New Zealand second choice for US citizens fleeing Trumpland

Published:  11 Nov at 6 PM
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It’s not just Canada which is seeing a huge jump in interest as regards emigrating from the US, it’s New Zealand as well.

The New Zealand Immigration website may not have actually crashed due to huge demand after Trump’s victory was announced, but its hits increased dramatically to 56,300 in the first 24 hours. The site’s daily average before last Tuesday was 2,300 visits.

A second Kiwi web page, New Zealand Now, saw 70,500 hits originating from the USA over the same 24 hours. The site offers information on investing, studying and working in the country.

As regards actual registrations with the immigration agency, around 3000 would-be expats make contact and ask for more information. In the 24 hours since Tuesday, over 7,000 US citizens have signed up, according to a manager for immigration.

During the US election campaign, one Supreme Court Justice joked she might well leave the country should Trump win, specifying New Zealand as her favourite destination. It seems her words were prophetic for a large number of Americans dismayed by the result and scared about what might come next.

It’s anyone’s guess how many US expats may join the 1,380 US taxpayers living overseas who gave up either their passports or their green cards during the last quarter, but the number represented a considerable increase over the numbers for the earlier part of 2016 and just under the record of 1,426 in the third quarter of 2015.

Given that, up until now FATCA and the difficulties of banking overseas since its introduction have been the main reason for leaving, Trump’s win may start another rush to relinquish US citizenship. Those about to retire to more affordable locations may well decide to go the whole hog and become citizens of a more predictable, comfortable country rather than wait out what they now see as a disaster.
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