Film (F) visa for shooting of a feature film/ reality TV show and/ or commercial TV serials
(1)Proposals regarding the shooting of a feature film or television/ cinema and reality TV show/ commercial TV serials will be processed in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, who will process the request and take a decision.
A foreign team may be allowed to shoot a feature film, wholly or partially, subject to the following conditions:-
Four copies of the detailed shooting script in case of feature film and detailed concept in case of TV show/ TV serials, details of visiting film crew and location of film shooting shall be submitted by the foreign team to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for scrutiny and clearance. Copies can either be forwarded directly or through an Indian Mission abroad. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, New Delhi may levy a fee for scrutiny of the application.
The film has to be shot according to the script, as approved by the Government of India. In case any material deviation is considered necessary, prior permission of the Government of India has to be obtained by the foreign team.
Ministry of Information and Broadcasting may will attach a liaison officer to the foreign team to assist them in the shooting. He/ she will stay and travel with the team. The actual expenses on the boarding, lodging and travel of the liaison officer, in connection with the shooting of the film, will be met by the Government of India.
The shooting of the film must be done in the presence of the liaison officer who will ensure that nothing detrimental to the image of India or the Indian people will be shot or included in the film. Should a disagreement arise in this respect, the matter shall be referred to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting whose decision shall be final.
The foreign team must show the complete film to a representative of the Government of India, in India or abroad (i.e. an Indian Mission abroad), before its actual full or partial release anywhere in the world after the film has been recommended by the expert who has scrutinized the script and certified. In case the foreign team desires to show the film to an Indian Mission abroad, the name of the Mission must be specified by the foreign team in advance. No portion of the film, full or partial, should be shown in the open forum without prior approval of the Government of India.
The formal application for permission to shoot in India, indicating, inter-alia, the specific locations for shooting shall be submitted to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. In some cases, prior clearance of the Ministry of Home Affairs for shooting of feature films/ TV reality shows/ serials may also be required. Ministry of I & B will examine the proposal and communicate their clearance to the Indian Missions/ Posts concerned for grant of visa to the foreigners involved. Local permission, wherever required, must be obtained by the filming team from the local authorities. The list of equipments to be temporarily imported in connection with the shooting is required to be submitted to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, in advance, who will issue recommendations to the Customs authorities to exempt such temporary import from Customs Duty.
If required, Consulate may seek clearance for the said proposal from the Ministry of External Affairs (XP Division)
If the film is a joint venture (Indo-foreign collaboration), the detailed agreement between the Indian and foreign party shall be furnished to the Government of India for specific clearance.
After the shooting is completed in India, a report giving the details of actual shots taken shall be provided, in duplicate, to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting by the Liaison Officer, in cases where a Liaison Officer has been attached with the filming unit.
An undertaking (in the form given in Appendix. I) will be required to be given to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in case any assistance is sought from any Ministry of Government of India or from any State Government/ UT. Separate agreements, as stipulated by these Ministries will, however, have to be signed with them by the foreign team.
(3) If an applicant who are coming to shoot a feature film/ reality TV show and/ or commercial TV serials in India approval of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for their proposal, grant of Grant of Film Visa (‘F’ Visa) may be considered by Consulate subject to the following conditions:-
A letter of intent regarding the shooting of the film in India, mentioning the production schedule or the dates of shooting, particulars of the cast and crew coming to India for the purpose of the shoot/ production, chosen location, list of filming equipment (if any) that is being brought into the country and other relevant details that will help the competent authority to evaluate the merit of the case, must be made by the foreign company desirous of shooting the film in India to the Indian Mission/ Post located in that country.
The Visa application must have the requisite permission to shoot the feature film for television/ cinema and reality TV show/ commercial TV serials in India from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
The visa would be project specific i.e. film specific and while issuing the visa, a specific endorsement may be made on the Visa sticker indicating the name of the project i.e. the film, for which the visa is being issued along with the name of the International Production Company.
