Special immigration process for international performers in New Zealand
Find out more about this innovative practice
In 2014, the immigration process of New Zealand was streamlined to ensure that immigration regulations are not a barrier for the entry of international performers and that foreign artists and cultural professionals can benefit from an improved access to New Zealand audiences and their skills and expertise better and easily shared with national cultural professionals.
Immigration New Zealand introduced special immigration rules for international performers and their support crew to facilitate entry to New Zealand to participate in arts or music festivals. Under this process, music professionals of short-term live entertainment acts invited by a music promoter inscribed on Immigration New Zealand’s Approved List are now able to travel to and perform in the country on visitor visas, which are cheaper and require less documentation and lighter procedures than work visas. Performers and direct support staff participating in an ‘approved’ arts or music festival can also come to New Zealand as visitors.
Thanks to this measure, cultural professionals holding passports which are visa-waived for travel to New Zealand do not need to apply for a work visa before they travel. Cultural professionals travelling on visa-required passports benefit from the lower cost and reduced documentation associated with visitor visa applications. As at March 2016, 40 festivals and 41 music promoters had been approved by Immigration New Zealand. Feedback from organizers and promoters on the impact of this measure has been very positive.
The implementation of both Goal 2 of the Convention and SDG 10 is now being addressed by New Zealand. Many of the travel restrictions have been lifted and the freedom of movement for artists and cultural professionals has increased. Through a well-managed migration policy, New Zealand has simplified visa procedures and reduced fees, thus facilitating regular and responsible mobility (Target 10.7).
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.
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.
- 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.
Development, consultation and implementation of the immigration process and policy were completed within baseline.
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.