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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.

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.

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.

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.

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