U.S. Applications for New Zealand Citizenship Booms In Few Weeks

In New Zealand, the number of Americans who applied for a grant of citizenship rose by 70 percent in the 12 weeks following the election of President Donald Trump when compared to the same period a year earlier, immigration records obtained by The Associated Press show.

Figures also show the number of Americans who obtained a New Zealand work visa in January was up 18 percent from a year earlier, as was the number of Americans who visited the country.

In New Zealand, a grant of citizenship is the pathway for people without a family connection. Among those Americans with a New Zealand parent, citizenship applications after the election were up 11 percent from a year earlier.

In response to an AP freedom of information request, New Zealand’s Department of Internal Affairs said that in the two days after the U.S. election in November, the number of Americans who visited its website to find out about citizenship was up more than tenfold from the same two weekdays a month earlier.

To be sure, the total number of Americans applying for New Zealand citizenship remains relatively low. The country is more than 10,000 kilometers (6,000 miles) from the mainland U.S. and is perhaps best known for its majestic landscapes. Farming remains central to the economy, with sheep outnumbering the 4.8 million people by about six to one.

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