Special immigration process for international performers and high-end music
New Zealand
Key objectives of the measure:

To facilitate entry to New Zealand for a specific purpose or event for which the applicant has demonstrated skills, expertise or attributes that are likely to benefit individuals and/or New Zealand and where there is no risk of a negative impact on opportunities for New Zealanders.

To allow high-end music acts being promoted in New Zealand by an Immigration New Zealand-approved promoter to travel to and perform in New Zealand on visitor visas, rather than work visas.

Scope of the measure:
National, International
Nature of the measure:
Main feature of the measure:

In 2012, Immigration New Zealand introduced special immigration instructions for international performers and their support crew to enter New Zealand to participate in an approved arts or music festival. To obtain approved status, a festival must intend to engage at least 10 international participants.


Under the special immigration process, performers are eligible to enter New Zealand on a visitor visa instead of a work visa as per normal procedure. This makes for a more streamlined immigration process, and ensures that immigration settings are not a barrier for international performers to travel to New Zealand to perform in such festivals.


In 2014, Immigration New Zealand introduced a special immigration instructions for high-end music acts and their support crew. If they are being promoted in New Zealand by a music promoter on Immigration New Zealand’s Approved Music Promoter list, then these music acts are able to travel to and perform in New Zealand on visitor visas, rather than work visas.


This means that people holding passports which are visa-waived for travel to New Zealand, and who do not have any other reason to need to apply for a visa (such as a previous conviction) will not need to apply at all before they travel, while others who are travelling on visa required passports, will benefit from the lower cost and reduced documentation associated with visitor visa applications.

Results expected through the implementation of the measure:
  • Improved access to New Zealand audiences for international artists.
  • Improved access to skills and expertise of international artists in New Zealand.
  • Facilitated entry of international music acts to New Zealand.
Financial resources allocated to implement the measure:

Development, consultation and implementation of the immigration process and policy were completed within baseline.

Main conclusions of the evaluation of the measure:

As at the end of 2015, 40 festivals had been approved by Immigration New Zealand. Feedback from organisers of approved festivals has been very positive.

As at March 2016, 41 music promoters had been approved by Immigration New Zealand. Feedback from the approved music promoters has been very positive.

Indicators used to determine impact:
Feedback from organisers of approved festivals.Feedback from approved music promoters.
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