Entertainment Visas – Subclass 420

Entertainment Visas – Subclass 420

The subclass 420 Entertainment Visa category is a temporary visa designed to assist Australian communities access a wide range of social and cultural events and activities, without jeopardising the employment of Australians in the entertainment industry.

It is important to note that if you intend to bring people to Australia to perform in the entertainment industry, or if you intend yourself to work temporarily in Australia in the entertainment industry, you are required to obtain a Subclass 420 – Entertainment Visa. A visitor or tourist visa is not appropriate in these circumstances.

The subclass 420 Entertainment visa allows you to work in film, television, music or live productions in either performance or behind the scenes roles, such as, directors, producers, other production and technical personnel. Tour managers are also required to obtain this type of visa. You must be sponsored and nominated by an organisation or eligible individual in Australia. The visa allows an individual or groups to:

  • Stay and work in the entertainment industry in Australia; and
  • Bring any eligible secondary applicants to Australia.
  • Applicants must have a high level of English language skills;
Steps involved
  • Organisation or eligible individual:
  • apply to be an Entertainment Sponsor to engage people from overseas (a number of requirements must be met)
  • nominate the position to be filled
  • nominate the person to fill the position
  • act as a sponsor for the nominated persons listed in the nomination
  • apply for relevant Union approvals (if applicable)
  • cooperate with department’s monitoring requirements
  • meet costs and other obligations as part of the program.
  • Nominated primary applicant
  • accept the offer of employment from the sponsor
  • apply for a visa
  • meet all conditions on their visa.

Once the visa is granted entertainers and their support staff are usually given a multiple entry visa for the period of their engagements.

Once granted the visa holder must not change their employer or occupation, without the written permission of the Department of Immigration and any unions (as applicable). Entertainment visas are also subject to the condition that the holder does not change the times and places of engagements without the prior written approval of the Department and any unions (as applicable).

Please note there are number of obligations in relation to the visa including:

  • Co operation with Department of Immigration monitoring requirements.
  • Meet costs and other obligations as part of the program such as flights, accommodation, allowances and performance fees.

Once granted the Sponsorship enables that sponsor to nominate further applicants for future requirements within the entertainment industry.

Non-commercial entertainers

Non-commercial organisations, such as ethnic or charitable groups, can bring an entertainer to perform at a non-profit cultural event. Policy is that the determining factor in deciding if an engagement is “commercial- or “non-commercial- is whether the visa applicants will receive a performance fee as provided for in a contract between the sponsor and the applicant.

Non-commercial sponsors are not required to consult with unions however they will need to show what arrangements have been made for the accommodation and living costs of the applicant(s) while they are in Australia.