About Us Journalist Visas / Documentary Filming in India


Journalist visas are given to professional journalists and photographers for up to three months' stay in India. Applicants are requested to obtain visas through the Consulate.

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Journalists, Editors/Writers of Television networks and Radio Stations traveling 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 traveling on work or as tourists.

Visa for Documentary Film Making in India by Foreign Audio Visual Agencies 

Obtaining visa for the purpose of documentary film making in India is a two stage process:

a) Applying for clearance of documentary film

Documentary film makers are required to obtain approval/clearance of the Government of India for filming a documentary in India, which may take 2 to 8 weeks’ time to come through. For obtaining clearance for a documentary film, the following documents are required to be submitted to the Consulate:

Please send all the above documents by email to the Consulate at San Francisco to Consul (CIC) at cca.cgisf@mea.gov.in Applications from media persons/agencies based in other areas (other than those under jurisdiction of the Consulate General of India, San Francisco) may be submitted to the concerned Embassy/Consulate. Please refer to Consular Jurisdiction.

b) Applying for visa for documentary 

On receipt of clearance from India, Embassy will issue a ‘No Objection’ for the documentary. Documentary Visa application may then be submitted to the Consulate along with a copy of Consulate’s ‘No Objection. Upon receipt of customs permit for import of filming equipment, Consulate will issue a ‘J’ (Journalist ) Visa to the crew members for travel to India.

Documentary filming is not permissible on other types of visas (e.g. tourist/business visas). Those traveling to India, as crew members, for shooting a Feature Film/Realty Show/Commercial TV Show, are advised to apply for a ‘B ’(Business) Visa and not a ‘J’ (Journalist) Visa.

Visas to Foreign Nationals Seeking to Work in Indian Media Organizations 

Journalists or intern journalists who intend to travel to India to work in Indian media organizations should apply for Employment ‘E’ visas.
E Visa applicants are required to submit the following documents along with the visa application:

  • Request from the company;
  • A copy of contract with the company;
  • Registration details of the Indian company; and
  • An undertaking from the Indian employer (pdf document)

Citizens of the following countries do not need a visa to enter India:

  • Bhutan
  • Nepal

Consular Services