FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Looking for answers? Search the questions below or ask your own at ffo@nfdcindia.com

I. General Information

Information on weather in India can be found at the website of Indian Meteorological Department, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India - http://www.imd.gov.in/
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.
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
www.mea.gov.in
No, you do not need insurance while applying for permission.
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.

II. Permission

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:
http://www.mea.gov.in/documentary-filming-in-india.htm
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.
Every State/Union Territory has a Nodal officer, who is responsible for assistance with permissions and any other filming needs. Once your production has received the permission from Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, FFO will assist you in reaching out to the Nodal officer of the State where you would like to shoot. Many Indian States offer a single window facility for filming permissions.
Yes. Filming activity anywhere in the country will require a permit, regardless of size or type of production.
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.
An application fee of US $ 225 (equivalent Indian Rupees) is required to be paid while applying for permission. The same may be made online, if applying for permission online or through a Demand Draft, made in favour of Pay & Accounts Officer, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, in case of an offline application.
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:
https://mha.gov.in/MHA1/PAP.html
https://mha.gov.in/PDF_Other/AnnexVII_01022018.pdf
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.
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 provision of the Equipment List and the Undertaking/ Bond. 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 .
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).
Kindly refer to the page of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) here.
Kindly refer to the page of Animal Welfare Board of India here.

III. Resources

FFO has an online data of Producers Associations and their members, which you can browse and if you need further information or assistance, please contact us.
FFO has an online searchable Locations Database as well as directory of Production Service Companies, which you can browse and if you need further information or assistance, please contact us.