Easiest Countries to Immigrate to as Citizens of Bhutan

1. Does Bhutan have strict citizenship requirements for immigrants?

Bhutan does have strict citizenship requirements for immigrants. The government has a “One Nation, One People” policy which limits citizenship to those who can prove their Bhutanese ancestry and cultural ties to the country.

2. What are the requirements for obtaining Bhutanese citizenship?
To obtain Bhutanese citizenship, one must be able to trace their ancestry back to at least one of the original residents of Bhutan in 1958. They must also have a strong knowledge of the country’s culture and language, as well as a clean criminal record. In addition, they must fulfill certain residency requirements and pass exams on government policies and functions.

3. Can foreigners become citizens of Bhutan?
Foreigners cannot directly become citizens of Bhutan. However, there are special provisions for granting citizenship to certain categories of people such as foreign spouses of Bhutanese citizens, children born to a foreign parent and a Bhutanese citizen, and those who have made significant contributions to the country.

4. Are there exceptions or loopholes in the citizenship requirements?
There are no formal exceptions or loopholes in the citizenship requirements for immigrants in Bhutan, but there have been cases where immigration rules were relaxed for certain individuals based on their significant contributions to the country or longstanding residence in Bhutan.

5. Are refugee populations eligible for citizenship in Bhutan?
Refugees from neighboring countries such as Nepal do not have automatic eligibility for Bhutanese citizenship. However, some may be eligible if they can provide evidence of their ancestry and meet all other criteria set by the government.

6. Is dual citizenship allowed in Bhutan?
Dual citizenship is not allowed in Bhutan. Those applying for citizenship must renounce their previous nationality upon naturalization.

7. How does the process of obtaining citizenship work in practice?
The process of obtaining citizenship involves various steps including application submission, verification of documents and personal interviews with authorities, tests on language and cultural knowledge, and an oath ceremony. The entire process can take several years and is overseen by the Department of Immigration, Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs.

8. What happens if someone is denied citizenship?
If someone is denied citizenship, they have the right to appeal the decision within 30 days. If the appeal is unsuccessful, they may reapply after a certain period of time determined by the government.

9. Are there any recent changes to Bhutan’s citizenship policies?
In 2013, the government introduced new rules that allowed children of Bhutanese citizens who were born outside of the country to obtain citizenship through a simplified process. In 2020, the government also made changes to eligibility criteria for certain categories of people such as foreign spouses, allowing them to be eligible for citizenship after seven years of marriage instead of 10.

2. How long does it take to become a citizen in Bhutan?

The process of obtaining citizenship in Bhutan can take up to 2 – 3 years. This includes obtaining a visa, applying for permanent residency, and going through a strict screening process by the government. After the initial approval process, there is also a waiting period of about 5 years before citizenship is granted. Overall, it may take between 7-8 years to become a citizen in Bhutan.

3. Is Bhutan open to accepting refugees as citizens?

Bhutan follows a strict citizenship policy and does not accept refugees as citizens. The country has a “one nation, one people” policy that focuses on promoting cultural and ethnic homogeneity among its citizens.

4. What type of visas are available for those looking to immigrate to Bhutan?

Bhutan does not have a specific immigration policy as it limits the number of tourists and visitors to the country each year. Most foreigners who travel to Bhutan do so on a tourist visa, which is issued for a period of up to 30 days. Those wishing to stay longer can apply for a visa extension at the Department of Immigration in Thimphu.

For those looking to immigrate to Bhutan, there are two main types of visas:

1. Work Visa: This type of visa is granted to individuals who have secured employment in Bhutan. The prospective employer must first obtain approval from the Ministry of Labor and Human Resources before the employee can apply for a work visa at their closest Bhutanese embassy or consulate.

2. Residence Permit: This type of permit is granted to foreigners who have married a Bhutanese citizen or have been granted citizenship through naturalization. It allows them to reside in Bhutan permanently and gives them certain rights such as the ability to purchase land and start a business.

It is important to note that both types of visas require extensive documentation and approval from various government agencies. Prospective immigrants should consult with an immigration lawyer or contact the Department of Immigration for more information on the application process.

