“As he was offshore at the time his application was not able to be processed because of Covid-19 restrictions. Once Mr. Page entered New Zealand his application was able to be processed and it was approved on 4 February 2021.”
The visa requires applicants to have NZ$10 million ($7 million) to invest in New Zealand over a three-year period, according to a statement on the immigration website.
New Zealand closed its borders to visitors at the start of the pandemic, except for on-and-off travel bubble with Australia. The country allows only a limited number of returnees, requiring them to spend two weeks in a government-run quarantine facility.
Together with snap and strict lockdowns and high compliance with public health rules, the closed borders have helped keep Covid-19 out of the Pacific nation. There have been only 2,524 confirmed cases of the coronavirus so far.
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When asked in the parliament earlier this week on what grounds Page was allowed entry into the country while the borders were closed, Health Minister Andrew Little said it followed a medical emergency application for Page’s son to be evacuated from Fiji in early January.
“It met all the standard conditions of a medical emergency requiring a medical evacuation from the Islands, and every requirement and regulation that was in place in relation to medevacs and in relation to COVID-19 was complied with,” Little said, according to a transcript on the parliament’s website.