Google Co-founder Larry Page Gets New Zealand Residency

The government of New Zealand has confirmed that Larry Page, the billionaire Google co-founder, has been granted residency in New Zealand having spent time in the country during the coronavirus pandemic.

This was according a spokesperson of Immigration New Zealand that the authority can confirm that Larry Page met relevant requirements to be approved entry to New Zealand. The state further said that the application was approved only after he (Larry Page) had gained entry into the country.

It was revealed that the billionaire applied for New Zealand residence in November 2020 via the nation’s “Investor Plus” residency visa but the application was unable to be processed because he was offshore at the time.

The visa, which requires applicants to have NZ$10 million ($7 million) to invest in New Zealand over a three-year period, was then processed after he landed in Auckland on Jan. 12, one day after the Page family filed an urgent application for the son to be evacuated from Fiji due to a medical emergency.

Responding to questioning as to how Page was able to gain access to the country when all borders was closed during the pandemic, New Zealand health Minister said that the nation gets roughly 100 medevac requests a year. “I’m advised all of the normal steps occurred in this case,” he concluded.

However, Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s prime minister, said before Parliament that she hadn’t been briefed on Page’s visit and that he trusted all the decisions made by the clinicians.

The news of Page’s visit and his residency has reignited a longstanding debate over whether the super rich can essentially buy access the South Pacific county as and when they want. Billionaire Peter Thiel, who co-founded PayPal and profited from an early bet on Facebook, was granted Kiwi citizenship in 2017 even though he’d only spent 12 days in New Zealand.

Thiel has invested in local start-up Xero and bought property across the country, as well as a 193-hectare estate in Wanaka on New Zealand’s rugged South Island. While he is yet to build anything on the site, he has been in contact with at least three architects.

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