Shooting Entry Information:
If foreign film crews wish to film in the United States, depending on the shooting contents, there are different types of entry visa that are required.
Please review the following visa requirements and also for items brought into the United States such as costumes and photographic equipment.
1. Entry Visa for film projects
Crews from a foreign country requesting to film in the United States can enter legally in Hawaii through a special visa waiver if they meet certain conditions. They may apply for an entry visa through the Hawaii Film and Video pilot program (HFVPP). Please see below details pertaining to this program.
◆Pilot program application conditions:
Only nationalities from the following countries qualify for the HFVPP:
Japan, South Korea, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Malta.
If there is a crew member whose nationality is other than the above, he will be required to apply for a H2B visa. However, if a crew member has a valid B1or B2 visa, he may apply through the HFVPP application.
2. HFVPP is applicable for TV shows, commercials, and promotional videos. Cinematography is not applicable.
3. Under the HFVPP, the work that is produced in Hawaii does not allow you to broadcast and distribute in the United States. We require an affidavit with the producer’s signature that any project filmed in Hawaii will not be broadcast in the United States.
If you want to produce and broadcast a project in the United States, you should consult with an immigration attorney to apply for a P H-1, H-2B, or O visa. It should be applied for at the United States Embassy in your resident area.
If you require assistance, please contact us immediately.
4.You will only be allowed to film in Hawaii.
5.Employment of Hawaii union members is mandatory as a condition of this program. In addition, we must comply with the employment provisions (contract / pay scale) of the union during the filming of the project.(Please note that there are penalties for labor violations in regards to the union.)
6.By agreement with each union, documents of this support program will be submitted to the Hawaii Airport Immigration from each applicable union.
7.Entry is limited to Honolulu International Airport or Kona International Airport.
8. You do not need HFVPP since Visa Waiver Program is applicable for still photography.
9. Crews can stay up to 90 days. The length of time cannot be extended.
◆Flow of the application procedures
· In the application process for this program, you must file an application to HIFA (Hawaii International Film Association) 10 days before crew arrives in Hawaii. (Saturday and Sunday, except holidays)
Please note that an additional 25% of the application fee for immigration documents will be charged if the application has been made within 7 days of crew’s entry (including Saturday and Sunday, holiday).
Please send us a copy of each person’s passport, his title and entry & departure date. (Clear mug shot is required.)
A simple profile of actors and talents will be required.
Your application form must be submitted with the above information of applicants, along with the fee, to the HIFA Secretary 10 days before entering Hawaii. (except Saturday, Sunday, and holiday)
The HIFA secretary will submit forms to each applicable trade union for filming applications. Other applicable union is the Screen Actors Guild (SAG/AFTRA). There is also a union for “Above the Line” positions such as the Director’s Guild. There are different unions for TV shows and commercials productions.
After HIFA receives endorsement of support from each union, HIFA will forward all documents to HIFA members and Hawaii Airport Immigration Department.
Once we receive the above documents from HIFA, we will forward to the producer or production manager of respective project.
Producer or production manager is responsible to give everyone who enters the country a copy of this document. When they enter Hawaii, they will submit these documents to the immigration officer along with the passport.
Film and video shoot through illegal entry will be subject to deportation. As a result, please note that your entry into the United States territory might be denied in the future.
The HIFA members are obligated to submit Labor and Employment reports to HIFA after film project is completed. In this report, the number of local staff that was employed in the project along with the details of the total payment are required. After this report is sent to the union, it will be submitted to the Department of Labor of the United States Government.
Regulations of photographic equipment and textile costumes
◆Caution information: Customs inspection at the time of entry
○Costume for filming: Carne application will be needed regarding filming.
You may also need a textile visa depending on the make of the material.
If you don’t do Carne application, it will cost time and money because your costume will be withheld and you will be required to hire customs brokers to clear withheld items.Please note that it is possible that it may take a few days in some cases, and in the worst case scenario, your costume/textile would be returned to the country of origin.
○Photographic Equipment (camera, lighting, sound, art, etc.)
Please apply for Carne beforehand if you intend to bring photographic equipment.If there are no Carne documents, you might pay tax. Also, if equipment is withheld, it takes a long time to clear it and in most cases, you may not get your equipment from Customs on the same day.
＊Please contact us directly if you have any questions or in need of assistance.