New Zealand’s embassy in Washington D.C. has recruited Stuart Jolly – a former campaign field director for US president Donald Trump – to aid the country’s push for access to US E-1 Treaty Trader and E-2 Treaty Investor visas. Access to the E-1 and E-2 immigration programs has been a top priority for New Zealand for some time. Because of the great difficulty in obtaining many US work visas such as the H1B specialty worker visa and L-1 intra-company transfer visas access to the E-2 and E-1 visa schemes will be of great help to New Zealand investors and their New Zealand employees wishing to live and work in the US.
About E-1 & E-2 Visas
The E-1 treaty trader visa is provided to businesses and individuals engaged in substantial international trade between the US and a treaty investor country. The volume of trade must provide employment for several people in the United States and must constitute the majority of the trader’s international trade.
Those eligible for an E-2 treaty investor visa are those who have made a significant investment in a US business in which the investor has at least a 50% ownership. The investment must provide employment for several people in the United States, and must be in an active US business.
E-2 and E-1 Visa Lobbyist Jolly’s former Donald Trump association
According to documents filed with a US government database recently, Mr Jolly – now of the Sonoran Policy Group – was hired to persuade the US administration to give New Zealand access to E-1 and E-2 business and investor visas.
Mr Jolly served as Trump’s national campaign field director during the Republican primaries and joined the super PAC Great America – a pro-Donald Trump committee that raised unlimited sums of money to support his campaign – which backed the newly installed President as its national advisor back in May 2016.
In a letter written by the Sonoran Policy Group’s CEO Christian Bourge on January 11, addressed to New Zealand’s deputy ambassador, he said: “We are excited to help facilitate interactions with the US Congress and incoming administration in order to ensure increased investment and trade between our two nations.”
E-1 and E-2 US Visa programs a top priority for New Zealand
According to a report written by Charlotte Greenfield for Reuters and published in the Daily Mail, the ‘E-1 and E-2 immigration programs have long been a priority for New Zealand as they would allow companies operating in the United States access to streamlined visas for their staff in line with neighboring Australia and around 50 other countries.’
Catherine Beard, executive director of industry group Export NZ, said: “It’s been the number one focus of the embassy over there. Access to the visa program was generally granted after reaching a free trade agreement.”
“We’ve been trying for years to negotiate a free trade agreement with the US and we’ve never been high enough on their radar,” Beard added.
According to the documents filed with the US government database, the New Zealand embassy’s contract with the Sonoran Policy Group is active for two months. It began on January 9 and will cost the embassy approximately $50,000.
President Trump recently withdrew the United States from a 12-nation trade pact – the Trans Pacific Partnership. New Zealand expressed its disappointment at Trump’s decision, but is now seeking to reach a mutual trade agreement.