The Indian Mission/ Post abroad, where such submission has been made, will issue Film (‘F’) visa for travel to India for the purpose of filming in India. Considering the fact that the cast and crew may be coming from a country which is not the same as that of the Foreign Production Company which is producing the film, the Indian Mission of that respective country may issue the Film Visa to the concerned person. In the case of nationals of China, North Korea, Afghanistan, Pakistan and foreign nationals of Pakistan origin, visa will be granted only after prior clearance of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The maximum duration of the Visa will be for one year with multiple entry facility, keeping in view the fact that the film production has many variables in its processes, especially about the people required to come and go, either for the purpose of technical and location recces before finalizing shooting schedules or for the purpose of being on set during production and/ or for any other purpose required to complete the project successfully.
An extension can be granted subject to submission of a letter from the company that sought permission to shoot the film in India, in support of continued activity with regard to the shooting/ production of the film. FRRO/ FRO concerned may grant the extension of visa for a maximum period of 1 year. Application to extend the period of filming must be submitted not later than thirty days before expiry date of fully approved shooting period.
The maximum number of crew for a specific film being shot by an international production company that can be allowed will be 125, unless the project is of such scale that it necessitates the presence of a larger international crew in India which will be allowed on case to case basis. A list of designations of the cast and crew that normally constitute part of a film shoot is at Appendix. II. The Production company requesting for issuance of such visas may be permitted to submit the visa applications in batches depending upon schedules and requirements instead of submission of complete list of crew.
The international cast and crew coming to India on a Film Visa for the film shoot shall be employed by the Foreign company seeking permission to shoot the film in India and the company shall take the responsibility for the cast and crew coming to India for filming. The foreigners coming on Film Visa will have to register himself/ herself with the FRRO/ FRO concerned irrespective of the duration of the Film Visa/ stay of the foreigner in India.
The foreigners being given the Film Visa may need to demonstrate that they have adequate means to support themselves in India and may need to demonstrate that they have incentive to return to their place of residence when the said Visa expires.
Foreigners being given Film Visa should refrain from commenting on any issues relating to insurgency (if any) in the areas, participating in missionary activities, meeting banned outfits or its overground/ underground functionaries.
They should strictly adhere to the norms and regulations of foreigner’s guidelines during their stay in the country and visit only the areas permitted for their visit. They should not visit any restricted/ protected area or prohibited place (as defined under the Official Secrets Act, 1923) without prior permission of the competent authority.
Money transaction for shooting of film should be done as per RBI guidelines.
No tacit agreement should be made by any foreigner (on Film, Journalist/business/employment visa or otherwise) to engage or open Indian company, registered under ROC or NGOs to involve in film/documentary making, not commensurating with national interest.
There is no change in the procedure for processing of shooting of documentary film/ advertisement film in India by a foreigner and the existing guidelines pertaining to ‘Journalist’ will continue to be applicable
Form for the undertaking required to be given by the foreign team to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in case any assistance is sought from any Ministry of Government of India or from any State Government/ UT for shooting of feature film/ reality TV show and/ or commercial TV serials
The Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Government of India, New Delhi.
With reference to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting’s letter No.......................... dated ....................... we hereby give the following undertakings: -
Shooting of the film will be done in locations in India in accordance with the script as approved by the Government of India. If we consider any material changes are necessary in the script, we shall obtain, the prior approval of the Government of India for such changes.
We shall furnish the detailed particulars of the members of the shooting team and the exact locations where the shooting would take place in India at least one month in advance of the arrival of the team in India. We note that prior approval of the Government of India is necessary for the fixing of locations for shooting in certain areas.
We note that in the case of assistance to be obtained from other Ministries such as Defence, Education etc. separate agreements as stipulated by these Ministries, are required to be signed with them.
We shall shoot the film only in the presence of a Liaison Officer where attached to the team by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
We accept that part of the Liaison Officer’s duty will be to ensure that nothing detrimental in the depiction of India or the Indian people shall be shot or included in the film. In the event of any disagreement arising between the team and the Liaison Officer in this respect, the matter will be immediately referred to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting whose decision will be final. We shall ensure that India’s security interests are not compromised in any manner.(vi) We undertake to show our completed film to the representative of the Government of India/ the Indian Mission in*_________________ for scrutiny if recommended by the Ministry of I&B and we further undertake to delete and destroy the portions of the film that may be found objectionable on such scrutiny by the Government of India, before the film is utilized for public exhibition anywhere in the world.
After the shooting of the film is completed in India we shall provide, in duplicate, to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting a narrative report about the details of shooting done in India.
Appendix. II List of designations of the cast and crew that normally constitute part of a film shoot