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The Federal government has pledged $400 million to fund the film & TV industry in Australia. Film and TV productions are being lured to Australia in an attempt to capitalise on our low rate of coronavirus infections compared to other countries. Entertainment visas (subclass 408) will be required for foreign nationals who are actors or production support staff. We have assisted a number of Entertainment visas during this COVID-19 period and have been successful in obtaining travel exemptions for these clients.

The Entertainment visa can generally be obtained for a period of up to 3 months with the process being as follows:

  1. Union approval + Arts certificate – the relevant union needs to provide a ‘letter of non-objection’ for the activity.  Actors also require an Arts Certificate from the Arts Minister.
  2. Visa application –outlining their personal details, skills and experience. An Australian organisation or Australian permanent resident/citizen will need to be the “Supporter” of the application (ie the inviting organisation) and provide a letter outlining the dates and schedule.
  3. Travel exemption – due to COVID-19, the foreign national also needs a travel exemption to be approved by Australian Border Force (ABF) in order to enter Australia.

If the stay in Australia will be for more than 3 months, or if the foreign national is applying from within Australia, then an Australian organisation will need to be approved as a Sponsor first before proceeding with the above steps.

Of course at the moment all arrivals into Australia must undertake mandatory quarantine. Whilst there have been some reports in the media of quarantine exemptions for celebrities, this is becoming less likely with the current COVID-19 situation in Victoria and NSW.

If you would like more information on Entertainment Visas, please reach out to us.

DISCLAIMER This information is current as of 14 July 2020 and subject to change. The information contained in this publication is of a general nature only. It should not be used as legal advice. To the extent permissible by law, Ajuria Lawyers and its associated entities shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, defects or misrepresentations in the information or for any loss or damage suffered by persons who use or rely on such information. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

Have more specific questions about your visa? Get in touch with Ajuria Lawyers today.

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Author Navpreet Kanwar

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