I. Journalist visas
- Journalist visas are given to professional journalists and photographers for up to three months' stay in India. The journalist visa is normally valid for single entry to India. Applicants are requested to obtain visas through Visa Facilitation Service (VFS). (All queries relating to Indian visa services should be directed to them)
- Journalists, Editors/Writers of Television networks and Radio Stations travelling to India on work or vacation are required to apply along with a copy of their Media Accreditation Card and/or a document from their organization describing clearly the nature of their work and whether they are travelling on work or as tourists.
II. Documentary related work
- Prior authorization of the Indian Government is mandatory for any audiovisual reporting/ shooting of documentary films in India, regardless of their subject, category or duration. These include documentary films, reportages, institutional or educational films, radio documentary, still shoots, corporate videos, television commercials and publicity, or any other audiovisual report meant for public diffusion or telecast.
Please Note: Feature films/Reality shows/Commercial TV serials: The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is the nodal ministry to process requests for a shooting of feature films, reality TV shows and Commercial TV serials in India. For further information, please contact Joint Secretary (Films), Ministry of Information & Broadcasting at jsfilms[dot]inb[at]nic[dot]in or fax to +91-11-23073775.
- Foreign Audio Visual Agencies intending to shoot documentary films/AV commercials should send the completed application form and signed undertaking (placed below) to the officer responsible for Press and Information work in the High Commissions of India for processing. Once the proposal is approved, the Indian missions abroad will issue Journalist ('J') visa for travel to India for filming. Documentary filming is not permissible on other types of visas (e.g. tourist/business visas). Import of only filming equipment is facilitated upon issue of the clearance.
- All pages of the filming application form have to be printed on the letter-head paper of the company. The Undertaking has to be duly signed, dated and stamped. Two copies of the duly filled application form and Undertaking have to be submitted to the High Commission of India, London for processing, and should contain the following information in the order indicated:
- Application Form (click here)
- Undertaking (click here)
- Detailed Synopsis
- Itinerary (Ports of entry and exit from India to be indicated)
- Bio-profile of the journalist/ film-director
- Brief presentation of the production agency
- List of crew-members giving the following details:
- Name and surname as featuring in the passport
- Contact coordinates - telephone & e-mail
- Date and place of birth (Day/ Month/ Year)
- Passport number & validity
- The usual processing time is up to 15 working days. However, it is underlined that the processing time is approximately up to 15 weeks if the filming proposal involves (a) sensitive issues or if the itinerary includes restricted/protected/prohibited or vulnerable zones, reserve forests (b) underwater or aerial filming, as these cases all require prior and mandatory clearance from different Ministries and authorities in India. Click here to open/download Terms & Conditions for Filming (imposed by Ministry of Environment and Forests) pdf
- Applications for aerial filming are to be directly submitted to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, under intimation to the High Commission of India, London. Information is available on the website http://www.dgca.nic.in/forms/forms.htm.
- Please note that the authorization number is indicated on the visas of the filming crew, therefore no visa can be accorded before the clearance is issued.
- The High Commission of India, London cannot be held responsible for delays in the issuance of authorization, or for refusal of visas due to Consular reasons.
- All filming applications (in English) are to be addressed by post to:
Second Secretary (Press & Information)
High Commission of India
India House, Aldwych, London
Scanned copies of the filming application are to be sent by mail to: ss[dot]pni[at]hcilondon[dot]in and doc[dot]pni[at]hcilondon[dot]in
III. Temporary Import of Filming Equipment:
For temporary import of equipment to film in India, a custom facilitation letter is issued to the crew members. The following information on company’s letterhead needs to be submitted by email at least two weeks prior to departure: (Please mention the crew members who would be carrying the equipment in case of different flights of the crew)
- Name, nationality and passport details of all the crew members (do not send photocopies of the passports)
- Port of Entry and Exit including flight name and date
- Full list of cinematic equipment (No satellite equipment allowed)
- Mission/MEA’s approval letter for the documentary