KIWI Act Grants E-1/E-2 Visa Opportunity to New Zealand Citizens

It’s a bird! It’s a fruit! No, it’s the KIWI Act, a bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate and then signed into law by President Trump on Wednesday, August 1, 2018.

The KIWI Act, short for Knowledgeable Innovators and Worthy Investors Act, extends the E-1 Treaty Trader and the E-2 Treaty Investor visas to New Zealand citizens. Unlike the EB-5 Immigrant Investor visa, the E-1 and E-2 visas allow foreign nationals of certain treaty countries to invest in the United States without a set minimum investment.

The E-1 Treaty Trader is granted to individuals to engage in international trade on his or her own behalf. The individual should demonstrate they will carry on substantial trade and that the principal trade will be between the United States and their qualifying home country. USCIS defines substantial trade as “the continuous flow of sizable international trade items, involving numerous transactions over time.” The agency also states that while there is no minimum monetary threshold, greater value will provide a better argument for the substantiality of the business.

The E-2 Treaty Investor allows an individual to invest in a U.S. business and then enter the U.S. to develop and direct the business. The E-2 visa holder must demonstrate a minimum of 50% ownership of the enterprise or “operational control through a managerial position or other corporate device.” Similar to the EB-5 investment requirements, the E-2 requires the investor’s funds to be “at risk” or subject to loss if the investment is not successful.

If you are interested in learning more about the E-1 or E-2 visas or to find out if your trade or investment might qualify, please contact us at info@challalaw.com.