Guide on how to apply for a Bhutan Resident Permit

Your decision to stay longer than six months either for a business engagement, work contract, or study in Bhutan will be a dream come true with a Bhutan resident permit.

The moment you can secure a resident permit in Bhutan, you are closer to becoming a Bhutan citizen. However, the Bhutanese government is very strict about granting a resident permit to foreigners. But you can succeed with proper guidance and patience.

To avoid uncertainty and disappointment, we have put together a guide to assist you in how to apply for a Bhutan resident permit.

Where is Bhutan?

Bhutan is a landlocked country in Asia, located between Tibet and India. The country is about the size of Switzerland, with a population of over 700,000 people. Bhutan is known for its Gross National Happiness index, which measures the well-being of its citizens. The country is also home to some of the world’s tallest mountains, including Mount Everest.

Bhutan’s economy is based on agriculture, forestry, and hydroelectricity. The country has a small industrial sector that includes the production of cement, food processing, and the manufacture of textiles and paper. Tourism is also a major part of the Bhutanese economy.

What is a Bhutan Resident permit?

It is an identification document issued to foreign nationals living, studying, and working in Bhutan. The permit is valid for one year and must be renewed annually. Bhutanese resident permit holders must have a valid passport and a visa. They are also required to register with the local police station.

Types of Bhutan resident permit 

Work Residency permit: The Government of Bhutan will be issued this type of permit if you have fulfilled all legal procedures to work and get paid while living in the country. You can apply for it before your Bhutan work visa expires.

Student residency permit: The Bhutanese government grants foreigners who wish to study in Bhutan for longer than six months. It is easier to obtain compared to other types of resident permits.

Dependent residence permit: If you visit your spouse in Bhutan and decide to stay longer than the validity of your reunion visa, you can apply for this residence permit. You can easily obtain this permit if your spouse is a citizen of Bhutan.

Investors residence permit: You can apply for this residence permit if you have a long time investment plan in Bhutan. Bhutan, like other nations, offers foreign investors the opportunities to invest in the business while they live peacefully and enjoy some benefits from the government.

Benefits of Bhutan resident permit 

You might wonder why foreigners in Bhutan strive hard to get a resident permit if they intend to stay longer in the country. It is because you will enjoy the benefits listed below:

  • You can work and live in Bhutan without being harassed by the immigration officers in the country.
  • You have the right to buy and own a property in Bhutan, but you can’t own land.
  • You will have access to quality health care services and education.
  • You also have the privilege to marry a Bhutan citizen.

Bhutan resident permit requirements 

Here are the requirements you should meet for your resident application to be considered by the Bhutanese government. They are listed

according to the type of residence permit you plan to apply for. But some requirements are peculiar to every applicant for the resident permit.

General Requirements 

  • It would help if you held your traveling passport
  • Your Bhutan visa must be available for attachment.
  • You will get a Medical Fitness Certificate from a government health facility in Bhutan. The test should be focused on general health and drug test.

Work Residency permit 

  • You will get approval from the Bhutan Department of Labour, Ministry of Labour and Human Resources
  • A duly completed Work residence Permit application form. You can download it from Bhutan’s official website for free
  • You should complete an Employee Undertaking form
  • A copy of a well-dimensioned passport photo must be attached
  • If you’re from Bangladesh, Maldives, or India, you should attach your original academic certificate, and it must be notarized.

Student Residence Permit 

  • A completed student resident Permit application form
  • A letter of undertaking by your academic institution
  • You will also write a letter of undertaking as a student
  • You can attach other relevant documents that could give you an edge when the agency processes your resident permit application.

Dependent residence permit requirements 

  • If you have a child or children that are below eighteen years of age, you should attach their birth certificate(s)
  • You must attach your marriage certificate to the application form as a spouse.
  • You should obtain a Bhutan depend residents permit form and fill it out accurately.
  • You also provide a valid work permit of your sponsor for the resident permit application.

