Film (F) Visa
This category visa would be applicable for foreign nationals who propose to go to India for shooting of a feature film, reality TV show and/or commercial TV serials. Its salient features are as under;
- Foreign national intending to obtain F Visa should apply in 60 days advance of actual commencement of the shooting programme.
- Four copies of the detailed shooting script in case of feature film and detailed concept in case of TV show/ TV serials, details of the visiting film crew and location of film shooting shall be submitted by the foreign team to the Mission or directly to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for scrutiny and clearance. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting may levy a fee for scrutiny of application.
- The film has to be shot according to script, as approved by the Govt of India. In case any material deviation is considered, prior permission of the Govt of India has to be obtained by the foreign team.
- Ministry of Information and Broadcasting will attach a Liaison Officer to the foreign team to assist them in shooting, wherever it is felt necessary to do so by the Script Evaluator. He/she will stay and travel with the team. The actual expanses on the boarding, lodging and travel of the Liaison Officer, in connection with the shooting of film will be met by the Government of India as admissible.
- The shooting of the film must be done in the presence of the Liaison Officer (where Liaison Officer has been attached on recommendation of the Script Evaluator) who will, as part of his/her duties, 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 will be final.
- The foreign team should show the complete film to a representative of the Government of India, in India or abroad (i.e. the Indian Mission abroad), before its actual release anywhere in the world after the film has been recommended by the expert who has scrutinized the script and certified that the film has nothing objectionable from any point of view of presentation of a correct and balanced image of topic/country covered. 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 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 location for shooting shall be submitted to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Local permission wherever required, must be obtained by the filming team from the local authorities. The list of equipment to be temporarily imported in connection with the shooting is required to be submitted to Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, in advance, who will issue recommendations to the Custom authorities to exempt such temporary import from custom duty.
- If the film is a joint venture (indo-foreign venture), the detailed agreement between the India and foreign part shall be furnished to the Govt 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 case where a Liaison Officer has been attached with the filming unit.
- An undertaking will be required to be given to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in case any assistance is sought from any Ministry of Govt 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.
- The maximum duration of the F Visa will for one year with multiple facilities, any further extension will be done by concerned FRRO/FRO.
- The maximum number of crew for a specific film being shot by an international production company that can be allowed under F Visa is 125, unless the project if of such scale that it necessitates the presence of a larger crew in India which will be allowed on case to case basis. The visa can be applied in batches.
- The international cast and crew coming to India on an F 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. Registration will be mandatory in respect of F visa.
- The foreigner being given F visa may need to demonstrate that they have adequate means to support themselves in India and may need to demonstrate that they have incentives to return to their place of residence when the said visa expires.
Money transaction for film shooting should be done as per RBI guidelines.
Mandatory Biometric Enrolment & Interview
Biometric enrolment is mandatory for issue of any visa of long term beyond one year. The applicant would also be required to come to the Mission for an interview with the Consular officer.