Google co-founder gets New Zealand residency, raising questions

Google co-founder Larry Page has gained New Zealand residency, officers confirmed Friday, stoking debate over whether or not extraordinarily rich individuals can primarily purchase entry to the South Pacific nation.

Immigration New Zealand mentioned Page first utilized for residency in November underneath a particular visa open to individuals with no less than 10 million New Zealand {dollars} ($7 million) to take a position.

“As he was offshore at the time, his application was not able to be processed because of COVID-19 restrictions,” the company mentioned in a press release. “Once Mr. Page entered New Zealand, his application was able to be processed and it was approved on 4 February 2021.”

Gaining New Zealand residency wouldn’t essentially have an effect on Page’s residency standing within the U.S. or some other nations.

New Zealand lawmakers confirmed that Page and his son first arrived in New Zealand in January after the household filed an pressing software for the son to be evacuated from Fiji attributable to a medical emergency.

“The day after the application was received, a New Zealand air ambulance staffed by a New Zealand ICU nurse-escort medevaced the child and an adult family member from Fiji to New Zealand,” Health Minister Andrew Little informed lawmakers in Parliament.

Little was responding to questions about how Page had managed to enter the country at a time when New Zealand had shut its borders to non-residents in an try to cease the unfold of the coronavirus.

Jacinda Ardern displaying a graph while standing before a bank of microphones
Opposition lawmakers are important of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s administration, questioning how Larry Page gained entry to the nation when it turned away so many others in response to COVID-19.
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Little informed lawmakers the household had abided by relevant virus protocols once they arrived.

Page’s residency software was authorized about three weeks later.

Immigration New Zealand famous that whereas Page had turn into a resident, he didn’t have everlasting residency standing and remained topic to sure restrictions.

Still, the company on its web site touts the “Investor Plus” visa as providing a “New Zealand lifestyle,” including that “you may be able to bring your car, boat and household items to New Zealand, free of customs charges.”

New Zealand flags being waved by crowd of people
New Zealand touts its “Investor Plus” visa, providing up the nation as a spot the place candidates could possibly convey their “car, boat and household items to New Zealand, free of customs charges.”
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Some native information organizations reported that Page had since left New Zealand.

Google didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

Forbes on Friday ranked Page because the world’s sixth-wealthiest particular person, with a fortune of $117 billion. Forbes famous that Page stepped down as chief government of Google’s dad or mum firm Alphabet in 2019 however remained a board member and controlling shareholder.

Opposition lawmakers mentioned the episode raised questions about why Page was authorized so shortly at a time when many expert employees or separated members of the family who had been determined to enter New Zealand had been being turned away.

Peter Thiel
Billionaire investor Peter Thiel gained New Zealand citizenship just a few years in the past with out ever having lived within the nation, granted citizenship on the New Zealand consulate in California.
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“The government is sending a message that money is more important than doctors, fruit pickers and families who are separated from their children,” ACT deputy chief Brooke van Velden mentioned in a press release.

In 2017, it emerged that Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel had been able to gain New Zealand citizenship six years earlier, regardless of by no means having lived within the nation. Thiel was authorized after a high lawmaker determined his entrepreneurial expertise and philanthropy had been helpful to the nation.

Thiel didn’t even have to go away California for the ceremony — he was granted citizenship throughout a non-public ceremony held on the New Zealand Consulate in Santa Monica.

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