Can you get immigration to Canada or USA by just managing the delivery of your baby there? Many feel birth tourism is the answer. Birth tourism is a method of travelling to a different country to give birth in that country.
Birth tourism aims at obtaining the child’s citizenship in a country using birthright citizenship. Such a child is sometimes referred to as an “anchor baby” if its citizenship is intended to help its parents gain permanent residency in the country.
Other grounds for birth tourism include access to health care, public education, future parental sponsorship or sometimes even for circumvention of China’s two-child policy.
The United States and Canada are amongst the popular destinations. Another birth tourism destination is Hong Kong, where some Chinese citizens of mainland travel to give birth to their children.
Birth Tourism in the U.S.A
The Fourteenth Amendment in the Constitution of the United States grants U.S. citizenship to those born in the U.S., given the individual is “subject to U.S. jurisdiction.” Congress expanded birthright citizenship to all occupied U.S. territories except for American Samoa.
There is no detailed information and statistics on the countries where people are engaging in birth tourism in the United States. However, the Center for Health Care Statistics reports that in 2008, the most recent year for which statistics are available, there were 7,462 births for foreign residents in the USA.
In 2012, the Center for Immigration Studies, a conservative think tank, reported that parents in the United States had around 40,000 annual births as birth tourists. The Center also projected that total births in the United States to foreign immigrants (e.g., visitors, teachers, guest workers) could be as high as 200,000.
However, disadvantages include the arduous process as the applicant has to go through huge paperwork. The consulate officials will only try to find a reason to reject your application.
If the family and the born child don’t abide by the rules and indulge in illegal practices, they may have to suffer strict punishments. Last but not least, the birth tourism process in the USA is very costly.
New Rule Imposed by the U.S.A Related to Birth Tourism
The new rules claim that the pregnant applicants will be refused a tourist visa unless they can show that their visit to the U.S. to give birth is for medical reasons and have enough financial capability to pay for it.
If you can’t provide some compelling reason, authorities won’t clear your papers just because you want an American passport for your child.
The consulate officers would not ask all child-bearing-age female visa applicants, whether they are pregnant or intend to become pregnant. Instead, they would only ask the question where they have reason to believe that the applicant is pregnant and is likely or planning to give birth in the United States.
Birth Tourism in Canada
Birth tourism relates to babies being born to non-residents in Canada so that they can obtain automatic citizenship without going through the standard immigration procedures.
An increase of 13 per cent was found in data collected by Griffith from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), which is based on information from hospitals across the country, excluding Quebec.
Kids born in the country are automatically recognized as Canadian citizens, under Canadian law. It will entitle them to Canadian post-secondary tuition rates and allows them to come to Canada to sponsor their parents.
Canadian Government understand the risk that women who move to Canada to give birth to children who automatically become Canadian citizens raise concerns about the burden they can place on the health care system.
Rules to be Followed for Birth Tourism in Canada
Giving birth in Canada does not constitute a breach of any terms or conditions which may apply to a temporary resident. Thus, refusal by the IRPA for a temporary resident visa (TRV) is not solely based on the intention of the applicant to give birth in Canada.
When a respondent is believed to be pregnant, consideration of the application will rely on the conditions applicable to all applicants for a TRV.
The reality of the pregnancy may be an item in the evaluation but only in so far as it affects the assessment of the primary criteria for issuing a TRV such as –
- Do candidates have adequate funds?
- Would they leave Canada at the end of their allowed stay period?
- Are they eligible?
Finally, for detailed information concerning birth tourism, you can check the official websites of the USA Government and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).