The E-1 and E-2 nonimmigrant classifications in the United States are open to citizens of countries with which the United States has a treaty of commerce and navigation or similar agreement. Congress can also enact legislation to include citizens of other countries in this arrangement. This is the case with New Zealand. Qualifying New Zealanders can now apply for E-1 or E-2 nonimmigrant status under Public Law 115-226. These applicants can request a change of status from within the United States, or a qualifying employer can file a petition on their behalf.
E-1 status allows citizens of certain countries to come to the United States solely to engage in international trade on their own behalf. E-1 status is also available to certain employees of certain traders or qualifying organizations. E-2 status allows citizens of specific 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 investors or qualifying organizations. This new law expands the options for New Zealanders seeking to immigrate to the United States and engage in or invest in American businesses.