June 11, 2020
Visa tips

Applying for a Vietnam Film Permit

Several foreign films have been filmed in Vietnam in the past. These include Hollywood Box Office Hits like Tomorrow Never Dies and Kong: Skull Island. If you are thinking of filming a show or movie in Vietnam, it’s important that you apply for a permit ahead of time.

All foreign production crews who will come to Vietnam to shoot are required by the Vietnam government to apply for a film permit. The permit can be applied from Vietnam’s Sports and Tourism Culture and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Ministry of Culture. This applies to all sorts of mediums, such as TV programs, commercials, reality shows, Bollywood films, corporate videos, social events, live sports production, news coverage, ad more. The application must be submitted to MoFA or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Documents Needed for the Application of Vietnam Film Permit

When applying for the film permit, you will be required to submit certain documents. You are also required to include all the important details about the film, such as the itinerary, final shooting schedule, local contributors, list of shooting locations, and script if it’s already available. Thus, preparation, scouting, and research should be done prior to applying for the permit.

Below is the list of requirements that are required for the permit.

  • Completely filled out Press Request Form – you can download this form online. Print the form and fill it out completely.
  • Synopsis – this is a brief summary of the program including the purpose of the show or film.
  • The daily schedule of the shooting plan including detailed information of the various filming locations
  • Passport copy of all film crew members
  • A detailed list of all the equipment that will be brought to Vietnam to be used for the shooting.

Processing Time And Fees

The standard processing time for the Vietnam film permit is 7 to 10 working days from the day of receiving all documents stated above. Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs will assign a film officer to be with you during the filming. But this will also depend on the overall scale of film production. You are required to shoulder the cost of accommodation, food, salary, and travel expenses of the film officer.

The fee of the Vietnam film permit will be charged every day. But for large-scale projects, which include a large number of crews, several days of shooting, and a lot of filming equipment, the fee will be on a package basis.

Before MoFA issues the Vietnam film permit, they will first request from the Department of Immigration to issue a journalist visa for every member of the film crew. When their journalist visas are approved, Vietnam’s Dept. of Immigration will send them an approval letter. The agency that will assist you in the filing of the Vietnam film permit will send you a copy of these visa approval letters.

Take note that the letter is not yet the visa. This must be printed and presented at the Vietnam airport upon arrival before the actual visa is issued. Before the visa is issued, there is a stamping fee that must be paid. This will cost around $25 per person. Each member of the film crew is required to bring a passport-sized photo with him or her. Otherwise, you will have to pay $2 for your photograph to be taken at the airport’s visa counter. There is also an option to claim the journalist visas from the embassy of Vietnam in your country.

Why Do You Need A Vietnam Film Permit?

Under Vietnamese law, all foreign production companies that will be shooting a film in Vietnam are required to obtain a film permit. As mentioned above, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be responsible for processing and issuing the permit. Anyone who will be caught filming in Vietnam without the necessary permit will face legal consequences.

Applying for a film permit is actually beneficial to the foreign production company. If the permit is approved, the government will assign a film officer who will be with you all throughout the duration of the filming. He will closely work with you in finalizing the filming and will assist you in all the legalities and procedures involved. Furthermore, the film officer will make sure that you have all the required documents to film to avoid any delays.

Since the officer is familiar with Vietnam, he can also help in scouting for shooting locations. You will also be required to inform the local authorities of all these locations to avoid any issues. This is to also ensure that the filming will go smoothly.

It’s a good idea to look for an agency that can apply for the Vietnam film permit on your behalf. The agency will assist you with everything and will advise you on some important matters. They can also apply for a drone permit on your behalf, but you will be required to provide the locations from where you intend to fly the drone.


If you are working with the press and you are planning to visit Vietnam, there are lots of things you need to know about. First of all, you need to know that there’s media censorship in Vietnam, as implemented by Vietnam’s Communist Party.