5. Are there any specific job opportunities or industries that make immigration to Bhutan easier?

Due to the small population and limited job opportunities in Bhutan, it can be challenging for foreigners to obtain employment in the country. However, there are a few industries that may offer more opportunities for immigration to Bhutan:

1. Education: Bhutan’s government has made education a top priority, and there is a constant demand for English-speaking teachers and educators from other countries to teach in their schools.

2. Health Care: The healthcare industry in Bhutan is expanding, leading to a need for skilled professionals like doctors, nurses, and healthcare administrators.

3. Tourism: As the country’s economy continues to grow, there is an increasing demand for tourism services such as hotels, restaurants, tour guides, and translators.

4. Information Technology: Bhutan is making efforts to develop its IT sector and attract foreign investment. Skilled IT professionals may find job opportunities in this growing industry.

Additionally, Bhutan offers many vocational training programs for young people looking for education and employment options in various fields such as agriculture, construction, and handicrafts. These programs are designed to equip locals with skills needed for economic development within the country.

6. Does Bhutan offer any special programs for entrepreneurs or investors looking to immigrate?

Bhutan does not currently have any specific programs or initiatives targeted towards entrepreneurs or investors looking to immigrate. However, foreign nationals can invest in Bhutan through the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy and guidelines set by the government. The FDI policy allows investment in industries such as infrastructure, hydropower, tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, and communication technology.

Additionally, the Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) provides support and resources for entrepreneurs starting a business in Bhutan. The BCCI also offers services such as feasibility studies, market research, and business counseling to assist potential investors.

Foreign investors are required to obtain necessary permits and clearances from relevant government agencies before investing in Bhutan. They are also expected to follow all laws and regulations related to their investment activities.

It is recommended that potential investors consult with a legal advisor or reach out to the Ministry of Economic Affairs for more information on investing in Bhutan.

7. What are the minimum language requirements for citizenship in Bhutan?

The minimum language requirements for citizenship in Bhutan are:

1. Basic knowledge of Dzongkha: Dzongkha is the national language of Bhutan and is considered essential for the integration into Bhutanese society.

2. Ability to read, write and speak Dzongkha: In addition to basic knowledge, applicants must also be able to read, write and speak Dzongkha at a functional level.

3. Familiarity with local customs and culture: Applicants must have a basic understanding of Bhutanese customs and cultural practices as these play an important role in daily life.

4. Passing the language proficiency test: Applicants may be required to pass a standardized language proficiency test conducted by the Department of Immigration to demonstrate their knowledge of Dzongkha.

5. Demonstrate willingness to integrate into Bhutanese society: Citizenship applicants must also show a genuine interest in integrating into Bhutanese society by actively participating in community events and respecting local traditions.

Note: The exact language requirements may vary depending on the category of citizenship being applied for (e.g. naturalized citizenship vs. citizen by descent) and can be subject to changes by the government from time to time.

8. Can I bring my family with me when immigrating to Bhutan?

It is possible to bring family members with you when immigrating to Bhutan, but this process can be complex and the government has strict regulations on who is allowed to immigrate. It is advisable to consult with a qualified immigration lawyer in Bhutan for specific advice on bringing your family with you.

9. Are there any age restrictions for obtaining citizenship in Bhutan?

Yes, the minimum age requirement to apply for citizenship in Bhutan is 18 years old. However, if a person has married a Bhutanese citizen or has been working in Bhutan for at least five years, they may be eligible for citizenship at the age of 21.

10. Is there a points-based system for immigration in Bhutan?

As of now, there is no points-based system for immigration in Bhutan. The Bhutanese government follows a strict immigration policy and allows entry to only a limited number of tourists and immigrant workers. All applications for immigration are evaluated on an individual basis and are subject to approval by the relevant authorities.

11. How does the cost of living in Bhutan compare to other countries, and how does it impact immigration?

The cost of living in Bhutan is generally lower compared to many developed countries, but it is on par with other South Asian countries. According to the Expatistan Cost of Living Index, Bhutan ranks at 149 out of 209 countries in terms of cost of living, making it relatively affordable compared to many other countries.

