In the run-up to the U.S. Presidential elections, there was much talk about leaving the country should Donald Trump be successful in winning the top job. While Canada was on many minds, the Associated Press reports a large increase in the number of Americans wanting to move to New Zealand.

According to immigration records obtained by AP, the number of U.S. citizens who applied for citizenship in far away New Zealand rose by 70 percent, in just 12 weeks after President Trump’s inauguration, as compared with figures during the same period last year.

The number of work visas applied for in January was also up by 18 percent on last year’s figures.

Visits by Americans to New Zealand also increased by the same percentage. According to Uproxx, for those Americans with relatives already living in New Zealand, the number thinking of heading over and joining them went up by 11 percent.

Americans look for information about New Zealand citizenship

According to information received from the Department of Internal Affairs in New Zealand, in the first two days following the November election, the number of U.S. citizens accessing their immigration website increased. Reportedly Americans wanting information about citizenship jumped tenfold, as compared to the same two weekdays in the previous month.

More than Middle Earth, the hobbits, and the elves

New Zealand likely became better known to the American public after viewing the gorgeous locations in Peter Jackson’s film franchises of “The Lord of the Rings” and the popular “The Hobbit.” The lush green hills, quaint forests and wonderfully scenic views featured in the films captured the attention of the world.

AP interviewed 33-year-old Alanna Irving, who moved to New Zealand from San Francisco six years ago. She has since married a New Zealand citizen and is planning on applying for citizenship this year, as she cannot envisage ever returning to the U.S. Irving said that New Zealand is an “extremely livable place,” adding that you can feel the difference in the way people prioritize things, saying it is a place that cares more about equality and is much more community-minded.

However, relatively speaking, numbers of applicants are still pretty low, as New Zealand is located 6,000 miles away from the U.S.

Ironically, Trump’s name also comes up in relation to New Zealand, after he famously and totally ignored the questions of a Kiwi reporter. Said reporter wanted to know what effects the results of the election would have on New Zealand. Choosing to speak about his favorite hobby – golf – instead, Trump asked the Kiwi reporter to please say “hello” to Bob Charles from him, saying Charles is New Zealand’s greatest golfer.

AP notes that Charles was the winner of the British Open back in 1963.

New Zealand citizenship not an open-and-shut matter

Reportedly it is not just a case of applying for Kiwi citizenship and getting it. Americans who apply must, apparently, first reside in New Zealand for five years. AP quotes Cameron Pritchard, an immigration consultant based in Wellington, as saying feels the increase in interest in the country is due to the fact that, with the uncertain nature of the world today, people are looking for somewhere where they feel they have more security. Pritchard added that his company also noticed a big increase in inquiries from Americans during the run up to the presidential election.