FAQs

What is the fee for a passport?

What documents do I require when applying for a passport?

What are the requirements when applying for a passport for children?

Why must children have individual passports? Can I include my children on my passport?

My children are already included on my passport - can I still use the passport for travel?

Do children have to sign their own passport?

How long is a passport valid for?

Can a passport be renewed? How much is the renewal fee?

Do countries insist on a minimum validity period on a passports?

What should I do when my passport expires? Can I keep it?

My current passport has not expired - do I need to apply for a new machine readable passport?

If I am not residing in Bhutan can I apply for a machine readable passport at the nearest Bhutanese diplomatic or consular mission?

What if my passport is lost or stolen? How can I get a replacement passport if I am out of the country and there is no Bhutanese Embassy/Mission or Consulate near by? Do I have to pay a fine?

How long does it take for a passport to be issued?

Is it mandatory to fill up all the requested details on the application form when applying for a new passport ? Can my personal information be easily accessed by others?

Can I hold two passports at a time?

I have been recently married/divorced - how can I add/change my spouse’s surname on my passport ?

There is an error with my personal details on the passport - what should I do?

How can a person with special needs apply for a passport ?

How can a new passport be obtained in an emergency situation?

I still have valid visa (s) on my old passport and I am required to make the new passport - what should I do?

Why is my fingerprint being collected? Is the new machine readable passport going to feature biometrics?


What is the fee for a passport?

Ordinary passport = Nu. 1000/-
Ordinary passport where for a child (below 18 years) = Nu. 800/-
Diplomatic and official passport = Nu 0/-

What documents do I require when applying for a passport?

Please click on the link to “How to apply for a Passport” for the required information.

What are the requirements when applying for a passport for children?

Please click on the link ” Requirements for Children“.

Why must children have individual passports? Can I include my children on my passport?

This is primarily to prevent the abduction and trafficking of children, and is in accordance with the new Annex 9 Standard adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council in March, 2002, requiring states to issue separate passport to each person, regardless of age. Some countries also insist on separate individual passports prior to issuance of a visa.

No, children cannot be included on your passport.

My children are already included on my passport - can I still use the passport for travel?

Yes, the passport will still be valid for you to travel with until 31 December 2007. However, you will need to apply for a seperate passport for your child.

Do children have to sign their own passport?

Children ten (10) years and above can sign on the signature space provided for on the application form. For children below ten (10) years thumb impression is taken or one of the parents/guardians can sign on behalf of the child. The signature is then digitally scanned and inserted onto the passport.

How long is a passport valid for?

A passport is valid for five (5) years from the date of issuance.

Can a passport be renewed? How much is the renewal fee?

The older generation hand written passport can be renewed up to 31 December 2007 following which they shall no longer be in use. The passport can be renewed when its validity is six months or less. Machine readable passports cannot be renewed and upon expiry a new one must be applied for. A new machine readable passport can be applied for when the validity of the current one in use is six months or less.

Renewal fee for an older generation hand written passport is Nu. 1,000/-.

Do countries insist on a minimum validity period on a passport?

Some countries do and if the validity of your passport is less than one year, it is advisable that you check the requirements of the country you intend to visit prior to making your travel plans. Your passport should have a minimum validity period of six months at the time of travel. The Passport Section facilitates the renewal of the old generation hand filled passport or issuance of a new machine readable passport when the validity of the current one in use is six months or less.

What should I do when my passport expires? Can I keep it?

It is important that an expired passport be cancelled so that it cannot be used illegally. The passport should be returned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or nearest diplomatic/consular mission within one month of the expiry date. Failure to do so will result in a fine of Nu. 100/- per day until the passport is cancelled.You can either have it delivered or mailed. The passport shall be cancelled and either returned to you or disposed off by the Passport Section based on your preference.

My current passport has not expired - do I need to apply for a new machine readable passport?