This lower cost of living can impact immigration in a few ways. On one hand, it may make Bhutan an attractive option for immigrants looking for a more affordable place to live. However, the lower cost of living also means that job opportunities and wages may be lower in Bhutan, which may deter some potential immigrants seeking better economic opportunities.

Additionally, as a primarily agrarian society with limited industrialization and urbanization, the overall standard of living in Bhutan may be seen as less desirable by some immigrants who are seeking higher levels of development and modernity.

Overall, while the lower cost of living in Bhutan may be appealing to some immigrants, it also presents challenges and limitations that could impact immigration patterns.

12. Are there any special benefits or perks for immigrants who become citizens of Bhutan?

There are no specific benefits or perks for immigrants who become citizens of Bhutan. Citizenship in Bhutan is primarily granted through birthright, naturalization, or marriage to a Bhutanese citizen. As a citizenship-based society, there may be certain societal and cultural benefits that come with being accepted as a Bhutanese citizen, but these would vary depending on individual circumstances.

13. Does having a college degree or specialized skills make it easier to immigrate to Bhutan?

Having a college degree or specialized skills may make it easier to immigrate to Bhutan through certain visa categories, such as the Employment and Dependent visa categories. However, there are strict requirements and eligibility criteria for these visas, including proof of job offer from a Bhutanese employer. Additionally, obtaining a work permit and residence permit is a lengthy process and can be difficult to navigate without knowledge of the local language and customs. Ultimately, immigration to Bhutan is highly restricted and requires approval from the government.

14. What is the public healthcare system like in Bhutan, and how does it benefit immigrants?

Bhutan’s public healthcare system is considered to be comprehensive and affordable. The government of Bhutan places a high priority on providing accessible healthcare to all citizens, and this includes immigrants living in the country.

The public healthcare system in Bhutan is overseen by the Ministry of Health and operates through a network of hospitals, health centers, and clinics throughout the country. Services are provided free of charge to all citizens, including immigrants with valid identification documents.

Some key benefits of the public healthcare system for immigrants include access to primary care services, including vaccinations, family planning, maternal and child health, and treatment for common illnesses. Additionally, specialized services such as mental health care, HIV/AIDS treatment, and emergency care are also available.

The public healthcare system also emphasizes preventive care through education and awareness programs to improve overall population health. Immigrants can also benefit from these programs and information on how to stay healthy in their new environment.

Overall, the public healthcare system in Bhutan aims to ensure that all individuals have access to quality healthcare regardless of their nationality or socioeconomic status. This makes it beneficial for immigrants who may not have had access to affordable or comprehensive healthcare in their home countries.

15. Are there any cultural assimilation classes required before becoming a citizen of Bhutan?

No, there are no formal cultural assimilation classes required for those seeking citizenship in Bhutan. However, it is expected that individuals wishing to become citizens of Bhutan will make an effort to understand and respect the culture, customs, and values of the country. This may involve participating in local festivals and traditions, learning the national language Dzongkha, and familiarizing oneself with the history and traditions of Bhutan.

16. Can I apply for citizenship while still living in my home country or do I need to be physically present in Bhutan?

You need to be physically present in Bhutan to apply for citizenship. Applicants are required to fulfill a continuous residence requirement of at least 15 years before they can apply for citizenship.

17. What is the current political climate regarding immigration and citizenship in Bhutan?

The current political climate regarding immigration and citizenship in Bhutan is complicated and has a long history. Bhutan has adopted a strict nationality law, which requires people to prove their cultural, linguistic, and societal ties to the country in order to be recognized as citizens.

Bhutan’s Citizenship Act of 1958 outlined three categories of citizenship: naturalized citizenship for those who migrated to Bhutan before 1958, registration of foreigners for those who arrived between 1958 and 1972, and sectioned citizenship for people with long ancestral ties to the country but not necessarily born there. However, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the government introduced a “one nation, one people” policy that aimed to promote national unity and cultural homogeneity. This policy resulted in the mass expulsion of ethnic Nepalis from southern Bhutan, also known as Lhotshampas.

