Offshore

Surge In US Nationals Applying For New Zealand Citizenship - Media

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor, 16 March 2017

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News reports, based on immigration data, say there has been a rise in the number of Americans trying to become New Zealanders since the election of Donald Trump last November.

There has been a surge of US nationals looking to become citizens thousands of miles away in New Zealand following the election last November of Donald Trump, a move highlighting cross-border migration among individuals including the wealthy.

According to a report by the Associated Press, citing immigration data it has seen, the number of Americans who applied for a grant of New Zealand citizenship rose to 170 in the 12 weeks following the election of Trump from 100 in the same period a year earlier. 

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 rose to 203 from 183 a year earlier, the report said.

The news service said that in response to a freedom of information request, New Zealand's Department of Internal Affairs said that in the two days after the US election in November, the number of Americans who visited its website to find out about citizenship rose to 4,146 from 305 on the same two weekdays a month earlier.

A parallel trend has been that of US citizens giving up their nationality to get away from the clutches of the US worldwide system of taxation as enforced by the Internal Revenue Service. This process has arguably accelerated since 2010, when the Foreign Account Taxation Compliance Act, or FATCA, was signed into law by President Barack Obama. Separately, recent years have seen the evolution of a market in so-called “golden visas”, with jurisdictions – including the US – offering residence and citizenship to wealthy foreigners who pledge certain amounts of money to these places. Examples include those of the UK, Malta, Spain, Portugal, Dominica and the US.

 

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