No you need not apply for a new machine readable passport if your current passport has not expired. The older generation hand written passports will be in use until 31st December 2007. The Passport Section would, however, encourage you to apply for new machine readable passport which is more secure and will facilitate quicker immigration formalities when traveling abroad. Further, in the event that your passport is lost, stolen or damaged than the Passport Section would be in a position to immediately replace your passport .

If I am not residing in Bhutan can I apply for a machine readable passport at the nearest Bhutanese diplomatic or consular mission?

Currently the issuance of machine readable passports is centralized at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Thimphu. The Ministry is exploring the possibility whereby this can also be issued directly by our diplomatic missions abroad in future.

In the meantime it is possible to file an application for a machine readable passport at a Bhutanese diplomatic mission. However, the processing time will take much longer than when applied for in Thimphu.

What if my passport is lost or stolen? How can I get a replacement passport if I am out of the country and there is no Bhutanese Embassy/Mission or Consulate near by? Do I have to pay a fine?

  • In the event that a passport is lost or stolen, this must be immediately reported to the police and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or nearest diplomatic/consular mission. Your passport shall be cancelled and international border control authorities notified. A copy of the Police report must accompany the application form for a new passport.
  • A replacement passport can be provided for either by:
    being couriered to you directly by the Passport Section or a Bhutanese diplomatic mission abroad issuing an emergency passport. This is only to facilitate your travel back to Bhutan and issued with limited validity.
  • If a passport is lost, damaged or destroyed you will be required to pay a fine of Nu. 5,000/- in addition to the prescribed fee for a new passport.

How long does it take for a passport to be issued?

Normally a new passport will be issued within three (3) working days of an application being submitted at the Passport Section in Thimphu. However, a passport may be issued the next day of an application being submitted provided that all information and documentation are correct and complete. The processing time will take longer when applied for at a Bhutanese diplomatic mission.

Is it mandatory to fill up all the requested details on the application form when applying for a new passport ? Can my personal information be easily accessed by others?

Yes, it is mandatory to provide all the information on the application form. Under the passport regulations your personal information is protected and cannot be accessed without proper authorization.

Can I hold two passports at a time?

Under normal circumstances a person cannot hold two valid passportss at a time except when authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Traveling with two valid passports will invite the scrutiny of border control authorities abroad and uncalled for inconveniences.

I have been recently married/divorced - how can I add/change my spouse’s surname on my passport?

Any change in your personal details must be verified by the Ministry of Home & Cultural Affairs and supported by legal documents i.e. Marriage Certificate or Deed of Divorce. This should be submitted along with your passport and letter requesting the change. Since the personal details on the passport cannot be altered after issuance, you will need to apply for a new passport.

There is an error with my personal details on the passport - what should I do?

At the time of issuance of the new passport you should ensure that all the information on the passport is correct. If there is any mistake this should be immediately brought to the attention of the Passport Section. The Passport Section will cross check this against the information provided for on your application and make the changes if necessary. If the error has been made by the Passport Section, a new passport shall be provided for without any additional cost.

How can a person with special needs apply for a passport ?

The Passport Officer should be contacted directly who will than assist the person with the required formalities and any queries that he/she may have.

How can a new passport be obtained in an emergency situation?

The Passport Section can expedite the issuance of a new passport under emergency situations - the Passport Officer should be contacted.

I still have valid visa (s) on my old passport and I am required to make the new passport - what should I do?

If there are valid visas then the old passport will simply be stamped CANCELLED on the pages where entries have been made. This is because even if the passport is cancelled and the visa not damaged, most countries still accept the validity of the visa when both the old and new passport are carried together.

Why is my fingerprint being collected? Is the new machine readable passport going to feature biometrics?

The Passport Section shall collect your fingerprint the first time you apply for a machine readable passport. This biometric information shall be stored along with your personal details in the Passport Database and used for future verification and identification purposes.

The new machine readable passport will not feature any biometrics at this stage. For more information on biometrics/e-passports and fingerprint standards please click the link to “Biometrics“.


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