ETHIOPIA FILM VISAS AND ETHIOPIA FILM PERMITS
Ethiopa film visas and Ethiopia film permits are approved by the Ministry of Immigration.
Film Fixers will navigate the paperwork on your behalf. Whilst not a complex process,(it is actually quite straightforward) there is a degree of paperwork to secure your Ethiopa film visas and Ethiopia film permits.
In some cases, like with Ethiopia drone permits, it requires approvals from different organs of Government. And whilst there are costs involved, they are not expensive by any means.
Film Fixers has been through the proces of obtaining Ethiopia film visas and film permits a number of times without any hitches, and has a network of support on the ground.
Aside from assisting you with your application for Ethiopia film visas and Ethiopia film permits, we can help you with general information on Ethiopia as a location, so give us a call!
Ethiopia Film Permit
Applying for Ethiopia Film permits begin in your country of origin, or through Film Fixers, who can manage the process directly through Ethiopia Immigration – with a motivation letter from the company which has to follow a specific format (we have found that this works). The motivation letter is forwarded to Ethiopia Immigration by your Embassy / Consulate where the application is evaluated and approved (or not). As with most countries, it is important to keep pushing, and our network know the drill. The approval is then collected from Immigration in Addis Ababa on arrival. There is a nominal fee for the permit, depending on the nature of the project.
Regional Film Fee : In many cases there may also be a Regional Film Permit – again, depending on the region where the production will take place. Again, there is a nominal fee for this Permit, varying depending on the location and nature of filming.
Local Film Fee : And to complicate matters, there may also be an informal fee imposed by the Chief of the local village / community where filming/production will take place! This is a negotiable fee – so be prepared to negotiate!
Ethiopia Work Visas
Aside from securing your Ethiopia film visa and Ethiopia film permits, all crew will need to apply for a Work Visa from the Ethiopian Embassy at origin.
Unlike the normal tourist visa which can be applied for online, this is a formal document that needs to be filled in and submitted – together with passport, a letter from the host company in Ethiopia (which we will arrange), and a self-addressed envelope. There is, again, a nominal fee for the Visa. You need to allow at least 30 days for the visa approval.
Ethiopia Customs and Equipment
Aside from securing your Ethiopia film visa and Ethiopia film permit, you will need a Motivation letter for your equipment.
Equipment type, serial numbers and value must be detailed on this Motivation letter. It also helps to have a separate list on an official letterhead to back it up. Ethiopia has extremely stringent customs scrutiny – more to do with security than illegal import/export, so it is important that the list is accurate. The actual Customs process is quite seamless as long as the paperwork is in place. There will be a nominal fee for the process, including a fee for the clearing official.
Ethiopia Drone Permit
Drones are not permitted in Ethiopia – regardless of what you are told. The customs process at the airports is extremely stringent – sometimes necessitating 3 searches (arrival or departure) so drones do not pass scrutiny) although there are drone operators in Ethiopia that can be used.
It is possible, however, to get approval from the Ministry of Defence to fly a drone but, again, the application (in the form of a written motivation) has to be made well in advance in order to allow time for it to go through the channels. Again, we cannot stress enough the value of a network on the ground to push the process – as with the Filming Visa there is no formal process, so it is a case of negotiation and discussion – it’s a case of who you know!