ENTRY OF FOREIGN WORKERS
Mindful of the importance and demand for foreign workers in the country for the economy and the general public, the Department of Immigration shall facilitate entry of foreign workers in the professional/skilled categories in priority sectors determined by the Royal Government.
Entry of foreign workers in the labour category shall also be facilitated after quarantine facilities have been identified and approved by the Ministry of Health.
The relevant section of the Public Notification No. Tha(01)/2020/2136 of 6 March 2020 suspending the entry of foreign workers stands rescinded.
Entry of all foreign workers shall be based on the following process to mitigate the risks of
transmission and spread of COVID-19 in Bhutan.
The process for entry of new foreign workers shall be as follows:
- All applications for entry of foreign workers (fresh approval) shall be submitted to the Department of Labour (DOL) by the employer/Foreign Worker Recruitment Agency (FWRA) for approval, with full justification.
- If approved by DOL, the employer/FWRA shall submit the approval to the Department of Immigration (DOI) or Regional Immigration Office (RIO), as applicable, with copies of Passport/Voter Identity Card of the foreign worker(s) for verification.
- Copies of Passport/Voter Identity Card shall be submitted to DOI/RIO by the employer/FWRA in advance, prior to the arrival of the foreign worker.
- DOI/RIO shall assess the application based on prevailing immigration laws, rules, regulations and policies/practices and submit its recommendations to the COVID19 Task Force (C19TF), Phuentsholing.
- The C19TF may grant/deny entry based on the merits of the case.
- If approved by the C19TF, visa/entry permit shall be issued by DOI/RIO to the foreign worker(s).
For clarification on entry of new foreign workers please contact Department of Labor at +975-2-339922, email email@example.com
The process of re-entry of foreign worker(s) holding a valid work permit shall be as follows:
- The request for re-entry of foreign worker(s) holding a valid work permit who are currently outside the country shall be submitted by the employer/FWRA to DOI/RIO with full justification.
- Copies of work permits shall be submitted to DOI/RIO by the employer/FWRA in advance, prior to the arrival of the foreign worker.
- DOI/RIO shall examine the request and submit its recommendations to the C19TF.
- Entry shall be granted/denied based on the merits of the case by the C19TF.
ARRIVAL IN BHUTAN
- On arrival in Bhutan, the employer/FWRA shall declare the foreign worker(s) individually at the port of entry for completion of entry formalities.
- It shall be mandatory for all foreign worker(s) to undergo thermal screening and submit a duly completed health declaration form to Ministry of Health officials at the port of arrival.
- It shall be mandatory, without exception, for all foreign worker(s) granted entry to undergo 21-days quarantine at a designated facility.
- Home quarantine shall not be permitted for any foreign worker.
- All costs relating to quarantine, testing and medical treatment/intervention/evacuation, if required, shall be borne by the foreign worker/employer.
- Costs of quarantine shall be as per rates approved by the government. Other costs relating to testing and medical treatment/intervention/evacuation, if required, shall be levied by the concerned agency.
- On completion of quarantine, the foreign worker(s) shall be permitted to leave the facility, if they test negative.
Submit an undertaking with the application for both new/re-entry of foreign worker. To download the undertaking click here
- Foreign workers holding a valid work permit shall report directly to their respective worksites within 24 hours upon release from quarantine.
- For foreign workers who are required to process a work permit, the employer/FWRA shall report to the Regional Immigration Office or Department of Immigration, as may be applicable, with the foreign worker(s) within 24 hours upon release from quarantine to process their work permits.
- DOI/RIO shall process and issue work permit for foreign workers in accordance with the Immigration Act and Immigration Rules and Regulations.
- In addition to COVID-19 health requirements, all existing requirements such as medical check-up for foreign workers shall be applicable.
- A medical certificate shall be issued by the Ministry of Health to a foreign worker upon completion of 21 days quarantine and upon testing negative.
- A copy of the medical certificate shall be submitted to DOI/RIO by the employer/FWRA.
- The medical certificate shall be produced at all checkpoints by the foreign worker and shall be kept at the worksite of the individual for purposes of verification and record.
- DOI/RIO shall issue a TWP (COVID-19) Card to the foreign worker on the basis of the medical certificate and valid work permit.
- All foreign workers admitted into the country shall be required to comply with all Notifications issued by the government including COVID-19 safety protocols/advisories issued by the Ministry of Health.
- All foreign workers admitted into the country shall strictly abide by the laws of the Kingdom of Bhutan including all applicable laws, rules and regulations of the Department of Immigration.
- An employer/business entity/project/FRWA/foreign worker(s) shall be liable for prosecution by a court of law and/or any penalties/fines under Immigration Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan and any other laws, rules and regulations as may be applicable, for submission of false, fabricated or misleading information or documents for purposes of obtaining entry into the country and/or for purposes of obtaining a work permit.
- Any disputes relating to foreign worker(s) shall be governed by applicable laws, rules and regulations.