General Information

Where can I find information on public holidays in India?

What is GST?

GST is a Goods and Services Tax. Film Production Companies are not GST exempt and currently, it stands at 18% for filmed entertainment business. GST is not considered eligible expenditure for tax relief.

Where can I find information on weather in India?

Information on weather in India can be found at the website of Indian Meteorological Department, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India -

Do I need a visa to work on a production in India? What type of Visa will I get?

If you are not an Indian citizen or permanent resident, all staff in the Indian entertainment industry will need a temporary visa to stay. To do so, you should consult your local production services company and ask them to assist you with all shooting issues, including immigration.


Clarity in the issuance of ‘F’ / ‘J’ Visa:

As per Ministry of Home Affairs (Foreigners Division), regarding Liberalization, Simplification and Rationalization of Visa regime in India dated 29th December 2016, foreign nationals coming to India to shoot/film a feature Film / commercial TV serials / TV series / reality TV show / web series may be given ‘F’ visa, provided the Ministry of I&B has approved the project / proposal.

Foreign nationals coming to India to shoot/film ad films / AV commercials / documentary films may be given ‘J’ visa, provided the Ministry of External Affairs has approved the project/proposal.

Please note that ‘F’ Visa / ‘J’ Visa therefore, is granted/issued subsequent to the approval of the project by the Ministry of I&B and Ministry of External Affairs respectively. In other words the permission for shooting/filming in India should be obtained first and the appropriate visa should be accorded subsequently.

Clarity in issuing Visas to foreign technicians/ crew coming to India to work in Ad film / AV commercial / Music Video/ Feature Films etc.

In the case where an Indian Company/Agency is inviting an international cast, crew / technician to either work or be professionally associated with an Ad film / AV commercial / Music Videos / feature Film etc. then in such a case he / she may be given the appropriate visa as per the Visa categories specified by the Ministry of Home Affairs in the section titled Rationalization of Visa

More information can be found on the website of Ministry of External Affairs

Do I need production insurance before applying for permission?

No, you do not need insurance while applying for permission.

Post receiving permission, do I need insurance for my production?

International productions usually obtain specialised insurance to cover their specific production from their own country. In India, Line Producers / Production Service provider may do a Comprehensive General Liability (CGL) for the entire production and Group Personnel Accident (GPA) and Workman compensation for the Indian cast and crew.


Does the FFO provide permission for advertising productions?

No. FFO only accepts applications for Feature films/ Reality TV show and / or Commercial TV serials on behalf of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. Foreign Audio Visual Agencies intending to shoot Documentary films / AV commercials / Music videos in India require the permission from Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). For further information, you may refer to the link below:

I don’t know where I want to film yet. Can I get blanket permission?

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting does not issue blanket film permits. Permits are date and location-based, which means that you must tell us exactly when and where you would like to film. We cannot submit permit requests without this information.

How do I get the permit for State, and other local permits such as traffic and police?

Every State/Union Territory has a Nodal officer, who is responsible for assistance with permissions and any other filming needs. For specific location permission within a State, you may click on the State Permission form on your dashboard. The application will reach the State Nodal officer who will process the same and the post issuance, will upload the permission on the FFO portal. Location payments, if any, are to be made to the State directly and the Nodal officer will get in touch with you for the same. FFO will assist you in reaching out to the Nodal officer of the State for any specific query etc.

My production crew is small; do I still need permission?

Yes. Filming activity anywhere in the country will require a permit, regardless of size or type of production.

How many days in advance should I apply?

Your permission to shoot will normally not take more than three weeks to process for non-restricted areas. You are advised to apply 30 days in advance.

Where do I apply for and pick up my permission?

You may apply for permissions , where in you will receive the permit online as well as from the FFO office. FFO office details are given here.

How do I pay for my permission?

An application fee of US $ 225 (equivalent Indian Rupees) is required to be paid online while applying for the National permission from Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. Location specific permission fee, if any, have to be made to the respective State authority directly. The State Nodal officer will assist you with the same.

Are there any Protected/Restricted areas where filming is not allowed?

There are certain Restricted/protected areas, where permission for foreign film shooting takes longer / or may not be given. The details of Protected/Restricted Areas and requirements for obtaining Protected Area Permit (PAP)/Restricted Area Permit (RAP) for visiting is given on the website of Ministry of Home Affairs at the link below:

What is the procedure for getting permission for filming in Protected/Restricted areas?

