new zealand

Instead of spending 1,350 days to qualify for New Zealand citizenship, Peter Thiel only needed 12

12 days

Back in 2011, American billionaire Peter Thiel received Kiwi citizenship after spending only 12 days in New Zealand, instead of the 1,350 days over five years as required by law.

Published   |  Photo by Reuters/Stefan Wermuth
new zealand
12 days

And those 12 days weren’t even consecutive—Thiel’s time was split over four separate trips to New Zealand.

new zealand
12 days

This hyper-accelerated citizenship process is not illegal—just rare. It is sometimes used for athletes who want to represent New Zealand in competitions.

new zealand
12 days

In Thiel’s case, it helped that he had invested in Kiwi companies and infrastructure and given to humanitarian causes.

new zealand
12 days

New Zealand also expected that Thiel would act like an ambassador, connecting Kiwi startups with Silicon Valley talent and investors.

new zealand
12 days

Instead, Thiel’s citizenship was kept a secret for six years, and only came to light after an investigation by the New Zealand Herald.

Published

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