NEW U.S. VISA RULES RESTRICTS ‘BIRTH TOURISM’


The Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs has amended its regulation governing the issuance of visas in the ‘‘B’’ nonimmigrant classification for temporary visitors for pleasure. The final rule establishes that traveling to the United States with the primary purpose of obtaining U.S. citizenship for a child by giving birth in the United States is an impermissible basis for the issuance of a B nonimmigrant visa.

The final rule also codifies a requirement that a B nonimmigrant visa applicant who seeks medical treatment in the United States must demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the consular officer, the arrangements for such treatment and establish the ability to pay all costs associated with such treatment.

The new visa rules published on January 23, 2020, by the U.S. Government is an attempt to curb “birth tourism,” the practice of expecting mothers traveling to the US with the primary purpose to give birth to their children to get their newborns US citizenship Under the rules, which take effect January 24, 2020, consular officers may deny tourist visas if they believe the applicant is coming to the country for that reason. But in order to avoid discrimination, those officials are limited in what they can ask, making the process of determining whether a visa applicant is intending to come to the U.S. to give birth difficult.


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