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New Zealand to simplify visa process for entertainment industry migrants

by | Oct 7, 2011

New Zealand’s Government has announced changes to the visa entry process for temporary screen, entertainment and music industry workers. In a statement released today, New Zealand Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman said the changes will provide ‘a simpler, more streamlined system’. Currently all work visa applications are subject to ‘silent approval’ by relevant unions and industry guilds. ‘In the past two 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’, Dr Coleman said. ‘The existing policy is out-dated. It’s been in place for 20 years and the entertainment industry has grown hugely over that time’, he added. Under the new system, referrals to these bodies are not required for entertainment workers seeking a New Zealand visa for 14 days or less. Furthermore, applicants for temporary work visas of greater than 14 days now have the option of applying directly through their employer, rather than having their case referred to a third party industry group. ‘In short, we are removing a redundant, bureaucratic process which only served to make New Zealand a less attractive place for the screen and entertainment industry to do business’, the Minister said. The Government has also announced that in the case of enterring the country for ‘significant music, arts or cultural festivals’, performers will now be eligible for entry on visitor visas. The changes will take affect in March 2012.

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