Importing Performers

Imports Information for Sponsors of Non-New Zealand Entertainers and Performers

All overseas entertainers and performing artists (except Australian citizens or residents) who intend to engage in any form of private or public performance in NZ or work on any film, television or video production in NZ must apply for a work visa to Immigration New Zealand (Te Ratonga Manene) http://www.immigration.govt.nz. As part of this process the employer/production company/promoter must submit, at least at the time the application is made to Immigration NZ, the Supplementary Form INZ 1187 (Sections K-M) for Performing Artists, Entertainers and Entertainment Industry Personnel Work Visa Application to the appropriate union, guild or professional association. You may also need to provide additional information to enable the relevant organisation to assess whether a NZ worker is put at risk by the engagement of an overseas entertainer/performing artist.

NZ Actors’ Equity is the appropriate union with regards to all performing artists (except for performers who solely play musical instruments and support personnel) including: singers; singer/musicians; actors; stunt performers; puppeteers; dancers; models; any performer appearing on screen; comedians and magicians. Equity is also the appropriate union with regards to the support personnel for live performance (except for support personnel for performers who solely play musical instruments). For other categories see list below:

For performers who solely play musical instruments and support personnel refer:

Divisional Head
Musicians Branch of the Service and Food Workers Union
Private Bag 68-914, Newton, Auckland 1032
Phone: (Bus Hrs): 64 9 375 2683 (ext 830)
Phone: (After Hrs): 64 9 834 3382
Mobile: 025 793 644
Fax (Bus Hrs): 64 9 375 2681
Fax (After Hrs): 64 9 834 5997
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

For film and television production crew except producers and directors refer;

The Executive Officer

The New Zealand Film and Video Technicians’ Guild Inc

PO Box 68 294, Newton, Auckland, New Zealand

Phone: +64 9 3022 022
Freephone: 0800 832 467
Fax: +64 9 3022 025

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Web: http://www.nztecho.com/

For screen producers refer;

The Executive Director
Screen Producers and Directors Association of New Zealand
PO Box 9567
Te Aro
Wellington
Phone: 64 4 802 4577
Fax: 64 4 385 8755
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For screen directors refer;

The Executive Director
Screen Directors Guild of New Zealand
PO Box 47-294
Auckland 1034
New Zealand
Phone: 64 9 360 2102
Fax: 64 9 360 2107
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web: www.sdgnz.co.nz

For those wishing to enter NZ  for scouting purposes you will need a Visitor Visa: http://www.immigration.govt.nz/migrant/stream/visit/

Australian citizens and residents

Australian citizens are able to work without a work permit in NZ under NZ law.

Consultation Fee for Equity

See consultation fees in the appropriate section on this page.

Confidentiality

Provision of all information to Equity is treated with strict confidentiality.

 

1. Process for Performing Artists

Process

Applications for visas are made to Immigration New Zealand, either in a NZ office, or through the nearest embassy or High Commission.

a. Immigration New Zealand

b. Equity

  • In order to show that your application meets the requirements of the NZ Government in respect to overseas performers Equity will issue a letter stating there is no objection to the overseas national being given a work visa;
  • It is advisable to commence discussions with Equity as early as possible. Equity has three working days to process the application; the three working days are calculated from the date the required evidence is provided to Equity.
  • If the performance includes performers who play musical instruments, apply for a letter of non objection to the Musicians Branch of the Service and Food Workers Union (contact details above). However, all singers and singer/musicians fall within Equity’s jurisdiction;
  • NZ Immigration policy states that:

Employers/production companies/promoters must provide, and visa and immigration officers must be satisfied with, the following evidence and information:

i.                    adequate evidence that the applicant is of international distinction or merit, or particular ethnic significance, or is manifestly essential to the presentation or production;

ii.                  adequate evidence that the applicant's employment does not put at risk the employment of New Zealand entertainers or professionals in equivalent work unless the wider benefits to be obtained from the applicant's employment outweigh the loss of job opportunities for New Zealanders;

iii.                adequate evidence that they have given appropriate consideration to employing available New Zealand entertainers or professionals.

