Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Invitation to Bhutan

My sister in-law is a Japanese, living and working in Taiwan. She visited my brother for the first time after their long Facebook relationship in September and spent over a week with my family. She enjoyed her times with us so much that she sacrificed her job and bonuses to meet us again in October. Fifteen day stay made her even more happy and wanted to come here again.
This time I thought I should invite her as our personal guest so that she won't have to pay so much as she did during her first two visits- she paid cost of a car already. However, I didn't know that the Immigration in my country won't acknowledge her relationship with us. My application for invitation was rejected. By the rule they have in their book, we should have met her outside Bhutan to qualify for invitation, which otherwise means that she can't be my sister in-law because she met us in Bhutan. What could be the possible logic behind recognizing acquaintance outside Bhutan? What I think should be important is the authenticity of the relationship. 

At Dochula, during her second visit.
Many people I contacted for information advised me to find a person who has been to Taiwan and prepare the application in their name, or to cook up a story of having met her in Singapore during my visit there but I defended knowing our true story was far better than those lies- after all they are humans at the other end! If I had known there are all robots interpreting the rules rigidly I would have listened and lied.
It's not all about money. I just wanted to show her the Bhutanese we are, our courtesy and hospitality to guest, and that's not possible after letting her pay thousands of dollars. She was supposed to visit us for the third time in February 2012 but she couldn't wait that long. And here my application was rejected. I couldn't tell her that she could will have to pay a huge price to meet us again but it turned out that she was more Bhutanese than the people who rejected my application. She consoled me saying, "Hey brother, don't worry, money can be made." 
And thus she came here for the third time as tourist and these days she is with us in Wangdue having a wonderful vacation with my family.

P:S: If you happen to be a wanna-be guest or a host and stumbled upon this post while Googling, please note that this article is not to encourage you to cheat your way out in this process, but I am not responsible if your application is rejected after telling the truth either!

3 comments:

  1. Well, this is disheartening for me, for sure. I had been wondering about how the guest visa process works. I made some great friendships in Bhutan while on a work visa and I do hope to visit again in 2012. Friends have been saying, "I will invite you as my guest" but I have not met up with any of these particular friends when outside of Bhutan.

    I presume she is your sister-in-law in an informal way? I know it's complicated for Bhutanese to officially marry non-Bhutanese...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Addrea,
    You don't worry. You are special, Business Bhutan could easily invite you.
    OR
    You just tell TCB who you are and they will readily get you a Visa, after all Bhutan had its first city Map gifted by you! I mean it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yeah, I understand it is hard to deal with the bhutanesse laws. Hope that you can visit her again.
    I have a friend that I met from Bhutan, outside of it. We meet working on a cruise ship. Now I really want to go to Bhutan, but she says that she has no clue on how these invitation procedure works or where to ask. Could you give some information, if you have, about it so I can tell her by mail? Any gossip, rumor, or any kind of clue on how to go to Bhutan by invitation works :) elcoca09@gmail.com

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete

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