New Zealand nationals will become eligible for E-1 Treaty Trader and E-2 Treaty Investor visas on June 10.

Key Points:

  • To qualify for the visas, applicants must be coming to the United States to engage in substantial trade (for E-1 visas) or to develop and direct an enterprise in which the applicant has made a substantial investment (for E-2 visas). E visa holders must intend to depart the U.S. upon the termination of their E status.
  • Spouses of E-1 and E-2 visa holders are eligible for dependent visas and to apply for work authorization in the U.S.
  • E-1 and E-2 visa criteria are available on the State Department’s website.

Background: New Zealand was added to the U.S.’s list of treaty countries under the “Knowledgeable Innovators and Worthy Investors” (KIWI) Act, which President Donald Trump signed last fall. The U.S. Embassy in New Zealand announced this week that the visas would become available to eligible New Zealanders beginning June 10.

BAL Analysis: The addition of New Zealanders to the list of nationals who are eligible for E-1 and E-2 visas is intended to enhance business, trade and investment between the U.S. and New Zealand. While a nationality’s eligibility for E status was traditionally based on bilateral treaties, the new trend is to allow countries access to this status based on special legislation rather than a treaty.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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