Huge hike in Australian Entertainment visa fees.
In October, Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton announced that visa processing fees for international touring groups were to rise by up to 600 per cent coming into force in November.
Although the application fee has been removed and the processing fee reduced for overseas touring organisations, the group discount has been discarded. Without this cap in place, large tours would see a massive increase in their visa fees While smaller touring parties would certainly benefit.
With such a hike in fees, the Australian music industry are fearful as it’s likely to suggest that many live acts will abandon down under performances altogether. The Chief Executive of Live Performance Australia (LPA) Evelyn Richardson stated:
“This is a massive money grab by the Government, which is being introduced under the guise of a new online visa processing system that is supposed to cut red tape and streamline visa approvals.”
“The world-renowned Bluesfest held each year at Byron Bay attracts a strong contingent of international performers. In addition to the festival event, many of the touring acts also do side shows in capital cities or regional areas. Under the new charges, the visa processing fee for the organisers of Bluesfest have soared by 600 per cent to $55,000. Other festivals such as Splendour in the Grass and the Falls Festival face visa fee increases of more than 200 per cent for their international artists.”
“These new fees add significantly to the cost of touring Australia, and will act as a major disincentive for international artists to come here compared to opportunities in other markets.
“Australians who go to a live performance event or who work in the industry will be the biggest losers under this new scheme, as well as those who work in local tourism and hospitality businesses especially in regional communities. The system is now in place and we are interested to see how this will affect our clients and their future touring plans.