A co-founder of Google and one of the World’s richest men, Larry Page has been granted New Zealand Residency by the country’s government under a category for wealthy investors.
Applicants who desire residency must invest a minimum of 10 million NZD (7 million USD) in New Zealand over three years.
The Google co-founder entered New Zealand in January when its borders were still closed due to the pandemic. But he was allowed to enter by the government because of a medical emergency application of his son.
Page was applied for the residency in November. However, the government could not process his application as he was offshore then.
In January, he was allowed into New Zealand so his son could be evacuated from Fiji due to a medical emergency. The government confirmed on Thursday that his application was approved in February this year.
Although health minister Andrew Little cited that all the requirements and regulations were in place to allow Page to enter the country, some critics highlighted its apparent unfairness.
Katy Armstrong, an immigration advisor, said that many GPs and nurses are waiting to get their residency, whereas Larry Page comes in and can become a resident straight away.
Page is listed as one of the World’s wealthiest people with a wealth of over 116 billion USD. In 2019, he stepped down as Alphabet CEO, a parent company of Google but remained a board member and controlling shareholder.
Larry Page, the Google co-founder, is not the first Silicon Valley tech billionaire interested in New Zealand. Peter Thiel, a co-founder of Paypal and early investor in Facebook, named the country “the future” and became a citizen in 2011. He has since invested heavily there.
New Zealand was recently identified as a country more resilient than most to the threat of climate change. Researchers at the UK-based Global Sustainability Institute described the nation as the “best place to survive the collapse of global civilization.”