The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade hereby notifies the general public that Bhutanese intending to travel to Nepal on a recently issued Travel Document in lieu of Ordinary Passport, should process for prior visa to enter Nepal from the Nepalese Embassy in New Delhi. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade will assist those intending to visit Nepal in obtaining the required visa.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade had notified all foreign governments through the Bhutanese Embassies and Missions abroad of the interim arrangement of issuing Travel Documents in lieu of Ordinary Passports to facilitate the travel of Bhutanese abroad. Regrettably, it appears that the information may not have reached some of the concerned authorities at the working level on time.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade has noted that Bhutanese citizens holding a Travel Document in lieu of Ordinary Passport and travelling to Australia, Japan and Thailand have not faced any issues thus far.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade deeply regrets the inconvenience caused to the Bhutanese travellers and will continue to ensure that Bhutanese citizens can travel abroad without any let or hindrance. Furthermore, Bhutanese travelling on a Travel Document in lieu of Ordinary Passport abroad are advised to kindly check, prior to travelling, visa procedures and requirements of documents to process visa to enter the country of destination.
For further clarification, please contact Mission and Consular Division, Department of Protocol at +975-17604131/+975-77330533/+975-77225991.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade would like to offer the following travel advice before travelling abroad for a smooth and pleasant journey:
- Travellers must carry a passport which has a validity of more than 6 months.
- Travellers must ensure that they have the required visas/permits to enter the destination country.
- Travellers must check the immigration rules and regulations of the country that they are visiting/transiting through before entry to avoid any unforeseen circumstances.
- Many countries have restrictions on items entering/leaving the country, including food, pets, and medications. Travellers are encouraged to check with the embassies and consulates of the destination country or the official websites of the relevant authorities of the destination country on such regulations.
- Travellers who violate foreign customs rules may be detained at the airport, fined, have the items confiscated, and, in some cases, be sentenced to prison.
- Travellers are encouraged to check their luggages to ensure that there are no prohibited items such as explosives, firearms and lethal weapons, drugs, antiques, ivory etc. While at the airport, avoid handling abandoned packages or briefcases.
- Travellers are encouraged to carry the address and telephone numbers of their hotel as well as note the contact details of the nearest Bhutanese Embassy/Mission/Consulate. In areas where there are no Bhutanese Embassies/Missions/Consulates, travellers are advised to contact the nearest Offices of Bhutan’s Honorary Consuls and Friendship Associations. The contact details are available on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade.
- Travellers must, in the event of a loss of passport, immediately report to the nearest local police station and acquire a police report.
- If a victim of crime, travellers must immediately report to the nearest local police station and contact the nearest Bhutanese Embassy/Mission/Consulate.
- Travellers are encouraged to carry either a printed or soft copy of their passport, visas and extra copies of passport size photographs. It is advisable to leave a copy of the travel itinerary and passport copy with family/friends in Bhutan for ease of contact.
- Travellers should check and adhere to the local laws and customs of the destination country. Always remember to take permission before taking photographs of religious/cultural sites, military installations, government buildings or transportation facilities.
- Travellers should refrain from carrying large amounts of cash. It is advisable to keep it in a safe place such as a room safe/vault. Exchange money from authorised agents/banks.
- For security reasons, travellers are encouraged to lock their hotel room doors at all times and meet visitors in the hotel lobby. It is also advisable not to accept food/drinks/packages from strangers.