The procedure for applying for permission for filming in Protected/Restricted areas is the same as for other locations. Kindly refer to the Step-by-Step Guide for applying for permission here. However, it takes longer for grant of permission in these areas and therefore, foreign producers are advised to apply as early as possible. Kindly note that in case you are seeking permission for other non-Protected/Restricted areas in the same application, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting will grant you the permission for other areas in the stipulated time period.

What is the procedure for temporary import of equipment for my shoot?

While applying for permission for filming, you are requested to furnish details of the equipment that you would like to carry in the format provided along with an Undertaking/Bond mentioning that the equipment would be re-exported. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting will accordingly issue a Customs Exemption Letter on the provision of the Equipment List and the Undertaking/ Bond. Please note that the FFO would require a minimum of 7 working days for processing and issuance of the Customs Exemption Letter.
You are required to show this letter to the officials of the Customs Department upon arrival in the country. For the official Notification that covers temporary import of equipment, kindly refer to the page of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs here .

Can I bring wireless transmitting equipment into the country?

Yes, you can, if the operating frequency of your wireless devices comes under the permitted operational frequency range allowed in India. You will be required to share the list of equipment with FFO, just like for other equipment. Unless the specific wireless equipment is essential to the success of your production, our recommendation would be that you hire what is required in India. However, it would be advised that you cross check with your Line Producer / Production service provider in India regarding the availability of specific equipment. For such equipment from India, the Line Producer / Production service provider is required to take the license from Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

What is the procedure for Aerial filming or shooting with Drones?

Kindly visit the website of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA)

What is the procedure for filming with animals?

Kindly refer to the page of Animal Welfare Board of India.

Click here
How do I get the permit for filming in monuments that are under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)?

The FFO web portal has integrated with the ASI portal that allows you to fill up the ASI application through the FFO dashboard. Please click on the ASI permission on the dashboard to access the same.


Where can I find Indian production companies interested in becoming Co-production partners?

FFO has compiled information of Producers who have done Co-Productions in the recent past, which you can browse and if you need further information or assistance, please

contact us
How do I get in touch with a Location Manager / Line Producer who will help me find key locations?

FFO has an online searchable Locations Database as well as a list of who have executed 2 or more international productions in India since 2016, which you can browse and if you need further information or assistance, please

contact us

Incentives Of Foreign Film Production & Post-Production Work Done In India

I am planning on a filming project in India. Am I eligible for incentives?

If you are an international producer who is planning on a filming project as a feature film, Television Series, Web Show or documentary that involves live shoot in India or if your project involves animation, post production or digital/visual effects using a Indian company, you are eligible for incenitves. There are also incentive schemes available for co-productions with an Indian producers made under the provisions of any of bilateral Audio Visual Coproduction Agreements that India has with many countries (presently 16).

My project is a documentary. Am I eligible for incentives?

Yes, Documentaries of at least 30 minutes in duration, approved for filming in India by the Ministry of External Affairs, are eligible for incentives. Documentaries that are granted official coproduction status are also eligible for incentives.

I am an Indian Animation Services company having foreign projects. Am I eligible for the incentives?

Indian Animation, Postproduction and visual effects companies can apply for incentives for such projects undertaken by them in India on behalf of a foreign entity.

Do pure animation, post production and visual effects projects qualify for the incentives?

Projects which involve only animation, post production and visual effects and visual effects services qualify for the incentives provided they are undertaken in India by an Indian Service Company.

Do pure animation, post production and visual effects projects have to apply for Ministry of I&B permission?

No, Ministry of I&B permission is not required for pure animation, post production and visual effects projects. However, if such projects are part of a coproduction under a bilateral Audio Visual Coproduction Agreement, approval of coproduction status from the Ministry of I&B, Government of India is required for which you have to apply through the FFO portal

Are pure animation, post production and visual effects projects eligible for the 5% bonus for Indian labour?

No such services do not qualify for the 5% bonus incentive.

Are there specific formats for the various declarations to be given with the applications?

Formats for the various declarations to be submitted alongwith applications are given as annexures to the guideline.

I did not apply for interim approval, can I still apply for the incentive?

Projects that have not applied for or got interim approval are not eligible to apply for incentives.

What are the timelines for application and processing of approvals?

The timelines for application and processing of approvals are given in clauses prescribing the application process of the extant guidelines.

Are there specific QPE exclusions for pure animation, post production and visual effects projects?

All services of animation, post production and visual effects undertaken in India qualify for the incentives. However, only expenses specific to the project incurred for and paid by the international agency can be claimed as Qualifying Production Expenses.

What is the minimum Qualifying Production Expenses required for applying?

The minimum QPE requirements are laid out in clause 3.4 of the guidelines for production of foreign films. There are no minimum QPE requirements for official coproductions.