To facilitate the consultation process Equity asks for  the following information:

  • A letter outlining the reason for importing the overseas performer including:
  • Full name of the performer applying, as completed on the Immigration NZ Form 1187;
  • The applicant’s role in the production;
  • The expected dates of arrival and departure in NZ as completed on the Immigration NZ Form 1187;
  • Names of all cast being brought in from overseas;
  • Names of cast to be engaged locally;
  • In the case of performers filling roles with specific ethnic characteristics: A script showing that there are specific ethnic characteristics required for the acting role. NB: There are a number of US and UK-accented actors and actors competent in performing with those accents in NZ, so accent requirements are not necessarily sufficient grounds for bringing in an overseas performer;
  • In the case of claims that there will be an overall benefit to the NZ  industry: provide details of the significance of the opportunities offered to locals;
  • Any further evidence that the applicant’s employment does not put at risk the employment of NZ performers;
    • A copy of the overseas performer’s resume/CV;
    • If the application is being made on the basis of inability to cast the role with a NZ performer: details of the casting process which has been unsuccessful in finding suitable qualified New Zealanders including:
      • casting director’s name;
      • the character breakdown sent to agents;
      • List of agents contacted;
      • List of agents suggestions;
      • List of those auditioned
      • Reasons why each audition participant not cast
  • Contact details for Equity to send all information and all work visa enquiries and consultations:
    Tel: +64 (0)9 360 1980 or freephone: 0800 334470
    Fax: +64 (0)9 360 1970
    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Equity will advise in writing whether, in its view, the application complies with Immigration Regulations.

Where Equity objects to an application, best endeavours are made to resolve the dispute with the sponsor. If resolution cannot be reached Immigration NZ will then attempt to mediate the dispute or refer the dispute to the Minister of Immigration.

Consultation Fee for Equity

Overseas performers are subject to a processing fee

Rates PER PERFORMER are:

 NZ$40.00 + GST for cultural or large groups; NZ$160 + GST for standard processing (three-day turn around); NZ$320 + GST for urgent processing (one-day turn around)

Confidentiality

Provision of all information to Equity is treated with strict confidentiality.

 

2. Process for Models

Applications for visas are made to Immigration New Zealand, either in a NZ office, or through the nearest embassy or High Commission.

a. Immigration New Zealand

b. Equity

  • In order to show that your application meets the requirements of the NZ Government in respect to overseas performers Equity will issue a letter stating there is no objection to the overseas national being given a work visa;
  • It is advisable to commence discussions with Equity as early as possible. Equity has three working days to process the application: the three working days are calculated from the date the required evidence is provided to Equity.
  • NZ Immigration policy states that:

Employers/production companies/promoters must provide, and visa and immigration officers must be satisfied with, the following evidence and information:

i.                    adequate evidence that the applicant is of international distinction or merit, or particular ethnic significance, or is manifestly essential to the presentation or production;

ii.                  adequate evidence that the applicant's employment does not put at risk the employment of New Zealand entertainers or professionals in equivalent work unless the wider benefits to be obtained from the applicant's employment outweigh the loss of job opportunities for New Zealanders;

iii.                adequate evidence that they have given appropriate consideration to employing available New Zealand entertainers or professionals.

 To facilitate the consultation process Equity asks for the following information:

  • A letter outlining the reason for importing the overseas model including:
  • Full name of the model applying as completed on the Immigration NZ Form 1187;
  • The expected dates of arrival and departure in NZ as completed on the Immigration NZ Form 1187;
  • Evidence of International Distinction or Merit: Adequate evidence that the applicant is of international distinction or merit by providing 5 tearsheets and a CV;
  • Letter of invitation from NZ Agent;
  • Proof of Repatriation;
  • Reciprocity Agreement:
    • That there is an actual placement of a NZ model with the International agent within 12 months unless there is a good reason for this not to occur e.g., a model can not afford to pay for the trip, the agency is of such a size or location, that there is no benefit to the model, the models health or safety is put at risk due to health epidemics, etc
    • Letter of agreement from overseas agent.
  • Proof of One Confirmed Booking.
  • Contact details for Equity to send all information and all work visa enquiries and consultations:
    Tel: +64 (0)9 360 1980 or freephone: 0800 334470
    Fax: +64 (0)9 360 1970
    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Equity will advise in writing whether, in its view, the application complies with Immigration Regulations.
  • Where Equity objects to an application, best endeavours are made to resolve the dispute with the sponsor. If resolution cannot be reached Immigration NZ will then attempt to mediate the dispute or refer the dispute to the Minister of Immigration.

Australian citizens and residents

Australian citizens are able to work without a work permit in NZ under New Zealand Law.

Consultation Fee for NZ Equity

Overseas models are subject to a processing fee payable of NZ$60.00 plus GST

Confidentiality

Provision of all information to Equity is treated with strict confidentiality.

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