October 19, 2019

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House Passes the KIWI Act providing for E-1 and E-2 status for New Zealand

On July 23, 2018, the House passed by voice vote the Knowledgeable Innovators and Worthy Investors Act (S. 2245, “KIWI” Act ). This House action follows Senate passage by unanimous consent on June 28, 2018. The KIWI Act makes New Zealand nationals eligible for U.S. admission as E-1 (trade) and E-2 (investor) nonimmigrants under the Immigration and Nationality Act, if New Zealand provides reciprocal nonimmigrant treatment to U.S. nationals.

In floor remarks, House Judiciary Committee Chairman, Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) stated an important process point leading to the successful passage of KIWI-

The United States has entered into treaties of commerce since at least 1815, when we entered into a Convention to Regulate Commerce with the United Kingdom. Currently, the nationals of 83 countries are eligible for E-1 or E-2 status. In fiscal year 2017, in total, about 50,000 E-1 and E-2 visas were issued. In the past, countries became eligible for the E-1 and E-2 programs through treaties signed with the United States. However, in 2003, the Judiciary Committee reached an understanding with the U.S. Trade Representative that no immigration provisions were to be included in future trade agreements. Henceforth, legislation would be required to add countries. The bill we are considering today, S. 2245, makes New Zealand nationals eligible for E-1 and E-2 visas. I want to thank Mr. Issa for all of his work on this issue, and for introducing companion legislation in the House. I am also appreciative of the Embassy of New Zealand for seeking E visa status in the right way. (CQ House transcript)

The KIWI Act will proceed to the president for final action.

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About this Author

Robert Maples, Greenberg Traurig Law Firm, Northern Virginia, Washington DC, Government Policy

Robert Y. Maples is experienced in the Washington, D.C. federal, state and public affairs arenas. He has also been an advocate for building pragmatic alliances to resolve major social issues and has pioneered strategies for addressing complex public affairs crises in collaborative versus confrontational contexts. He continues his advocacy of pragmatic alliances in furtherance of client/government collaborations among the Congress and federal agencies, and serves as state counsel on complex client public policy matters. He is experienced in complex problem solving in...