Requirements for Entertainers Coming to Australia

Requirements for Entertainers Coming to Australia

Foreign entertainers looking to tour or visit Australia need to obtain a Temporary Activity Visa (408 visa) from the Department of Home Affairs. The 408 visa grants these entertainers/staff the right to stay in Australia for up to two years. This type of visa application has strict requirements that artists will need to satisfy when making an application. An entertainer will need to find a sponsor in Australia, make submissions regarding the net employment benefit they will bring to the Australian entertainment industry, and will need to complete the visa application. Musicians, DJs and Tour Managers will need to consult with certain unions who will have to also provide their endorsement. 

Who qualifies for the 408 Visa?

The 408 Entertainment Visa applies to a range of jobs in the entertainment industry.

Roles such as entertainers, associated production agencies, even support staff who are coming to Australia for performances or shoots are all within the scope of the visa.

Essential Steps

Sponsor/Support

Applicants of the 408 visa who wish to stay in Australia for more than three months will need to secure the sponsorship/support of an Australian individual or organisation. The sponsor will ordinarily be the organisation engaging the services of the entertainer, or representing their interests in Australia (eg. record label or booking agent). 

Submissions

As part of the application process, the entertainer will need to provide written submission that their visit will bring a net employment benefit to the Australian entertainment industry. In doing so, the entertainer may provide evidence of their itineraries (which outline their performance dates), contracts with venues and any performing contracts.  Musicians, DJ and Tour Managers will also need to make these written submissions to certain unions. Musicians must receive the endorsement of the Musician’s Union of Australia. DJs and Tour Managers must receive the endorsement of the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA). These unions may require support documents such as;

  • The amount of remuneration being paid to the applicant
  • Travel and accommodation expense
  • Itinerary (including details of venues)
  • Details of employed Australians associated with the performance (eg. support artists, producers)
  • Details of the net employment benefit to the Australian entertainment industry. 

Completing the visa application

The 408 visa application can be obtained through the  Department of Home Affairs’ online portal. A basic application will require the entertainer to disclose

  • A copy of their passport
  • Confirmation of Health Insurance that covers the duration of the entertainer’s stay in Australia
  • Details and documentation from the entertainer’s Australian sponsor/supporter
  • Contracts of employment (eg. booking contracts)
  • Itinerary
  • Union consultation approval.

How much will the 408 visa cost?

The cost of the 408 visa starts at $310.

How long will the 408 visa take to process?

  • 75% of applications will be processed in 40 days 
  • 90% of applications will be processed in 84 days

In any case, it is important to apply for the visa as early as possible in order to ensure that there is adequate time for the visa to be processed before the entertainer attempts to come to Australia. 

Can the entertainer travel in and out of Australia on the 408 visa?

If the case officer agrees to and grants permission for multiple entries in and out of Australia, then yes the entertainer will be permitted to do so. This request should be clearly outlined in the submissions made as part of the application. Otherwise, no the entertainer will not be permitted to come and go as they please.

Can the 408 visa be rejected?

While the Australian government recognises the value of the entertainment industry (particularly international acts), the 408 visa can be rejected for any number of reasons. 

What about promotional tours?

If the entertainer is undertaking a promotional tour but is not performing, they may be eligible for the invited participant stream of the 408 visa. This stream allows applicants to stay in Australia for up to three months. Entertainers will be eligible for this stream if they have been invited to take part in a community-based event in Australia and will need a sponsor. These applications are processed very quickly (approximately five days) and costs $310.

Summary

Entertainers hailing from overseas need to obtain a 408 Temporary Activity Visa (408 visa) from the Department of Home Affairs. An entertainer will need to find a sponsor in Australia, make submissions regarding the net employment benefit they will bring to the Australian entertainment industry, and will need to complete the visa application. Some entertainers will also need to consult with unions. The 408 visa will allow the entertainer to stay in Australia for two years. Entertainers who have been invited to take part in a community-based event in Australia will need a sponsor, and will be permitted to stay in Australia for up to three months.

About Jennifer Andrade

Jennifer AndradeJennifer is a legal content writer with OpenLegal, with a particular interest in employment, contract and copyright law.