To visit New Zealand and work you probably need a work visa

Everyone working in New Zealand for any period must be a New Zealand or Australian citizen, and Australian permanent resident, hold a New Zealand residency permit, or a valid work visa (Australians have the automatic right to work in New Zealand). This is the law, and the responsible government department, Immigration New Zealand, is required to implement it.

Visiting producers, directors, cast and crew must apply for a Temporary Work Visa before they come and work. Usually the production arranges the work visas on behalf of the crew. These requirements apply equally to ordinary employees, independent contractors and freelance crew. In Immigration New Zealand documentation the word employee also applies to contractors and freelance crew.

The most common screen crew visa is called an Entertainers Work Visa.   

To assist Immigration New Zealand interpret the law, they work within rules laid out in the INZ Operational Manual. The part that specifically relates to temporary entry for screen crew Immigration Instructions - Temporary Entry 2. The current version is dated 08-May-17.  Information on this Screen Industry Guild website is a highly simplified summary, and you should refer to the full INZ Operational Manual or the Immigration New Zealand website to get the full detailed picture.

Section W3.1 of Immigration Instructions - Temporary Entry 2 requires, among other things, that the producers show that the crew they want to bring in are manifestly essential to the production, or that they do not put at risk engagement of New Zealand professionals, or that the producer has appropriately looked at engaging New Zealand professionals.

To get a work visa, crew probably need a letter from the Screen Industry Guild 

Section W3.10 of Immigration Instructions - Temporary Entry 2 requires, with some exceptions, that the producer obtains the agreement of the relevant New Zealand performers union or professional association. For crew, excluding producers and directors, this professional association is the Screen Industry Guild. For Producers refer SPADA and for directors or editors refer DEGNZ.

The way to obtain agreement is by requesting from the Screen Industry Guild a letter of non-objection (LONO) which can be forwarded with the visa application to Immigration New Zealand.  The Screen Industry Guild normally processes a request for a letter of non-objection within two working days. This will greatly facilitate and speed up most crew visa applications with Immigration New Zealand.  The cost of a letter of non-objection is $45 inc GST.

Screen Industry Guild Membership

Crew working here do not need to become members the Screen Industry Guild, however if you are working here for any length of time we recommend it.

Page updated 15 May 2017 from temporary-entry-2.pdf

The Screen Industry Guild is the short name for The Screen Industry Guild of Aotearoa New Zealand Incorporated. It was previously known as the New Zealand Film and Video Technicians' Guild Incorporated or as the Techos' Guild.

The Screen Industry Guild is supported by its members and the New Zealand Film Commission.

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