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Tourist visa to shoot in India

tourist visa

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#1 Anup Bhandari

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 07:30 PM

Hi,
 
One of my American friends is planning to travel to India to shoot the streets and some popular places in India.
In my opinion, he should be ok with a visitor visa but he wasn't very sure since he wants to carry his red epic with lens and other accessories on the flight (which I know is allowed on an employee visa). 
 
Any suggestions? If he travels with a tourist visa is there any additional permission required for carrying his equipments on board?
 
Thanks

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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 10:19 PM

Onboard the flight? I can't think of ever being asked what visa I have to look through my carry on personally; however I would assume he would have some troubles once he landed and started shooting....


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#3 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 02:20 PM

I shot in India a few years ago. We travelled on tourist visas and had no problem with Immigration, even though we had 35 flight cases of equipment with us.


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#4 Anup Bhandari

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 08:42 AM

Thanks Adrian and Stuart.

 

Stuart, based on our response is it safe to assume that my friend would not have any issues carrying his RED EPIC, lenses and other accessories online even if he is traveling on tourist visa?

 

Also what should he give the reason for visit as? And would he require a carnet or any special permissions for the camera and equipments (considering it is bulky and fragile)? - 


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#5 Anup Bhandari

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 01:52 AM

Thanks Adrian and Stuart.

 

Stuart, based on our response is it safe to assume that my friend would not have any issues carrying his RED EPIC, lenses and other accessories online even if he is traveling on tourist visa?

 

Also what should he give the reason for visit as? And would he require a carnet or any special permissions for the camera and equipments (considering it is bulky and fragile)? - 

* carrying RED EPIC, lenses and other accessories as carry on luggage on flight. 


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#6 Landon Parks

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 10:53 PM

This is something you should really be asking the Indian or US Embassy about. If you just like to read and understand legal terms, I'm sure what you can and cant do a tourist visa is available to the public. However, much trouble can arise if he is violating visa laws - up to and including jail. I'd seriously consider legal counsel or US/Indian Embassy help. 


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#7 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 01:10 AM

When I went to India, Immigration & Customs did not appear to be the most diligent of organisations. An Epic is probably small enough that he would get away with claiming it was a stills camera.


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#8 Landon Parks

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 03:38 AM

An epic as a still camera? Maybe if it didn't have a lens. An epic is basically not usable unless its decked out somewhat. I think even the Indian's are smart enough to recognize an epic from a still camera. They do have Bollywood, after all. However - this is assuming its illegal to film in India on a visitors visa. Frankly, unless your making money there, working for someone, etc I don't see how taking a movie camera in and recording some stuff could be illegal, as long as the Camera itself is not in violation of anything.

 

A lot of this could depend on rather "money" is changing hands or your conducting "business" in the country. This is tricky as it strattles a legal line. In one sense, its certainly not illegal for a tourist to bring a video camera I wouldn't think. Look at it like this: Will the filming require a permit? Would it require a permit if shot in a typical American city? If so - it may be considered transacting business. 

 

But this is just my opinion, and in no way legal advice.


Edited by Landon Parks, 07 April 2013 - 03:41 AM.

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#9 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 01:50 PM

An epic as a still camera? Maybe if it didn't have a lens. An epic is basically not usable unless its decked out somewhat. I think even the Indian's are smart enough to recognize an epic from a still camera. They do have Bollywood, after all. However - this is assuming its illegal to film in India on a visitors visa. Frankly, unless your making money there, working for someone, etc I don't see how taking a movie camera in and recording some stuff could be illegal, as long as the Camera itself is not in violation of anything.

 

A lot of this could depend on rather "money" is changing hands or your conducting "business" in the country. This is tricky as it strattles a legal line. In one sense, its certainly not illegal for a tourist to bring a video camera I wouldn't think. Look at it like this: Will the filming require a permit? Would it require a permit if shot in a typical American city? If so - it may be considered transacting business. 

 

But this is just my opinion, and in no way legal advice.

 

'Even the Indians', Landon? Careful with the casual racism.

 

Most customs officials do not follow the latest developments in the camera world, and are unlikely to be able to tell an Epic from a stills camera. I travel frequently with a Mamiya MF camera, 5 lenses, tripod, light meter and all kinds of other stuff, and no-one has ever questioned whether it is personal or professional equipment. Tourists often carry all kinds of equipment with them, and customs officials have seen it all before. The OP's friend would have to be very unlucky to attract the attention of customs.


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#10 peter roehsler

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 03:16 PM

To bring in professional equipment under the eyes of customs officials is certainly some kind of sport. While there is not guarantee for success, I recommend to play everything by the book: find out if there are customs regulations for such gear, if you need shooting permits, if you need work permits and such. I am sure an Indian embassy in your home country could help to answer all these questions.


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