Information about Entertainers Work Visa

Apply if you want to work on a film, video or production in New Zealand and you have specific skills that cannot be met by New Zealand’s entertainment industry.



Length of stay

For the time requested to do the work you’re in New Zealand for, and a short grace period to allow you to return home

With this visa you can

  • Come to New Zealand to work in the entertainment, music, film or television industries for a limited time.
  • Work for the specific employer on the specific production you’ve applied to come to New Zealand for.

Things to note

  • If you’re part of an approved arts or music festival or high-end music act, you may be able to come to New Zealand on a visitor visa instead.
  • If you’re under 18, your parent or legal guardian will need to sign your application for you.
  • You can't include your partner or dependent children in your visa application, but they can apply for visas based on their relationship to you.

Arts and Music Festival Visitor Visa
High End Music Act Visitor Visa
Explore family visa options



Meeting the criteria

The criteria and evidence below will provide you with the information you need to meet the requirements.

Use the filters to display country specific tips, under evidence, to assist you with your application

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You must provide proof of your identity

  • 1 acceptable photo if you apply online, or 2 photos if you use a paper application form.
  • your passport or certificate of identity.

Acceptable photos

If you submit a paper application, provide your original passport or a certified copy.  We can usually process your application faster if you provide your original passport.

If you apply online, you must upload a copy of your passport when you apply. We will let you know if you need to send your passport after you've applied.

Sending your passport for online applications

Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months after you plan to leave New Zealand.

Also provide a copy of your Identity card.

Also provide your:

  • Hukou (household registration book)
  • Chinese identity card.

If you are a citizen of China and you submit a paper application form in China, you must also complete a supplementary form.

Supplementary form for Chinese citizens (INZ 1027) PDF 338KB

If you are submitting a paper application form, you must provide a supplementary form for Hong Kong and Macao visitors, workers and students.

Supplementary form for Hong Kong and Macao visitors, workers and students (INZ 1220) PDF 240KB


You must be in good health

You may need to have a chest x-ray, a medical examination or both as proof of your good health.

Who needs an x-ray or medical examination

Update on medical certificate requests on Immigration Online

You must provide a chest x-ray completed in the last 3 months, even if you've provided one to us previously, if:

  • you have spent 6 consecutive months in China since the last x-ray certificate was issued, and
  • you are now coming to NZ for more than 6 months.


You must be of good character

You may need to provide police certificates as proof of your good character.

If you are aged 17 or older and plan to stay in New Zealand for more than 24 months (including any time you have already spent in New Zealand), you must provide police certificates from:

  • any country you are a citizen of
  • any country you have spent more than 5 years in since you turned 17.

You do not need to provide police certificates if:

  • you have provided them to us with an earlier visa application, and
  • they were issued in the previous 24 months.

Good character

How to get a police certificate

Entertainment work

You must have an offer of entertainment work

Your employer must complete a 'Supplementary Form' providing details of your engagement, including:

  • the length of time you need to be in New Zealand to do your work
  • a schedule describing the work you need to do in New Zealand
  • a guarantee that they’ll cover the costs of your accommodation, living expenses and return home
  • their reasons for not hiring a New Zealander to do the work, and evidence to support those reasons.

Your employer’s reasons for bringing you to New Zealand can include any one of the following, that:

  • you’re of international distinction or merit, or particular ethnic significance, or essential to the presentation or production
  • your employment doesn’t put the employment New Zealander entertainment industry workers at risk, unless the wider benefits from your employment outweigh those risks
  • they considered hiring New Zealander workers for the work.

Performing Artists, Entertainers and Entertainment Industry Personnel Work Visa Application Supplementary Form INZ 1187 PDF 739KB



The information below will help you understand the process so you can plan ahead and have the best chance of submitting a complete application.

Fees & receiving centre

Fees & receiving centre

The information below will help you understand the process, timeframes and costs involved in applying for this visa, so you can plan ahead and have the best chance of submitting a complete application.



These are the conditions that you must meet once you have your visa.

Entry permission

You must apply for entry permission when you arrive in New Zealand. You can do this by completing an arrival card, which you are given on the way to New Zealand.

Arriving in New Zealand

You can be refused entry permission if:

  • you don’t meet our character requirements
  • your circumstances have changed since you were granted a visa
  • you refuse to let us to take your photo, or provide us with your fingerprints or an iris scan, if we ask you for them.


You may work only in the specific occupation, for the employer and in the location specified on your visa.


You can’t study on this visa.


Most visitors to New Zealand are granted multiple entry visas.

If you have a multiple entry visa, you can travel to and from New Zealand as many times as you like before your visa expires.
If you have a single entry visa, your visa will expire when you leave New Zealand.

If applying from inside New Zealand, we will normally give multiple entry travel conditions when we grant a student visa.

If there are no multiple entry travel conditions and you leave New Zealand the visa will expire.

The travel conditions will be listed on the visa label or in a visa letter.

Visa expiry

You must leave New Zealand before your visa expires.

If you think your visa may expire before your work is complete, you may apply for another work visa while in New Zealand.


Employer obligations

New Zealand employers have certain obligations they must meet when employing a non New Zealand resident.

What an employer needs to do

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Genuine attempt to recruit

You must provide a reason the work can’t be done by New Zealanders

You must provide evidence to support your reason for employing an overseas entertainment industry worker, which may include documents that show that:

  • the overseas entertainer or performer is internationally recognised for their work or other contribution
  • finance for the production is contingent on the overseas entertainer or performer’s involvement
  • the production will bring wider economic benefits to New Zealand
  • New Zealanders had the opportunity to audition or pitch for the work but were unsuccessful.

Employing overseas entertainers


Job offer

You must provide a written employment agreement, which your candidate will need to support their application

For each person you hire, you must provide a written offer of employment, or contract for services that:

  • sets out the length of time they’ll need to be in New Zealand to do the work
  • includes a schedule describing the work they need to do in New Zealand
  • agrees to cover living and accommodation costs and the cost of your worker’s return home.

Referral for agreement

You must provide evidence that the relevant union or professional association has agreed to the engagement of the candidate


  • the job is 14 days or less; or
  • will be undertaken on an official co-production; or
  • is with a company that holds entertainment industry accreditation.

Employer supplementary form

You must complete a Supplementary Form (Section J) 

For each person you hire you must complete a Supplementary Form (Section J) of the ‘Performing Artists, Entertainers and Entertainment Industry Personnel Work Visa Application'.

Once section J is completed, give the form to your candidate, who will need to complete the rest of the work visa application. 

Performing Artists, Entertainers and Entertainment Industry Personnel Work Visa Application (INZ 1187) PDF 739KB