Getting the right visas and filming permit can be tricky anywhere in the world.
Specific rules apply to each country.
In Indonesia, anyone wanting to shoot must obtain a journalistic visa. That’s the name of the visa, it doesn’t matter that you actually are journalist or not.
Let us walk you through the process.
INDONESIA JOURNALISTIC VISA & FILMING PERMIT
1. FIND THE RIGHT PRODUCTION HOUSE OR SERVICE COMPANY TO WORK WITH
- Search online, ask a friend, or ask your local Indonesian Consulate for any recommended production houses, production service companies, or fixers that you should work with on your next production.
Of course, we are biased as this is BALIPROD’s bread and butter. ????
We work strictly with international clients looking to use Indonesia and Southeast Asia’s incredible locations for their production.
- Depending on the project that you are about to shoot, there are a variety of different service companies and fixers for you to work with here in Indonesia.
Whether you are shooting an advertisement, TV show, feature film, documentary or other, some have more experience in certain areas than others.
- The company you choose from the beginning is who you will work with for the entirety of the production.
Once you and your production service company / fixer has submitted the applications for visas and permits, you will legally ONLY be able to work with that specific production house or fixer.
- Before your chosen production service or fixer is able to submit your journalistic / film visa application, they will need a list of possible locations for the shoot to take place.
It’s okay if we choose more than we will actually use.
These locations will transfer over to your film permit which we will explain later on in this article.
2. CREATE AND SIGN A CONTRACT BETWEEN THE PRODUCTION HOUSE / FIXER AND YOUR COMPANY
This is the very first step towards starting the legal process. No application will be complete without that.
You can find an example of invitation letter here.
3. COMPLETE ALL REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION
Here is the list of documents that should be provided with your application. Some of them are provided by the production service company or fixer in Indonesia.
- Crew passport copy
- Application form duly filled in.
You can download it here:
Blangko Permohonan Crew Film Asing di Perwakilan RI di luar negeri.
- Company Profile – see an example on the right ????????
- Photo of all crews (2X2 inches with white background)
- Copy of Production service company (or fixer) TDUP – we provide that
- Invitation letter from production service company (or fixer) – we provide that.
4. SUBMIT THE REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION TO THE INDONESIAN EMBASSY
You can submit the required information including sponsor letter from the production service or fixer you will use, the project brief and storyboards, locations intended to shoot.
Please keep in mind that when you submit these documents, the physical passports from each member in your group will need to be presented at the consulate later when they approve the visa as the Consulate will place it in your passport directly.
This visa can not be handed out and given to someone in your crew, and there is not a possible way to arrive at the airport in Indonesia and collect the visas there.
So, when submitting, if someone else on your team is located in a different part of the world, please state on the application at which consulate they will travel to pick up their physical visa.
[alert style=”warning”]QUICK TIP: Applicants don’t actually have to go in person.
You can have one of your staff/PA go to the Consulate for you however not a courier.[/alert]
5. GOVERNMENT REVIEWS APPLICATION
The application will be reviewed by the Consulate for ±5 business days.
6. APPLICATION IS SENT TO JAKARTA FOR REVIEW FROM THE MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND EDUCATION
After the local Consulate sends the application to the head office in Jakarta, the Ministry of Culture and Education and the Film Commission will review the applications.
The government holds a meeting once a week on Thursdays to approve or deny any applications submitted in the prior week.
Depending on your planned arrival date in Indonesia, keep this in mind!
From the review process in this meeting, it can take up to 2 additional weeks before your visas are issued and in your passports, so make sure you plan accordingly.
7. APPLICATION WILL BE APPROVED, DENIED, OR ASKED FOR MORE INFORMATION
The Consulate will notify the applicant if any additional information is required.
8. IMMIGRATION ISSUES TELEX FOR VISA
Upon approval of your application, Indonesia Immigration will issue a Telex (= approval form) to your local Consulate enabling them to create the visa which will go into your passport.
9. VISIT CONSULATE TO SUBMIT PASSPORT AND PAY FEES
Applicant will be requested to come to the Consulate to submit hard copies of passports, visa applications and pay associated visa fees.
10. PICKUP YOUR JOURNALIST / FILM VISA
Your visa will be ready for pick up in about 4-5 business days.
When you go pickup your visa you will need to bring hard copies of passport for everyone in your group in person to the Indonesian Consulate.
???????????????? YOU CAN NOW TAKE YOUR FLIGHT TO INDONESIA! ????????
[alert style=”success”]Again, applicants don’t need to go themselves.
You can have one of your staff or PA go to the Consulate for you – no courier.[/alert]
You don’t have to do anything – we handle that.
11. OBTAIN A FILM PERMIT
Once the visas have been obtained, we aren’t done yet – almost there!
It is now your production service company / fixer’s responsibility to submit your visa along with exact dates of shooting and locations.
In our opinion, it’s better to give a wider range of dates in case later on your dates move as if we want to adjust and edit the permit, a new fee will be added as well.
Same goes for locations, so put on all possible locations for your project.
DRONES, DRONE PILOTS AND AERIAL FOOTAGE
When it comes to aerial shoots, Indonesia, like any other country, has very strict laws about flying drones.
So can you shoot with a drone in Indonesia?
Short answer is yes but bear in mind that the following points for non recreational drones:
- Drone operators need an official license from Indonesian government
- No foreigner can be a license holder as licenses are given to Indonesian nationals only
- Depending on locations, there might be an extra fee for drone permits
- Some locations prohibit any kind of flying over (i.e. some religious places, airports, sensitive locations, etc…)
That being said, we are very savvy about drones at Baliprod and have world class freelance or in house drone operators available.
We also have access to any sort of drones for rent you may want to use for your shoot.
HOW TO BRING FILM GEAR INTO INDONESIA?
Indonesia is the 84th country to accept Carnet ATA.
As a result, since May 15th, 2015, anyone can bring into the country film gear from abroad on a temporary basis.
There is no limit as to how much items you can bring. Validity is 6-12 months.
Do note however that it might not be beneficial to pay transportation overweight since any kind of gear can be rented locally.
There are quite many film equipment rental companies in Bali and Jakarta.
Please contact a Carnet Specialist at the boomerang carnets® Carnet HelpLine® , (800) ATA-2900 / (800) 282-2900, for additional information if you are planning to use a carnet for travel to Indonesia.
Visit the official Carnet ATA website also for more information