HOW FILMING IN VIETNAM FACILITATES YOUR PRODUCTION PROJECT?
WHICH FILMING PERMIT DO YOU NEED AND CAN OUR FIXER IN VIETNAM ARRANGE IT?
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 a film permit to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) or the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism (MoCST). For filming TV programs, reality shows, documentaries, TV commercials, corporate videos, live production of sport, political, social events, news reports, you submit the application to MoFA. For filming feature films 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) are needed to submit for permit application. As such, all preparation, scout, and research must be done before applying for a film permit.
Click here to download the Regulation on Activities of Foreign Press in Vietnam
Documents needed to submit are as follows:
- Completely filled out the Press Request Form. Please click here to download the Press Request Form
- Synopsis/purpose of the show/program
- Daily shooting plan with a list of detailed filming locations
- Copies of passports of all the crew members
- List of equipment which you bring to Vietnam
It will take around 7 - 10 working days to process and issue the Vietnam film permit from the day of receiving all the above completed documents.
MoFA and/or MoCST will assign at least one film officer (depending on the scale of your production project) to escort your crew during the time of filming in Vietnam. And please include his/her salary and expenses of travel, accommodation, and meal into your budget.
Regarding the film permit fee in Vietnam, it is usually charged on daily basis. However, in regards to large-scale production projects (a large number of crew members, number of shooting days, amount of equipment...) it is charged on a package basis.
Before issuing a film permit, MoFA and/or MoCST requests the Department of Immigration under the Ministry of Public Security to process a journalist visa for each member of the crew. After processing, the Department of Immigration will issue a letter of journalist visa approval. Your Vietnam fixer will send you a copy of the journalist visa approval letter through email. You print it out and present it to pick up a visa at the international airport upon arrival in Vietnam. The fee for visa stamping is around US$25 per person. Please remember to bring a passport-sized photo with you. Otherwise, you have to pay US$2 for taking photographs at the airport's visa counter. The other way to pick up a visa is at the Vietnam Embassy in your country to avoid queuing for ages at a busy airport.
The process of applying for a film permit will cover the process of customs clearance of equipment at the airport. The film officer will send a list of equipment to airport customs to do temporary importation before you come. On arrival day, your fixer in Vietnam and film officer are both at the airport to assist you to do immigration procedure and customs clearance of equipment.
Please note that if you want to film at National Park or National Relics, you need to apply for an extra film permit. It will incur an extra fee and time to arrange it.
Recently, to attract more tourists to Vietnam, the Vietnam government has published a new regulation that allows following nationals to enter Vietnam without a visa.
The United Kingdom 15 days
France 15 days
Italy 15 days
Spain 15 days
Germany 15 days
Belarus 15 days
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 a citizen of the above countries, you don't need a visa to enter the country. However, MoFA will consult with the Department of Immigration about your status of entering the country for filming purpose. This is an internal process.
VIETNAM DRONE PERMIT
If you want to have a drone flight in Vietnam, you have to submit an application to the Ministry of National Defence.
Click here to download Decree 36/2008/ND-CP on the management of unmanned aircraft and ultralight aircraft
Click here to download the Application Form to apply for a Vietnam drone permit.
But don't be worried! fixer in Vietnam and the film officer will help you apply for permission prior to your filming. To submit this document, you need to define the exact locations (longitude and latitude) where you want to have a drone flight and the date of flying a drone. 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.
Recently, some people have emailed to ask me whether or not they can bring in drones and have drone flights without a Vietnam drone permit. As a tourist, you can push your luck by having drone flights 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, the footage will be deleted and you got fined.
For professional shooting, my advice is that you officially apply for permission of having a drone flight in Vietnam so you can focus 100% on filming the content and not be distracted by other things.
CAN VIETNAM FIXER ARRANGE PERMITS?
Fixer in Vietnam can absolutely arrange all kinds of film permits for you. Your Vietnam fixer will work as an extended part of your film crew in Vietnam and collaborate closely with the film officer to ensure that everything will be ready before you arrive.
Besides collaborating with the film officers to arrange film permits, we are glad to suggest content, appropriate locations, find local contributors with unique stories, make filming and travel plans, arrange logistics, source local crew, supply equipment, and support onsite with translation. Anything needed to fix before or during your filming in Vietnam, we are confident that we have a precise solution.