Are you an overseas musician wanting to come to Australia to perform? Chances are you’ll need a 420 Entertainment Visa.
As a Registered Migration Agent that helps touring musicians and bands secure entertainment visas, we see first-hand that to the
un-initiated, the immigration process can be a slow and confusing maze to navigate. Here is a simple guide on the specific immigration requirements for a 420 Entertainment Visa for musicians.
What scenarios could a 420 Entertainment Visa cover?
The 420 Visa is for entertainers or associated staff coming into Australia for performances, media or film productions. This Visa covers the following types of entertainment:
The key steps to getting an Entertainment visa
Step 1 – Sponsorship
You will need someone to sponsor you (or your band) during your stay in Australia. Your Sponsor is required to be approved. If not they can apply for sponsorship approval which is a formal application. If you have an Approved Sponsor or when Sponsor is approved, you may move to Step 2. [please note that in some circumstances the application for sponsorship and the artists visa application can occur in very quick succession]
Step 2 – Nomination form + sponsor cover letter
Your Sponsor will need to nominate the particular entertainment activity you will be undertaking. Your Sponsor will need to complete and lodge a 1420N Nomination Form and pay the application fee (currently $170.00)
A letter outlining what the nominated activity will bring as a ”net employment benefit” to the Australian entertainment industry is needed. You will have to to provide evidence of any performing contracts, an itinerary specifying dates and venues of performances and any licences required. As part of the nomination application, you will also be required to consult with the Musician’s Union of Australia (MUS) who will charge you a fee. MUS will need to be provided with:
If you're a DJ the union is the Media and Entertainment Arts Alliance.
Step 3 – Entertainment Visa application
The final step is where the musician will need to complete the 14 page 420 Entertainment Visa application. The lodgement cost is currently $380 per band member.
You will need to include a large amount of materila with the application eg certified identification, health insurance details, photographs, industry work history/CV as well as personal details.
Are there any additional requirements or documentation I need to provide?
You will need to provide your own health insurance. This can be organised in your home country. After the Department has viewed your application, you may be required to undergo a Health Assessment. This could involve a chest X-ray or other medical examinations. You may also need to provide a police report. However, you will be notified by the Department if you are required to submit more information.
How long can I stay in Australia if I am granted a 420 Visa?
The Department will assess applications on a case-by-case basis. The maximum amount of time you may stay and work in Australia is two years and a Visa will be granted for the specific amount of time you will be performing or working in Australia. For example, if your performance schedule is for three months, you will only be granted a three month entertainment visa.
Can I travel in and out of Australia on my Visa?
Multiple entries in and out of Australia are permitted if the case officer agrees to grant this. Multiple entries can be difficult but not impossible to obtain. It will need to be outlined in your application. The cover letter attached to the nomination form must state why you will need multiple entry rights. It could be as simple as requiring to fly across to New Zealand or for a performance in-between your Australian tour dates.
Can I do any other work whilst I am in Australia?
No, you can only undertake the work or activity that you included in your application.
May I bring family members with me?
Yes, you may. However, if they want to work they will need their own 420 (or other relevant) Visa.
Can a 420 Entertainment Visa application be rejected?
A visa may be rejected for a number of reasons including character and health. Although the Australian government recognises the value of entertainment, overseas acts and film investment, if your application is not done properly it may be rejected or you may have to start the process again.
On a promotional Tour and not "performing"?
What we would apply for is a particular story term business visa.
Feel free to email us if you have a question - firstname.lastname@example.org
The fees listed above are the fees charged by the Department of Immigration. If you are using us or any other qualified agent these fees are in addition. Our fees are fixed and current fees are published on our website. Our fees are also guaranteed to beat any other legitimate price of an agent. Why? Because entertainment visas are the only visas we do and we are the number 1 experts in the field in Australia with a 100% success rate and have never missed an agreed deadline.
More about our work for our customers seeking visas is here.