How will I know if my project requires an NOC from an Indian Mission?

At the stage of obtaining permission for filming in India, the script of the project is evaluated by the Script Evaluation Officer (SEO). They may recommend, while clearing the script, that the final film may be shown to an Indian Government representative for No Objection Certificate (NOC) so that there is no deviation from the submitted script. The Indian Government representative would normally be an officer of an Indian Mission (Embassy/High Commission/Consulate) abroad. This requirement would be mentioned in the approval letter given by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. In order to get the NOC from the Indian Mission, the producer may approach the FFO and the FFO will forward the same to the concerned Mission. However, in the case of documentaries, NOC has to be obtained by the producer directly from the Indian Mission that has granted them permission for filming of the documentary.

Are postproduction services for films already released (e.g dubbing into Indian languages) eligible for the incentives?

The incentives scheme is primarily for new projects and therefore post release post production work (dubbing, etc.) would normally not be eligible.

What do you mean by script or storyboard in the case of animation projects /Treatment (in case of postproduction only projects) and/ or any material that provides a full description of the production in clause 4.7.1 of the guidelines?

As such projects do not go through a script evaluation process as in the case of live shoots, this requirement is for the FFO to have an idea about the kind of project. Description of production is required. In the absence of a full script, a logline/synopsis may be provid

Can I apply separately for post production and live shoot?

One project can apply for incentives only once and all costs incurred in production including post production are to be included in the application.

What is the date from which expenses incurred can be included for consideration of incentive?

The date of grant of permission for filming in India by Ministry of I&B or Ministry of External Affairs (in the case of documentaries) would be considered. In the case of incentives for pure post production, animation or visual effects services, expenses incurred from the date of submission of form for interim approval of incentive to the FFO would be considered.

Are short films/reels,etc eligible to apply for incentives?

The guidelines specify that Feature Films should be of at least 72 Minutes duration and documentaries at least 30 minutes duration in order to be eligible to apply for incentives

How long is the Interim Approval Certificate valid?

FFO will issue an Interim Approval Certificate which will be valid for a period of 12 months, for the purpose of Final Application. In case of projects that have a QPE of INR 200 Million/ Rs 20 Crore or more, the validity of the Interim Approval Certificate will be 24 months. However, if there are changes in schedule that require extension of validity of the Interim Approval certificate, the same may be intimated and in such cases, a fresh application would need to be made.

Are there specific inclusions and exclusions in the QPE?

The list of inclusions and exclusions in QPE are specified in clauses 3.4 and 4.4.

Is there any specific timeline for the meeting of the Special Incentive Evaluation Committee?

The meetings of the SIEC can be called by the chairman of the committee on a need basis and there are no regular dates for the meeting.

How will I know if a decision is made regarding my incentives?

As soon as the decision of the SIEC is approved by Managing Director, NFDC the same including the amount of incentive approved is conveyed to the applicant.

Can I appeal a decision of the SIEC?

The decision of the Committee is final and shall not be challenged in any Court of Law.

Incentives For Official Audio Visual Coproductions With Foreign Countries

What are the eligible formats for incentives for coproductions?

Any production that has been recognized as an official coproduction by the Government of India under any one of the bilateral Audio Visual Coproduction Agreements are eligible for incentives under the scheme. The formats and duration of the production are governed by the clauses of the individual treaties.

I am making a documentary which would be a coproduction, who do I apply for permission to?

In the case of documentaries, the authority to accord filming permission vests with the Ministry of External Affairs. However, if your International Coproducer is from a country which has a Coproduction treaty with India and if the treaty recognizes documentaries as an acceptable format for coproductions, you need to apply for approval of coproduction status with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting through the FFO

I am making an animation film which is a coproduction that would only involve animation services in India. Can I apply for incentives?

Yes you can apply for incentives. However before you apply for incentives, you need to get approval of coproduction status from India (Ministry of I&B through FFO ) and the other country.

Who will be responsible for applying for the incentives?

The Indian Coproducer should apply for the incentives and the same will be disbursed to them.

What is the minimum Qualifying Coproduction Expenditure?

There is no minimum QCE requirement under the scheme of incentives for Audio Visual Coproductions.

From which date can the expenses be counted for inclusion under the scheme as QCE?

Expenses can be counted from the date of grant of approval for filming by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. In the case of animation projects, where no prior application for filming is required; the date of grant of coproduction status will be considered as the start date for counting of expenses.

Can I apply for interim disbursal?

The Indian coproducer can apply for first disbursal of incentives for upto 50% of the approved QCE as reimbursement.