Beginning on June 10, 2019, citizens of New Zealand will be able to qualify for E-2 treaty investor visas.
What is an E-2 visa?
E-2 visas allow New Zealand citizens to either start a new business or to purchase an existing business in the U.S. With the visa, the applicant is permitted to oversee and direct day-to-day operations of the business.
Is there a minimum investment required to qualify?
USCIS or the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) does not specify any specific amount of investment to qualify for an E-2 visa. However, it is clear that the investment must be considered “substantial.”
How much of the business do I need to own?
The applicant must own at least 50% of the U.S. business in order to qualify as an E-2 investor. If the applicant owns less than 50%, he or she may still be eligible for an E-2 visa so long as the business itself is at least 50% owned by New Zealand citizens.
Can my family members accompany me to the U.S.?
Yes, investors or employees with E-2 visas may bring their spouses or children (under 21 years of age). The spouses are entitled to work authorization and the children may attend public school.
What kind of business qualifies for an E-2 visa?
There is no specific type of business that qualifies, though it must be an active commercial business. In other words, the business must sell or offer some type of service, product or goods. Typical E-2 businesses include: coffee shops, professional services, retail establishments, and manufacturing companies.
Can employees come to the U.S. to work for the E-2 business?
New Zealand E-2 investors can bring executives and specialized knowledge employees under E-2 employee visas to carry out work for the U.S. company.
Are spouses of E-2 visa holders eligible work for authorization?
Yes, husbands and wives of of E-2 investor or employees are eligible to apply for employment authorization.
Learn more about the E-2 treaty investor visa.