The U.S. Embassy in New Zealand announced that starting on June 10, 2019, eligible New Zealand companies and nationals will be able to apply for the E-1 Treaty Trader and E-2 Treaty Investor visas. Originally announced on Wednesday August 1, 2018, President Trump signed into law S. 2245, the Knowledgeable Innovators and Worthy Investors Act (KIWI Act), thereby granting E-1 and E-2 visa status to certain New Zealand applicants and provides for reciprocal treatment of U.S. nationals. To learn more about the E-1 Treaty Trader Visa, please click here. To learn more about the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, please click here.
In order for a country or an applicant to be eligible for E-1 and E-2 visas, there must be:
- A treaty between the U.S. and a foreign country;
- That majority ownership or control of the trading/investing company is held by treaty country nationals; and
- That each employee or principal of the company seeking E status is a treaty country national.
New Zealand nationals who are interested in applying for an E-2 visa can begin the process of gathering documents now and apply after June 10. At that time, U.S. citizens who are interested in investing, living, and working in New Zealand will also be able to apply for the reciprocal visa.
At this time, the length of the visa validity has not been released to the public yet. The amount of time an E-2 visa can be granted for varies by country and depends on the agreement (the legal term is reciprocity) between the applicant’s country and the United States. Some countries, such as Egypt and Bangladesh, have reciprocity periods of as little as 3 months while other countries allow applicants to get an E-2 visa for up to 5 years. More information about the visa will be provided as it becomes available.
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