President Trump signed the KIWI Act into law on 1 August 2018. The bill had been introduced by Senators Mazie K. Hirono – Democratic representative for Hawaii - and Mike Lee – Republican representative for Utah, to make it possible for New Zealanders to access US E1 treaty trade and E2 treaty investor visas.
Sanwar Ali workpermit.com comment:
The KIWI Act to enable New Zealand nationals to come under the E2 visa and E1 visa scheme was passed into law on 1 August 2018. That was more than three months ago. How long will it be before New Zealanders will be able to take advantage of this scheme? In the meantime there is the L1 visa scheme and H1B visa schemes. However, it is difficult coming under these visa schemes.
It’s hoped that the proposed Knowledgeable Innovators and Worthy Investors (KIWI) Act will lead to an increase in international business between the United States and New Zealand. As reported by Workpermit.com in June, the newly introduced legislation emerged as the two countries reached 75 years of diplomatic relations.
E1 and E2 visa access for New Zealanders will help US economic growth
According to Senator Hirono, giving New Zealand’s citizens access to the E1 treaty trade visa and the E2 treaty investor visa will drive further US economic growth. Hirono said: “Supporting over 2,100 jobs in Hawaii last year alone, New Zealand’s visitor industry continues to build on our strong cultural and economic ties to the Indo-Asia Pacific region.”
Before it had been passed into law, trade and economic counsellor at the New Zealand Embassy in Washington DC, Phil Houlding, said: “The news is exciting. It’s the first step towards bringing more Kiwi investors to the United States, building bilateral relationships and creating jobs in these two great nations.”
Although the bill has been passed into law how long will it take for this to be implemented. The US-New Zealand council chairman, Leon Grice, said: “The KIWI Act is mutually beneficial and represents a real opportunity for New Zealand’s entrepreneurs.”
New Zealand a close US ally without US E1 and E2 visa access
Grice said: “New Zealand is one of the few close friends of the United States that doesn’t have access to US trade and investment visas. It’s something that New Zealand’s government has been lobbying for, and it’s something the Embassy’s been working really hard on for a number of years.”
The bill had been referred to several committees on July 20, 2017, and nearly 12 months on, was passed in the Senate. Grice said: “It’s been incredibly difficult to get traction with the bill because it’s been lost in the furore of general US immigration issues, as opposed to being viewed for what it is… an opportunity to create jobs in the US.”
“It’s frustrating because it’s difficult to find a moment where you can get a consensus in Congress,” Grice added.
E2 and E1 Visa scheme uncertainty about when it will be available.
Previously, Trade and Export Growth Minister, David Parker expressed his delight at the news. He said: “We are delighted that the KIWI Act has passed the US Senate. Our diplomats have been working to build political support for this in the US for many years.”
Mr Parker also expressed his thanks to the US lawmakers who had helped to build support for the bill.
“The bill passing in the Senate is an encouraging development. There are strong business ties between New Zealand and the US, and this legislation will help to grow trade and investment,” Parker said.
Previous uncertainty about New Zealanders KIWI Bill
Previously, after passing in the Senate, Grice said that New Zealanders have to “hold their breath” to see how the legislation develops in the coming months. He said: “The thing about the US, unlike in New Zealand, you can introduce a bill on the floor of the house, and get it read.”
“However, if you haven’t got a consensus or the numbers to pass it, it just goes nowhere,” Grice added.
Fortunately, the bill was passed in both the Senate and the House of Representatives and was signed by US President, Donald Trump.
Previously Grice said: “Even if we don’t get it through both chambers, it’s something we’re going to continue to push and lobby for. Any progress is good.”
However, New Zealand has been lobbying for access to E1 and E2 visas for some time, even hiring Donald Trump’s former election campaign director, Stuart Jolly, to assist them.
Executive director of industry group Export NZ, Catherine Beard, revealed that New Zealand had been ‘trying for years to negotiate a free trade agreement with the US, but the country had never been high enough on the USA’s radar.’
Workpermit.com can help with E1, E2, L1, H1B and B1 in lieu of H1B, B1 Business Visit Visas, E3 Visas and other types of US Visas
For more information, or to find out if you are eligible for a US work visa, contact WorkPermit.com on 0344 991 9222.