed to us to be fairly nice and quick though.
Finally, they ought to make the Entry Permit/Pass system more disciplined. A formal numbering system or equivalent can surely regulate it so much better. And why not have 4-5 officials for the Permit formalities? Phuentsoling being such a popular entry point with Indians, surely the Permit pressures are also high. Why not entrust more hands for faster Permit issuance?