Visa requirements in Australia
We are very proud of our South Australia crew and the professional level at which they operate. If you would like to find out more about our home-grown professionals please visit our SA Crew & Services Directory.
We do understand that from time to time it will be necessary for you to bring ‘non-Australian’ crew with you. Special regulations and agreements cover the use of foreign technicians and performers in Australia. These regulations are designed to ensure that Australian citizens and residents are provided with a reasonable opportunity to participate in all levels of the production.
Visa Requirements and Work Permits
All visitors to Australia, except New Zealand citizens, must obtain the relevant visa before travelling to Australia.
If you wish to film in Australia and bring in foreign personnel , all non-residents will need to apply for a temporary visa for the duration of their stay. These guidelines ensure that Australian citizens and residents are provided with reasonable opportunity to participate in all levels of the production.
You will also need to demonstrate that employment of non-Australian crew members will lead to greater employment of Australians, than if an Australian worked on the project in the applicant’s place.
The number and type of foreign technicians and performers who can work on a production depends on the following issues:
- Levels of foreign investment
- Overview and description of the production
- The reason for importing an overseas person/s and why an Australian could not have been engaged
Before applying for a temporary work visa, we encourage you to follow the guidelines below:
- Start the process early
- Contact a qualified entertainment industry immigration specialist
- Engage a local production services company to assist with your Australian requirements
- Determine the type of visa you require (see FACT SHEET). Your immigration consultant and DIAC will also assist with this.
- Obtain an approved Australian sponsor (if you are applying for a Subclass 420 or subclass 423 visa). This may be your local production services company.
- Contact the key industry representative body – the Media Entertainment Arts Alliance (MEAA) early to start the consultation process.
- Adjust your budget to take into account all immigration consultation fees, sponsorship fees, application fees and safety officer (if required).
- Submit your application to the Commonwealth Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) to obtain the appropriate clearances for actors (ie performers).
- Submit your sponsorship and visa application forms, together with all required supporting documentation to the DIAC Visa Processing Unit. Your forms must be lodged by your Australian sponsor.
Which VISA do you qualify for?
There are three main categories of Australian visa. Your immigration consultant will advise you as to which visa is appropriate for your situation, based on the length of your stay and the purpose of your visit.
The three Australian visas available are:
- Business Electronic Travel Authority Visa
- Media and Film Staff Visa
- Entertainment Visa (subclass 420)
For more information on each of these download our Australian VISA Fact Sheet.
Eligible productions include feature films, television dramas, documentaries and animation.
Applying for co-production status
The Screen Australia’s administers the co-production program and determines official co-production status.
Co-production guidelines and copies of co-production treaties and MOUs are available on the Screen Australia website. Producers seeking further information can contact Screen Australia on +61 2 8113 5800.