By Sanwar Ali
In August 2018 President Trump signed the Knowledgeable Innovators and Worthy Investors KIWI Act. After the best part of a year, finally on Monday 10 June 2019 in a couple of days time, it will be implemented. This will allow New Zealand nationals to apply under the US E2 visa and E1 visa scheme. The New Zealand owned business (usually at least fifty percent ownership) first needs to be registered under the E2 visa or E1 visa scheme.
This is of enormous benefit to New Zealand nationals and New Zealand businesses. The options to obtain an US work related visa are somewhat limited. The H1B visa has a quota that seems to always be oversubscribed. The L1 visa is also difficult to obtain and requires the employee to have worked for the business outside the US for one year in the last three years. Much of the time the only visa option that is available is the E2 Treaty Investor visa.
US Ambassador Brown in New Zealand had the following to say:
“From next Monday, June 10, eligible Kiwis will be able to get online and apply for a new class of visa,”
“We know that a lot of businesses have been very eager to see this up and running—they certainly haven’t been shy about letting us know just how enthusiastic they are!”
“We’re expecting quite an influx of applications,” he went onto say.
New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters welcomes E2 and E1 visa access
The somewhat colourful and controversial Winston Peters who is of mixed Maori and Scottish ancestry, and who is also Deputy Prime Minister was pleased to announce news of access to the E2 Treaty Investor and E1 Treaty Trader visa schemes. These schemes are linked to nationality with only certain nationals being able to apply. For example, Indian citizens and Chinese citizens cannot apply unless entering as dependents of E2 visa applicants. New Zealand joins the list of Countries whose nationals can apply from Monday 10 June 2019.
It is interesting to note that Winston Peters has taken a tough anti-immigration attitude towards immigration into New Zealand:
About fifteen years ago Winston Peters said New Zealand was “dragged into the status of an Asian colony” by immigration.
After the London 2005 bombings in 2005, Peters claimed “moderate and militant [Muslims], fit hand and glove everywhere they exist”… “to promote fundamentalist Islam”.
Australians can also apply for an E3 Visa
However, Australian nationals remain better off, as they are the only nationals who can apply for the E3 visa for specialty occupations. Australians can apply for the E2 visa, E1 visa and also the E3 visa. The E3 visa quota is never completely filled. There is no requirement to register the business under the E3 visa scheme, which in some cases can make things easier compared to the E2 visa and E1 visa schemes.
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