TORONTO/WELLINGTON – Canada’s main immigration website appeared to crash and New Zealand reported increased traffic from U.S. nationals as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump appeared likely to win the White House on Wednesday.
Canada’s main immigration website appeared to suffer repeated outages Tuesday night as Trump took the lead in several major states and his prospects for winning the U.S. presidency turned markedly higher.
In New Zealand, immigration officials said on the eve of the vote that the New Zealand Now website, which deals with residency and student visas, had received 1,593 registrations from United States citizens since Nov. 1— more than 50 percent of a typical month’s registrations in just seven days.
Visits to New Zealand Now from the United States were up almost 80 percent to 41,000 from 7 Oct. to 7 Nov., compared to the same period last year.
Rod Drury, chief executive of New Zealand-based global accounting software firm Xero, said the statistics match up with interest his company has been seeing from prospective U.S. national employees concerned about a Trump win.
Drury said what started as a joke is becoming a reality.
“I’ve got lots of messages coming through at the moment asking for a job in New Zealand, and we’re saying ‘Yes you can,’ ” Drury said by telephone Wednesday.
“It will be interesting to see whether it translates into real action, it’s an active conversation that moved to getting more serious and we’ll see what will happen in the next month.”
New Zealand immigration officials declined to comment.
Meanwhile, some users in the United States, Canada and Asia saw an internal serve error message when trying to access Canada’s immigration website.
Canadian officials could not immediately be reached for comment, but the website’s problems were noted by many on Twitter.
After some Americans, often jokingly, said they will move to Canada if Trump is elected, the idea was taken up by some Canadian communities.
In February, the island of Cape Breton on Canada’s Atlantic coast marketed itself as a tranquil refuge for Americans seeking to escape if Trump captured the White House.
Drury said New Zealand and other non-American tech companies will benefit from a Trump win.
“A lot of the tech world has been driven out of the U.S. and I think this does change the landscape quite a lot,” he said.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg told the New York Times in July that her late husband, Martin, would have advocated moving to New Zealand if Trump landed the presidency.
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