Investors’ residence permit requirements 

  • You must get Bhutan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs recommendation letter
  • Attach your foreign direct investment registration Certificate
  • Your letter of undertaking should be attached
  • You also get a letter of undertaking from the local authority where your investment domicile.

How to apply for a Bhutan resident permit 

You don’t need to undergo rigorous procedures to apply for a residence permit in Bhutan, but your documents must be complete and genuine. Let us take you through the steps and tips to get things done seamlessly.

Firstly, you should prepare all required documents in a self-addressed envelope. If you are to apply online, the supporting documents must be in PDF format for upload.

Secondly, you should locate the nearest Bhutan immigration office and inquire about how to pay the resident permit application fee. The officer in charge will guide you through the payment process for the application fee.

Thirdly, you should attach the evidence of payment to other supporting documents, then locate the office to submit your application credentials. The immigration officer in charge will check the documents at the point of submission to ensure they are in order and complete.

Lastly, you will be issued proof to show that your application is being processed at the immigration office. Then you wait for further communication from the office.

Tips on Bhutan resident permit application 

  • You must be patient because it could take longer for the application to be processed.
  • If you choose to mail your application credentials, ensure you pay the application fee and attach the receipt to the documents you will mail.
  • You could ask the immigration officers if there are other documents to expedite your application processing.
  • You shouldn’t provide details that are not verifiable.
  • You should always check your email in case the immigration needs more documents or clarification from you.

Bhutan resident permit application fee and processing time 

After submission, Bhutanese immigration takes six weeks to process your Bhutan resident permit application. You must pay an application fee of $300 to the appropriate channel.

Nonetheless, this amount is not fixed, so you should check the current fee whenever you want to apply.

Addresses of Bhutan immigration offices 

Here are the various addresses of the Bhutan immigration offices you can easily submit and process your Bhutan resident permit.

Kawajangsa immigration office

Department of Immigration

Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs

Royal Government of Bhutan

Kawajangsa, Thimphu, Bhutan

Phone: (+975) 2-323127/334798.

Department of Immigration Samtse

V3XV+VR7, Samtse, Bhutan

Phuentsholing Regional immigration office, 

V96J+CWM, Phuentsholing, Bhutan

Regional immigration office, 

VFHP+4RG, Gelephu, Bhutan

Samdrup immigration office 

49 Industrial Service Road, Samdrup Jongkhar, Bhutan

Note that the offices operate from Monday to Friday, 08:00 am to 05:00 Pm.

Also Read: Bhutan Visa – Application, Fees, Extension, and Requirements

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I buy property in Bhutan?

Yes, you can buy property in Bhutan. There are some restrictions on foreigners buying property, but it is possible. You will need to get a permit from the Bhutanese government and work with a local real estate agent.

Is Bhutan fun to Visit?

Yes, Bhutan is a fun place to visit! There are many things to see and do, such as exploring the country’s unique culture, hiking in the stunning Himalayan mountains, and visiting Buddhist temples.

What is the crime rate in Bhutan?

The crime rate is significantly low though there has been a continuous rise in the crime rate in the last two years. The crime rate for the year 2020 was almost 100% compared to 2019 at 12.1%.

How much does it cost to live in Bhutan?

Bhutan has a low cost of living compared to the United States of America; you can live comfortably with $480 monthly as a single person.

What language does Bhutan speak?

The official language of Bhutan is Dzongkha. However, many people in Bhutan also speak Tibetan and Nepali.

Does Bhutan give citizenship?

Yes, the Bhutan government gives citizenship to any person who is a permanent resident of Bhutan and has been living in the country for fifteen years. However, you must first obtain a Bhutan resident permit as a stepping stone.

Do I need a visa to visit Bhutan?

You may need a visa to visit Bhutan, but to clear your doubt check out Bhutan visa for a detailed explanation.

How can I get a travel advisory in Bhutan?

It is not difficult to get it at the Bhutan immigration office. Meanwhile, you can read details about it on Bhutan immigration’s official website.

Conclusion

We have provided you with a comprehensive guide on the Bhutan resident permits. Hopefully, you find this guide useful and worthy of sharing with friends and family in need of it.

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