While singer-songwriter Lorde continues to be one of its greatest exports, New Zealand may be facing a deluge of American imports following President Donald Trump’s lackluster inauguration. (Aside from billionaire Trump supporter Peter Thiel, who may have purchased a passport to the country just in case the worst happens.) A new report indicates the number of New Zealand passport applications by American citizens rose dramatically in the weeks following Trump’s inauguration ceremony. What’s more, the number of approved applicants has increased as well.
According to documents obtained by the Associated Press, the number of American applications for grants of New Zealand citizenship increased 70 percent during the 12 weeks since mid-January. In the month of January alone, the amount of approved citizenship applications filed by U.S. citizens rose 18 percent. Kiwi tourism was also on the rise apparently, as the number of Americans visiting the island nation in January was up from the previous year.
As the AP points out, these numbers reflect applications for “grants” — the particular method those without familial connections to New Zealand must take in order to gain citizenship. As for Americans with Kiwi family, the number of their citizenship applications is up too — 11 percent from January 2016. The country’s Department of Internal Affairs also confirmed with the outlet visitation to New Zealand’s immigration website skyrocketed “tenfold from the same two weekdays a month earlier.”
New Zealand is best known internationally for its gorgeous locales, as displayed by Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film franchises. More recently, Kiwis participated in the country’s Women’s March gatherings in January — while Trump himself stirred the nation’s media when he completely ignored a reporter’s question about U.S.-New Zealand relations to chat about golf: “Say hello to Bob Charles. I love Bob Charles. Do you know who Bob Charles is? Your greatest golfer!”
(Via Associated Press)