FILMING IN VIETNAM

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465 Hoàng Hoa Thám, Vĩnh Phúc, Ba Đình, Hà Nội, Vietnam

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YOUR TRUSTWORTHY PRODUCTION PARTNER IN VIETNAM

FILMING IN VIETNAM

What You Need To Know!

VIETNAM FILM PERMIT

 

For foreign production crews who would like to come to Vietnam to film, it is required by law that you have to apply for film permit to Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) or Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MoCST). For shooting or (live) covering TV show, reality show, documentary, social short news stories/features, sport and entertainment events, corporate video, TV commercial, Indian-style video song and photo shoot...you submit application to MoFA. For filming feature film or movies like "Kong Skull Island", "Tomorrow Never Dies", you submit documents to MoCST. Cast and crew also need journalist visas to enter the country for filming purposes. The final shooting schedule, itinerary and list of shooting locations, local contributors, script, if applicable is needed to submit for permit application. As such, all preparation, scout and research must be done before applying for film permit.

Click here to download the Regulation on Activities of Foreign Press in Vietnam

Documents needed to submit are as follows:

- Filled in Press Request Form

Please click here to download the Press Request Form

- Synopsis of the show/program

- Daily shooting plan with detailed filming locations

- Copies of passport of the crew members

- List of equipment which you bring in Vietnam

It will take around 7 - 10 working days to issue the Vietnam film permit from the day of receiving all completed documents.

MoFA will assign at least one film officer (depending on the scale of your production project) to escort your time of filming in Vietnam. And please include his/her expenses of travel, accommodation, meal and salary in your budget.

Regarding the film permit fee in Vietnam, it is usually charged on daily basis. However, in regards to large-scale production project (large number of crew members, number of shooting days, amount of equipment...) it is charged on package basis.

Before issuing film permit, MoFA requests Department of Immigration under Ministry of Public Security to process journalist visa for each member of the crew. After processing, Department of Immigration will issue letter of journalist visa approval. Your Fixer in Vietnam will send you the letter of journalist visa approval through email. You print it out and show it at the airport for picking up visa at the international airport upon arrival. The fee for visa stamping is US$25 per person. Please remember to bring passport photo with you. Otherwise, you have to pay US$2 for taking photograph at visa counter at the airport. 

Recently, to attract more tourists to Vietnam, Vietnam government has published a new regulation which allows following nationals to enter Vietnam without visa.

United Kingdom 15 days – from 1 July, 2015
France 15 days – from 1 July, 2015
Italy 15 days – from 1 July, 2015
Spain 15 days – from 1 July, 2015
Germany 15 days – from 1 July, 2015
Belarus 15 days – from 1 July, 2015
 
Japan 15 days
South Korea 15 days
Sweden 15 days
Norway 15 days
Denmark 15 days
Russia 15 days 
Finland 15 days 
 
Cambodia 30 days
Thailand 30 days
Malaysia 30 days
Singapore 30 days
Indonesia 30 days
Laos 30 days
Philippines 21 days
Brunei 14 days
Myanmar 14 day

If you are citizens of above countries, you don't need visa to enter the country. However, MoFA will consult with Department of Immigration about your status of entering the country for filming purpose. This is internal process.

The process of applying for film permit will cover the process of customs clearance of equipment at the airport. Film Officer will send list of equipment to airport customs to do temporary importation before you come. On arrival day, fixer and Film Officer are both at the airport to assist you in doing immigration procedure and customs clearance of equipment.

VIETNAM DRONE PERMIT

If you want to have drone flight in Vietnam, you have to submit application to Ministry of National Defence.

Click here to download Decree 36/2008/ND-CP on management of unmanned aircraft and ultralight aircraft

Click here to download the Application Form to apply for Vietnam drone permit.

But don't be worried! Fixer in Vietnam and Film Officer will help you applying for permission prior your shooting. To submit this document, you need to define the exact locations (longitude and latitude) where you would like to have drone flight. It will take around 10 working days to issue this kind of permit. It is not necessary to present any certificate of the pilot who will operate the drone.

Some people emailed to ask me whether or not they can bring drone and have drone flight in Vietnam without Vietnam drone permit. As a tourist, you can push your luck by having drone flight at places/attractions which are not very touristy or not in the center of Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh city or other major cities. The highest risk is that your drone will be confiscated, footage will be deleted and you got fined.

For professional shooting, my advice is that you officially apply for permission of having drone flight in Vietnam so you can focus on content filming 100% and not be distracted by other things.