Posts Tagged ‘E-2’

E Visas Now Available for New Zealand

Monday, June 10th, 2019 by W. Scott Railton

Good news for New Zealanders! As of today, the E-1 and E-2 visas are available options for travel and stays in the United States. These are visas based on substantial trade (E-1) and substantial investment (E-2). We routinely help business clients with these types of visas.

In 2018, Congress passed the “Knowledgeable Innovators and Worthy Investors Act,” otherwise known as the “Kiwi Act.”  Passage of this law allows Kiwis to apply for E-1 and E-2 visas, like over 80 other countries around the world. The gist of the E-1 (Trader) and E-2 (Investor) program is to facilitate trade and investment bilaterally between countries. The law is conditioned on New Zealand having a reciprocal program in place.

Here is USCIS’s announcement:

New Zealand Nationals Eligible for E-1 and E-2 Nonimmigrant Classifications

Certain New Zealand nationals can now request a change of status to the E-1 nonimmigrant trader classification and the E-2 nonimmigrant investor classification under Public Law 115-226. Beginning June 10, eligible New Zealand nationals already in the United States in a lawful nonimmigrant status can file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, to request a change of status to E-1 or E-2 classification, or a qualifying employer can file Form I-129 on their behalf. Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age of E-1 and E-2 nonimmigrants, and employees who are already in the United States, may also seek to change status to E-1 or E-2 classification as dependents by filing Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status.

Any Form I-129 and Form I-539 for a New Zealand national requesting a change of status to E-1 or E-2 classification filed prior to June 10, 2019, will be rejected, but may be refiled, together with the required fee, on or after June 10.

The E-1 and E-2 nonimmigrant classifications are open to citizens of countries with which the United States has a treaty of commerce and navigation or similar agreement, and in certain other cases, such as here, where Congress has enacted legislation. E-1 status allows citizens of certain countries to be admitted to the United States solely to engage in international trade on their own behalf. E-1 status is also available to certain employees of such traders or qualifying organizations. E-2 status allows citizens of certain countries to be admitted to the United States when they are investing substantial capital in a U.S. business. E-2 status is also available to certain employees of such investors or qualifying organizations.

For more on the E-1 and E-2 classifications, see our E-1 Treaty Traders page and E-2 Treaty Investors page.

The Department of State’s Consulate in New Zealand has also posted information on this big change, including information videos.

If you’re interested in this visa, and doing more business in or with the United States, we’re happy to help as we can. In my experience, E visa applications can vary a great deal on their merits, depending on the nature of the business, investment, or trade. The visas are terrific, once acquired, but the government can be very demanding in regards to the necessary proofs.  Also, USCIS and the Department of State adjudicate cases differently. The administrative and procedural hurdles involved are another consideration. Consulates around the world vary quite a bit in their demands of applicants, as well as their timelines and procedures for processing applications.

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Posted in General, Scott Railton |

Mission Canada Makes Administrative Changes to E Visa Process

Saturday, December 16th, 2017 by W. Scott Railton

Every so often, Consulates change their administrative procedures for handling E-1 Trader and E-2 Investor Visas. Mission Canada recently announced certain changes, effective December 5th, 2017. Most notably, initial applications will be reviewed during a ten business day period, after which an interview may be scheduled. It is possible that this change may slow down the actual processing timeline, but time will tell.

Here’s the message from Mission Canada:

We are pleased to inform you that our unit has implemented a new, streamlined E-visa application process for first time E visa applicants and applicants renewing their E visas. Our new online appointment system, processing change will allow us to receive and review E-visa applications before the applicant schedules an in-person interview (as opposed to the old system, which permitted applicants to schedule an appointment before submitting an application or supporting documentation). We anticipate that the new system will speed up processing time and help us provide better customer service to you and your clients.

Under the new system, E-visa applications will be sorted into two processing streams based on the time needed to review the required documentation.

• New Cases and Renewals – First-time applicants and those wishing to renew the registration status of their E-visa company will be offered a “deferred interview” appointment. While applicants will still need to first create an appointment profile and pay the required visa application fee online at, the interview will be deferred until applicants have electronically submitted their application and supporting documents to the U.S. Consulate in Toronto via Once their application has been reviewed, which requires at least 10 business days, we will send applicants instructions on how to make an appointment for an in-person interview. Applicants will be unable to schedule an appointment until then. Only applications in the queue for “New Cases and Renewals” will be considered for company registration or re-registration.

• Employees of Registered Companies and Dependents – Employees of currently registered E-visa companies, and qualifying family members of current E-visa holders, may schedule the next available appointment in Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver or Toronto.

For more information please visit our website listed below:

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Posted in General, Scott Railton |