Upcoming Changes to Regulate “Birth Tourism” in U.S.

This is Stephanie of IMS.

It may soon become harder to travel to the United States if you’re pregnant. Several news agencies have recently reported that the Trump administration intends to implement harsher regulations to prevent “birth tourism”, when foreign visitors to the U.S. reportedly travel specifically to give birth and secure American dual-citizenship for their newborn child. These changes are said to be announced by the State Department soon, and come after President Trump threatened to end birthright citizenship.

Birthright citizenship is guaranteed by the Constitution’s 14th Amendment: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. However, there is a growing number of Trump supporters and politicians who consider this guarantee of citizenship a “risk to national security”.

The new regulations would alter requirements for the non-immigrant B visa (or other visitor visas) and give consular officers the authority to deny applicants a visa, if the applicants are believed to be using the process to facilitate citizenship, either for their unborn child or themselves, when the child is old enough to sponsor an immigrant petition for their parents.

This announcement of new regulations also comes a week after a Hong Kong airline apologized to a passenger for demanding that she take a medical test — to prove that she wasn’t pregnant — before she was allowed to board a flight to the U.S. Pacific island of Saipan. Saipan is part of the U.S. commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands and is considered U.S. territory.

As always, please allow yourself ample time to apply for a U.S. visa, and contact us if you would like to receive consultation about your application.