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Shooting an amateur documentary in India : which visa ?

Discussion in 'Visa and Passport' started by jonaternet, Jan 4, 2017.

  1. jonaternet

    jonaternet New Member


    I wish to go to India to make a first documentary as amateur, It should be just a first trip to find interesting locations, but I still also intend to shoot images, and therefore come with audio and video material, light enough but not really discrete. I may also hire an assistant to translate and hold the microphone.

    The theme of my documentary is the recycling of objects, a subject that had fascinated me during a previous trip in India. I therefore willl be filming modest people like farmers or craftsmen in places that are not normally filmed by tourists. I will be requesting the prior authorization of the people filmed, and plan in advance the shooting sessions with them.
    I suppose I could apply for a tourist visa, since I am not employed in a job that requires a journalist visa.
    Applying for a journalist visa means I must also apply for filming permission with the XP division of the Ministry of External Affairs, and therefore indicate * All * the locations of filming planned while I do not know them yet, and indicate who is my employer, when I am self-employed and will probably not sell the images I am shooting...
    Moreover, the time needed to get these permissions are indefinite and may put me totally out of the wanted timeframe (end of january - end of april) .
    So my questions are ,
    1 - Is it actually allowed to shoot a documentary as a non-professional hobbyist, with a T-visa ?
    2 - No matter which visa I choose, do you think I can be bothered by the police while shooting ?

  2. Harish

    Harish New Member

    I don't know all the information which you require but what I do know is that for a professional journalist and photographers a journalist visa is required.

    As long as the equipment you have isn't the professional type or you are not professional in this field then you should be fine with a tourist visa., but I would double check with the Indian Embassy.

    If you are making a document type of film and you will have large filming equipment then you will have to make a Document Visa application and if you wish to take the crew members would also have to make a relevant application for the visa (for some it is a Business visa fro crew members, you would need to double check with the embassy).

    If you are using professional tools for filming then you also have to obtain clearance from the Government of India for filming in India. This procedure can take anything from 2 to 8 weeks.

    No, you won't be bothered by the police, there are plenty of tourists who come to India make movies and take pictures. You should be fine.


  3. ChaiNashta

    ChaiNashta Active Member

    You need permission from the local high commission and relevant visa before you can shoot a documentary or interview people. I read in the news paper last week that a French national was arrested while he was interviewing some separatist leaders in Kashmir. You should not take such laws for granted.