As a result of this ethnic cleansing campaign, tens of thousands of Lhotshampas were forced out of Bhutan and became stateless. The government began granting citizenship certificates only to those who could prove their ancestry prior to 1958, making it difficult for many Lhotshampas to obtain citizenship. Many have been living in refugee camps in Nepal since then.

In recent years, there have been efforts by the government to address this issue. In 2007, Bhutan signed a bilateral agreement with Nepal which allowed for some of the refugees to return to Bhutan if they passed a verification process. However, many remain in the refugee camps due to concerns about their safety and rights upon return.

In terms of immigration policy, like many other countries around the world, Bhutan has implemented stricter visa regulations and border controls in response to global security concerns. The government also encourages tourism but imposes restrictions on visitors from countries considered “high-risk.”

Overall, while there are ongoing efforts by both the government and international organizations to address the issues surrounding immigration and citizenship in Bhutan, it remains a complex and unresolved issue.

18. How long do I have to live in Bhutan before being eligible for citizenship?

According to Bhutan’s Citizenship Act of 1985, a person must have lived in Bhutan for at least 15 years continuously before becoming eligible to apply for citizenship. However, there are some exceptions to this rule for certain individuals, such as those married to a Bhutanese citizen or those who have served in the Royal Bhutan Army.

19. Does dual citizenship exist in Bhutan, and if so, what are the rules and regulations surrounding it?

Dual citizenship does not officially exist in Bhutan. The Constitution of Bhutan explicitly states that a person may hold only one citizenship at a time. The government also does not recognize the acquisition or relinquishment of another citizenship while living in Bhutan.

However, some individuals may hold dual citizenship by birth if they are born to a citizen parent and also acquire citizenship in another country through their other parent. In such cases, these individuals are required to renounce one of their citizenships by the age of 21.

Bhutanese citizens who voluntarily acquire another citizenship can be stripped of their Bhutanese nationality and any associated privileges, including the right to own land or conduct business activities in the country. Naturalization as a citizen of another country is considered an automatic renunciation of Bhutanese citizenship.

In exceptional cases, the government may allow for dual citizenship based on individual merit. However, this decision is made on a case-by-case basis and is subject to approval by the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs.

Overall, dual citizenship is not recognized or accepted in Bhutan, and individuals wishing to become citizens must renounce any other existing citizenship.

20. Why is immigration to Bhutan an attractive option for individuals wanting to settle down permanently?

1. Peaceful and Stable Country: Bhutan is known for its political stability and peaceful environment, making it an attractive option for individuals wanting to settle down permanently.

2. Quality of Life: Bhutan is consistently ranked as one of the happiest countries in the world. The country’s focus on Gross National Happiness (GNH) rather than just economic growth ensures a high quality of life for its citizens.

3. Low Cost of Living: The cost of living in Bhutan is relatively low compared to other developed countries, which can make it an affordable option for individuals wanting to settle down permanently.

4. Cultural Diversity: Bhutan is a culturally diverse country with a unique blend of Buddhism and ancient traditions. This can be attractive for individuals interested in learning about new cultures and ways of life.

5. Natural Beauty: Bhutan is known for its breathtaking natural beauty, including its snow-capped mountains, lush forests, and pristine rivers. This can be appealing for individuals looking for a peaceful and scenic place to live.

6. Strong Economy: Despite being a small country, Bhutan has a stable economy with consistent economic growth over the years. This provides job opportunities and can be financially beneficial for immigrants.

7. Education System: Bhutan places a strong emphasis on education, with free education available up to the university level. This can be appealing for families with children looking to settle down in Bhutan.

8. Healthcare System: The healthcare system in Bhutan is highly praised, with universal healthcare available to all citizens at little to no cost. For immigrants with health concerns or those looking to start a family, this can be an important factor.

9. Ease of Integration: The friendly culture and welcoming nature of the people in Bhutan make it easier for immigrants to integrate into society and feel at home.

10. Citizenship by Investment Program: Bhutan offers citizenship by investment program, where foreign investors who contribute significantly to the country’s economy can obtain Bhutanese citizenship. This can be an attractive option for individuals looking to settle down permanently in the country.