Rules and Regulations for shooting in restricted areas of North-Eastern India

Rules and Regulations for shooting in restricted areas of North-Eastern India

restricted areas of North-Eastern India

Conceiving an idea, writing the script, composing music, writing lyrics for songs, choosing locations, casting actors, finalizing costumes, preparing sets and editing the raw footage, and converting it into a final finished piece. All these processes are included in filmmaking. And the satisfaction one gets after the idea is executed exactly the way they wanted, is priceless. While when you plan to shoot at a restricted areas of India, you require a inner line permit. This blog explains all kinds of permits required and its process and also filming Indo being India’s top media fixer can help you to get all the restricted area film & documentary shooting permissions like PAP and RAP for India states like Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram and Sikkim.


Filming abroad: A complicated process

Filming abroad in India is A complicated process

The most challenging part of the filmmaking process is shooting in foreign countries. Yes, because it requires a lot of research about the area, climate, and surroundings. And most importantly about the areas that require special permissions from the authorities. You have to apply months before your actual shooting schedule. This is where the Line Producers play a significant role. Locally hired line producers or media fixers can explain you the whole process. They can also help you with all the special permissions required for shooting.


India: World’s Largest Film Producer

India World’s Largest Film Producer

India is among the largest film producers in the world since 2007. Thousands of films are shot, produced, and directed in India every year. Indian Film Industry’s estimated value in 2019 was INR 180 billion. It is expected to grow to INR 260 billion by 2024. This growth can slow down due to the recent COVID19 pandemic. All the shooting activities have been shut down due to the nationwide lockdown. The recent regulations by the Government of India has allowed shooting in non-containment zones. But its effectiveness is still doubtful.


Restricted areas in India for foreigners

India is a geographically and culturally rich country. We have plains, forests, mountains, and plateaus. Dialect and Culture change at every few hundred kilometers in India. This makes India a popular location for shooting films. Some restricted areas in India requires special permission. Both foreigners and non-native citizens of India need special permission from the government to visit these places. Most of these areas are lies in north-eastern India.


Restricted areas in states of North-East India are:


  • Restricted ares in Arunachal Pradesh

Itanagar0, Miao, Zin Along, Namdapha and Tipi, Sejusa Bhalukpong, and Pasighat are restricted areas.


  • Restricted ares in Manipur

In Manipur, Imphal, Loktak Lake, Keibul Deer Sanctuary & Waithe Lake Konjam War Memorial, and Moirang INA Memorial are restricted areas.


  • Restricted ares in Mizoram

The capital city of Mizoram, Aizawl, Vairangte, and Thingdawl are restricted.


  • Restricted ares in Sikkim

Phodang, Gangtok, Tashiging, Tong and some other areas of Sikkim are also restricted.


Film Visa in India

Film shooting permission and Visa in India
@dannyeth filming in southern part India for a documentary TV Programme. Copyright @BearGrylls

The whole process of Film Visa proposals is handled by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The script is first approved by the Indian Government. After the completion of the film, it is first shown to the government. Only the shots approved by the government are shown to the public. For shooting films and TV serials in restricted/prohibited areas, clearance from the Ministry of Home Affairs is needed. In other cases, I & B Ministry gives and communicates the clearance to other ministries. Even for shooting documentaries or print shoots in restricted area special permission is needed from Indian Embassy/High Commissions in foreign country then another permission from Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. This process requires a lot of time and continuous followup from govt departments for approval.


Film Visa is granted to a foreigner-only for a specific film. It is valid for a maximum of one year. You have to extend it, if your shooting schedule is longer than that. Only 125 crew members are allowed under this Visa. Those coming for shooting have to register themselves with Foreigner Regional Registration Offices.


In 2015, Leslee Udwin’s documentary named ‘India’s Daughter’, based on the Nirbhaya Gangrape case of 2012 was telecasted by BBC. It had some visuals that were harmful to the image of the country. Later, its telecast was banned in the country. As a result, the Government of India made the rules for shooting of films in India by foreign nationals stricter. Now before approving the visa, the subject of the film is important. They also check whether it is harmful to the country’s global image or not. It is not issued until it gets approved by all the concerned officials.


Video filming Permits for restricted areas of India

Two types of permits are issued to foreigners visiting restricted areas of northeast India:


  • Protected Area Permit (PAP)

According to Foreigners (Protected Areas) Order 1958, a Protected Area Permit is required for all the foreign nationals visiting sensitive areas in India. To get PAP, tourists must be in a group of two. A registered travel agent is required to be with them. There are some areas where they cannot enter at all. PAP is issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs for 10 days. Different concerned authorities can also issue PAP. Indian citizens, on the other hand, requires the Inner Line Permit (ILP) to visit these areas. ILP can be issued online and offline from Delhi, Kolkata, Shillong, and from the office of CID in that area.


  • Restricted Area Permit (RAP)

According to Foreigners (Restricted Areas) Order 1963, non-Indians were required to get Restricted Area Permit to visit restricted areas in India. It can be issued to a single traveler. Overseas embassies and sometimes the airport of the state in which the restricted city is situated issues RAP. Indians do not need any permit to visit these areas.


Manipur, Nagaland, and Mizoram that were earlier included in the list of Protected areas were removed from that list in 2011. However, to visit other restricted/protected area foreign nationals needs to get the permit.


What Filming Indo can do?

Film shooting permission and Visa in India
Aaron Hutchinson filming in India. Copyright @hutchyaaron

Filming Indo is a media fixer in India. We provide you all the facilities from getting you your Visa to getting special permits like Restricted Area Permit (RAP) and Protected Area Permit (PAP). We also provide cast, crew, and equipment for shooting in India. For more information contact us at








Author: Anjali Datt





Media Production Fixer Support in India| Filming IndoIf you are in search of JournalistresearcherIndian coordinatorfixerdocumentary film maker or Line Producer to cover any specific stories in India, your search ends here. We at Filming Indo delivers all types of services to our International clients as mentioned above. We promise you to arrange everything on your behalf from interview scheduling, Public Relations to Locations management and logistics. You can leave everything on us. You have to just come to India and shoot your project. Even, if you can not come to India, we can shoot and deliver raw audio-visual footage recorded on best HD cameras to you in timely manner. 

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