New Zealand Nationals Eligible for E-1 and E-2 Nonimmigrant Classifications

Last Updated on February 23, 2023

Starting June 10, 2019, certain New Zealand nationals can request a change of status to the E-1 nonimmigrant trader classification or the E-2 nonimmigrant investor classification.

What Do I Need To Know?

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said that qualifying employers with employees may file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker to request a change of status to E-1 or E-2 for New Zealand nationals already in the U.S. Additionally, the U.S. Embassy and Consulate in the country are accepting applications.

Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age of E-1 or E-2 classification can also change their status to E-1 or E-2 classification as dependents by filing Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status.

“Extending E-1 and E-2 classification to New Zealand nationals is a positive step and will allow additional U.S. work visa options and investment in the U.S.,” says Sara E. Herbek, Managing Partner at Global Immigration Associates.

What Are The E-1 and E-2 Visas?

The E-1 nonimmigrant classification allows nationals from a treaty country to enter the U.S. to engage in international trade on his or her own behalf. The E-2 nonimmigrant classification allows a foreign national (also from a treaty country) to enter the U.S.

The E-2 differs because the foreign national must be investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business.

Both the E-1 and E-2 represent potential H-1B alternatives if companies are seeking to lawfully employ foreign nationals in the U.S.

Click here to view a list of treaty countries.

Envoy is pleased to provide you this information, which was prepared in collaboration with Sara Herbek, who is the Managing Partner at Global Immigration Associates, P.C. (, Envoy’s affiliated law firm.