Trump-Backer billionaire Peter Thiel applies for Maltese citizenship, report says


Billionaire venture capitalist, PayPal co-founder and MAGA’s top Republican donor, Peter Thiel, is seeking citizenship in the Mediterranean island nation of Malta, according to a New York Times report, although its intentions behind the citizenship are still unclear.


Citizenship documents list Thiel’s address as an apartment in Malta, which the New York Times reported is listed as a vacation rental on Airbnb for $180 a night, despite Malta citizenship requirements to forbid applicants to rent their official residence before completing their citizenship process.

Although a Maltese citizenship would not provide Thiel with a significant advantage tax benefitthe New York Times reported, this could provide him with a multimillion-dollar complex and escape from the United States – he has expressed extreme displeasure with the direction the country is headed, increasingly funneling his multi-billion dollar net worth towards pro-MAGA candidates.

Thiel, a self-proclaimed conservative libertarian who co-founded Palantir Technologies and PayPal and served on Facebook’s board until February, said paid about $30 million in GOP campaigns ahead of November’s midterm elections, Politico reported. Candidates he has funded include fellow venture capitalists Blake Masters, who is running for a seat in Arizona, and JD Vance, in Ohio, both backed by former President Donald Trump.

Citizenship in Malta would give Thiel his third passport – he was granted New Zealand citizenship in 2011 after the country determined his “entrepreneurial skills” had made his citizenship in the public interest.

Thiel’s spokesman, Jeremiah Hall, did not respond to a request for Forbes.

Forbes Review Number

We estimate Thiel is worth $4.2 billion, making him the 626th richest person in the world.

Key Context

Thiel, a partner in venture capital firm Founders Fund and lead investor in Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Stripe, was also the first major investor in Facebook, although he walked away from the social media giant in February with the intention to influence the midterm elections. in favor of pro-MAGA candidates. He was one of Trump’s biggest donors during his 2016 presidential campaign, when he make a donation $1.25 million in super PACs and direct donations. He also spoke at the Republican National Convention that year. Thiel has been described as a controversial figure in recent years for embracing seemingly contradictory ideologies. He’s a mega-fundraiser supporting the GOP in a Democratic-leaning tech industry. He is gay and he supports former President Donald Trump, who was critical to support anti-LGBTQ policies. In 2011, he was granted New Zealand citizenship, although his citizenship status was not made public until 2017. Reports have emerged that the country’s home affairs officials waived two main requirements for a passport. New Zealander – being a permanent resident or intending to be one – claiming his “entrepreneurial skills” make him “exceptional”.


Thiel plans to spend an additional $5 million on the Masters campaign in Arizona, on top of the $15 million he spent campaigning in the Republican primary race earlier this year, the Washington Post reported Thursday. As for Vance’s campaign, Thiel could have already donated his last dollar. CNBC reported earlier this month, Thiel had indicated he was focusing his fundraising on the Arizona Senate race, following recent polls which show Masters trailing incumbent Senator Mark Kelly (D-Arizona), while polls in Ohio, Vance is narrowly ahead of Democratic candidate Tim Ryan.

Surprising fact

Thiel, a Los Angeles resident who owns an island estate near Miami Beach, Florida, also had plans to build a megamansion on over 18 acres of land on New Zealand’s South Island. Those plans, however, were thwarted last month, after local authorities rejected the proposal, arguing it would have a crushing aesthetic impact on the serene lakeside and leave a negative environmental footprint. He has offers create a city on floating platforms outside national water limits.

Further reading

Peter Thiel’s Midterm Gamble: Billionaire Seeks to Disrupt American Democracy (The Guardian)

Top US political donor Peter Thiel reportedly seeking Maltese citizenship (New York Times)

The Many Contradictions of New Zealand Citizenship by Peter Thiel (Forbes)

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