Changes to New Zealand Immigration Program

September 23, 2011

Changes to the New Zealand Immigration Program will make it easier for temporary entertainment workers to enter and work in New Zealand.

The changes are aimed at screen, entertainment and music industry workers and hope to promote further growth within this industry.

The current rules for screen, entertainment and music workers are strict, requiring that all applications must be submitted to an industry guild or union, who reserve the right to reject applications as necessary.

Workers who will see the biggest benefit are those who will be in New Zealand for less than 14 days, and workers who work for international coproduction companies, who will see a greatly simplified process.

Workers who intend to enter New Zealand for a longer period of time will see a greater dependence Dr Jonathan Coleman believes the industry in New Zealand has great potential for further growth.

‘’The screen industry employs around 6,700 people and is worth over $2.8 billion dollars a year, with great potential for further growth, “he said.

“To realise that growth, we need immigration policies that ensure key workers can get here with minimal fuss so that New Zealand remains an attractive destination for productions.”

The existing process can make it difficult for potential employees to gain the correct working visas in time.

‘’In some cases, issues with existing processes were putting offshore investment in the New Zealand screen industry at risk,’’ says Dr Coleman.

‘’Another feature of the changes is that performers here for significant music, arts or cultural festivals can come into the country on a visitor visa.

‘’In the past two and a half years there have been 14 applications disputed by unions or guilds out of 4800 applications for screen industry work, and the Government has ultimately granted visas in all those cases.”

March 2012 will see the inception of the new process.

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