SAN JOSE (KCBS) – Peter Thiel, the Silicon Valley billionaire who is also an adviser to President Donald Trump, was able to gain citizenship in New Zealand in 2011 even though he had never lived in that country.READ MORE: Cal Fire Confirms Estrada Fire Sparked by Controlled Burn, Holding at 150 Acres; Evacuations Ordered
Documents revealed this week that a top legislator in New Zealand worked on granting Thiel citizenship because he’d decided Thiel’s entrepreneurial skills and philanthropy were valuable.READ MORE: Car Fleeing CHP Causes AC Transit Bus to Plow Into Oakland Home
In his application for citizenship, Thiel included the statement “I have found no other country that aligns with my view of the future than New Zealand.”
Thiel didn’t even have to leave California to become a citizen of New Zealand but was granted citizenship during a private ceremony at the New Zealand consulate in Santa Monica.MORE NEWS: Marin County Judge Tentatively Rejects Cutting Inmate Crowding at San Quentin
Thiel’s status was first reported by The New Zealand Herald newspaper last month and raised questions because he hadn’t fulfilled the usual criteria required for citizenship.