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A car drives state highway 1 near the snowcapped mountains at Tongariro National Park in New Zealand, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

Forget moving to Canada. US applications for New Zealand citizenship have skyrocketed.


Every presidential election, people complain that if their candidate loses, they'll move to Canada.

Some Americans decided they'd go a bit further.

In the 12 weeks after President Trump's election, applications for citizenship in New Zealand spiked 70 percent compared to the same period in 2015. Records also show the number of Americans who got a New Zealand work visa in January was 18 percent higher than the previous year's total. 

Sheep graze in green fields below Mt Isabel, near Hanmer Springs 125km north west of Christchurch, New Zealand, Monday, Sept. 26, 2011.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

In context, these numbers are still fairly low. New Zealand isn't exactly densely populated, with just 4.8 million people calling it home. And sheep outnumber people six to one.

That was really symbolic to me... they're looking to New Zealand as, perhaps, an alternative.
Alanna Irving

Alanna Irving, a tech entrepreneur from San Francisco, moved to New Zealand six years ago. A friend of hers was so disturbed by Trump's victory that he got on a plane and flew to New Zealand to check it out. It clearly impressed him. 

In this Oct. 22, 2012 photo, the unusual design of the New Zealand Parliament's executive wing, known as the Beehive, graces the skyline in Wellington, New Zealand. Whether you're a fan making a pilgrimage to the city where the The Lord of the Rings films were made, or you have no interest whatsoever in dwarfs and goblins, there's plenty to do in Wellington. For free. (AP Photo/Nick Perry)

Earlier this month, New Zealand offered free trips to visit the country and interview for technology jobs to 100 workers from around the world. More than 12,000 people applied by March 10. 

It's been more of a flurry of excitement initially than anything that's translated into a huge avalanche of numbers.
Cameron Pritchard

Cameron Pritchard, an immigration consultant at Malcolm Pacific Immigration in Wellington, New Zealand, said the increase in applications could be a result of more people wanting to feel more settled in their new home. Most New Zealand citizenship applications require the applicant to live there for at least five years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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