KIWI Act Signed by U.S. President
A bill has been signed by U.S. President Donald Trump that is intended to make it easier for New Zealanders and Americans to trade with and invest with each other. President Trump is pictured here in the Oval office at the signing with New Zealand-born Chris Liddell, Deputy Chief of Staff at the White House for Policy Coordination.
The American Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand reports that the passage of the Knowledgeable Innovators and Worthy Investors (KIWI) Act, comes as the United States and New Zealand marks a milestone 75 years of diplomatic relations. The bill will allow New Zealand citizens to apply for trade (E-1) and investor (E-2) temporary entry visas.
“New Zealand is one of our nation’s important strategic and economic partners. New Zealand is a member of the Five Eyes intelligence sharing alliance together with the U.S., United Kingdom, Canada and Australia and is the only member of the alliance whose citizens are not eligible to apply for E-1 and E-2 visas. Total foreign direct investment from New Zealand to the United States is valued at over half a billion dollars. However, New Zealand businesses have found that the lack of access to E-1 and E-2 visas has hampered their ability to increase trade and investment in the United States. By allowing New Zealanders to apply for these visas, the KIWI Act aims to expand business and investment opportunities between the two nations.”
“Americans and New Zealanders collaborate closely in business, technology, research, security and entertainment, yet the lack of access to trader and investor visas has been a serious impediment to increased economic growth and greater bilateral cooperation,” said United States | New Zealand Council Chairman Edward Farrell. “The United States| New Zealand Council applauds the passage of the KIWI Act by Congress to resolve this issue. Extending E-1 and E-2 visas to New Zealanders would significantly increase bilateral business activity, encourage greater investment and economic growth in the United States, create more American jobs and related benefits, and strengthen US-NZ bilateral relationship.”
“We are delighted that Congress has passed the KIWI Act,” New Zealand’s Ambassador to the United States Tim Groser said. “The bill will make it easier for New Zealanders to grow and expand their businesses in the U.S., helping to strengthen our two economies and to deepen our bilateral relationship. We would like to thank all who supported the KIWI Act, and in particular to acknowledge the work of Senators Mazie Hirono and Mike Lee as well as Chairman Grassley in the Senate and Representatives Darrell Issa, Kevin Brady, and Rick Larsen as well as Chairman Goodlatte in the House for their collective effort to advance this important piece of legislation.”
Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02), the Chair of the Friends of New Zealand Caucus, said in a statement on the House passage of the Knowledgeable Innovators and Worthy Investors (KIWI) Act, “New Zealand is an important friend and partner of the United States. By passing the KIWI Act, Congress ensures our immigration policy reflects the value and importance of this relationship,” said Larsen. “Enabling New Zealand businesses and investors to access nonimmigrant visas will better facilitate trade and investment and help local economies across the U.S.”
The text of the bill follows.
From the Congressional Record, Volume 164 (2018)
H.R. 3324–A bill to include New Zealand in the list of foreign states whose nationals are eligible for admission into the United States as E-1 and E-2 nonimmigrants if United States nationals are treated similarly by the Government of New Zealand; to the Committee on the Judiciary.
Cosponsors added, H737 [2FE], H3148 [11AP] H6300 [25JY], H6590 [4AU], H6632 [1SE], H7224, [11SE], H7430 [18SE], H7435 [21SE], H7534 [26SE], H7637 [28SE], H7843 [4OC], H7919 [10OC], H8272 [26OC], H8386 [1NO], H8699 [9NO], H9469 [28NO], H10421 [21DE]
By Mr. ISSA (for himself, Mr. Larsen of Washington, and Mr. Brady of Texas), H6144 [20JY]
The bill was introduced into the House of Representatives on July 20, 2017 and referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary and referred to the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security on August 23, 2017.
As early as 2013, Congressman Larsen and Chairman Brady called on the Judiciary Committee asking that the Committee extend trade and investor visas (E-1 and E-2) to New Zealand. On July 20, 2017, Congressman Issa and Congressman Larsen introduced the KIWI Act in the House.
The bill principally concerns itself with the subjects of Oceania, New Zealand, Immigration status and procedures, U.S. and foreign investments, Visas and passports and Immigration.
The bipartisan bill was authored by Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) to extend trade and investor visas to New Zealand citizens to increase international business between the United States and New Zealand.
The KIWI Bill was sponsored by Rep. Issa Darrell, a Republican representing the Californian 49th District which covers San Diego County and a small portion of southern Orange County. Rep. Darrell is Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Cosponsors of the bill from the Senate were (R) Sen. Mike Lee (Utah), Sen. Roger Wicker (Missouri), Sen. Cory Gardner (Colorado), Sen. John McCain (Arizona), Sen. Marco Rubio (Florida), and (D) Sen. Tim Kaine (Virginia) and Sen. Patty Murray (Washington).
Phil Houlding, a trade and economic counsellor at the New Zealand Embassy in Washington, DC, said in July 2017 when the bill when the KIWI Bill was introduced into the House of Representatives, “This is the first step to bringing more Kiwi investors to the U.S., building bilateral ties, and creating jobs in the U.S. and NZ.”