New Zealand E-1/E-2 Visas
New Zealand has recently been added to the list of 80+ approved countries that currently benefit from E-1/E-2 Trader and Investment visas. These visas allow New Zealand individuals and businesses the opportunity to directly tap into the largest economy in the world. Both the E-1 and E-2 visas are now available for application.
As a former Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand, Mr. McKenzie has experience working with individuals, small businesses and large multinational companies based in New Zealand, and as a result is able to provide comforting familiarity in what is a complex area of U.S. law.
What Is the E-1 Visa?
The E-1 visa allows companies that already have a history of conducting trade with the U.S. a direct path to further develop their business from within the U.S. If an established trade relationship between the company and the U.S. is already in place, then the E-1 visa allows the New Zealand company to send an essential employee to direct and develop their U.S. based operations. The key requirements are that the volume of the trade must be considered to be substantial, and at least 50% of the trader's exports or imports must be to or from the U.S.
What Is the E-2 Visa?
The E-2 visa is one of the most sought after nonimmigrant visas available, and is a great option for individual entrepreneurs looking to invest in setting up a new U.S. based company, or a New Zealand business looking to expand into the U.S. market by opening a U.S based office. The minimum amount of investment depends on many different factors, however must be deemed to be substantial relative to the type of business being invested in. A thoroughly prepared application package, extensive supporting documentation, and a comprehensive business plan are all essential to a successful E-2 petition.
Once the E-1/E-2 company is established in the U.S., other essential New Zealand employees are able to be transferred to the U.S. company. Spouses of E visa holders can apply for unrestricted work authorization, and dependent children under the age of 21 can enroll in school. The E visas are initially valid for a period of 5 years, and can be extended indefinitely provided that the business continues to operate successfully.
How Do I Apply?
A comprehensive application package should be prepared before submitting the online application to the U.S. Consulate in Auckland. Rohan McKenzie is a New Zealander now based in Washington, DC as the Principal Attorney at RGM Law LLC - a corporate immigration law firm. He has helped obtain both E-1 and E-2 visas for numerous individuals and companies from all over the world. If you are a New Zealand individual or company interested in applying for the E-1 or E-2 visas, please feel free to reach out to us for advice and guidance in preparing the E visa application package.