First News
Volume:7, Number:37
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Around The World 1

Destination New Zealand

Two days after the U.S. election in November, the number of Americans who visited New Zealand immigration website rose to 4,146 from 305 on the same two weekdays a month earlier

| Muhtasim Billah |

Many strange things are happening in the United States after the election of Donald Trump as the president. An increasing number of Americans are not only talking about those things, they are also doing them. In New Zealand, the number of Americans who applied for a grant of citizenship rose to 170 in the 12 weeks following the election of president Donald Trump from 100 in the same period a year earlier. In that country, 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 rose to 203 from 183 a year earlier.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 citizen-ship rose to 4,146 from 305 on the same two weekdays a month earlier

To be sure, the total number of Americans applying for New Zealand citizenship remains low. The country is more than 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. Some Americans living in New Zealand say their friends and family have been asking them about moving there since the election. Alanna Irving, 33, a technology startup entrepreneur from San Francisco, moved to New Zealand six years ago and has since married a kiwi, as the locals are known. She said that New Zealand is an extremely livable place and one could see and palpably feel the difference in how society is organized, and what people prioritize. She thinks her adopted country is a place that cares about equality, I think more. It is less individualistic, more communityminded. She said a friend of a friend was so disturbed by the outcome of the election that he immediately jumped on a plane and flew to New Zealand to check it out as a possible place to live. Irving said his visit exceeded his expectations. Most Americans who apply for New Zealand citizenship must first live in the country for five years. Cameron Pritchard, an immigration consultant at Malcolm Pacific Immigration in Wellington, said the increase in citizenship applications could be a result of people wanting to feel more settled in their adopted country, given the uncertain nature of the world. He said his company noticed a big spike in inquiries from the U.S. during the election.

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