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Birth Tourism: Giving Birth in the US on a B1/B2 Tourist Visa

Updated: Jun 11

Birth Tourism: Giving Birth in the US on a B1/B2 Tourist Visa

Birth tourism refers to expecting parents traveling to other countries, such as the United States on a B1/B2 tourist visa, for the purpose of giving birth in the US so their children can obtain citizenship there.


The main reason for birth tourism is the desire for better education, healthcare, and future professional opportunities for children, including the potential for sponsoring their parents later on.


It's seen as a strategic move to secure a brighter future, providing their children with the safety net of U.S. citizenship.


In this blog, I will delve into the topic of birth tourism by addressing a series of frequently asked questions. This approach will help you grasp the full scope and implications of giving birth in the USA on a B1/B2 tourist visa.



Can I apply for a US tourist visa while I am pregnant?

  • Yes, you can apply for a US tourist visa while pregnant. However, you must be aware that the visa interview and application process might include questions about the purpose of your visit, and you should be prepared to address any concerns the consular officer might have regarding birth tourism.


  • On January 24, 2020, the Department of State amended its tourist visa regulation to address birth tourism. Under this amended regulation, U.S. consular officers overseas will deny any B1/B2 visa application from an applicant if the consular officer believes the primary purpose of their travel is to give birth in the United States to obtain U.S. citizenship for their child.


  • However, the US government understands that some people from other countries might come to the US for medical care while they're pregnant. This is different from birth tourism. It’s important, to be honest about your travel intentions and have sufficient proof of your ability to cover medical expenses in the United States in such a situation.


Will my B1/B2 visa application be rejected?

Your B1/B2 visa application may be rejected if you apply as a pregnant woman. This could happen because the consular officer might think your main reason for visiting is to have your baby in the US. The purpose of your visit is really important when you apply for a visa.



Is it illegal to give birth on a tourist visa in the US?

If you already have a B1/B2 tourist visa and enter the US (assuming you cleared immigration), there is nothing illegal about having your baby in the US on a tourist visa.


However, if a CBP (Customs and Border Protection) officer determines that you are about to give birth during immigration, your entry will most likely be denied, and you will be sent back to your home country.


Will my child be American if I give birth in the US?

Yes, if you give birth in the US, your child will automatically be an American citizen. At the age of 18, your child can renounce their US citizenship if they wish to do so voluntarily.



What happens if you give birth in the USA with a tourist visa?

  • Your baby will automatically become a US citizen.

  • Your baby can obtain a US passport.

  • There is no legal penalty for giving birth while on a tourist visa.

  • You should return to your home country without overstaying on a B1/B2 visa.

  • You will be responsible for all medical bills related to the birth, which can range from $10,000 to $30,000 or more.

  • As the US taxes by citizenship, not residency, your child will have to pay US taxes as soon as they start working, even if they work outside the US.

  • Your future visa applications might be affected due to perceived misuse of the tourist visa.


Can I stay in the US if my baby is a US citizen?

No, your child being a US citizen does not grant you automatic permission to stay in the US. Anyway, you don't get any direct benefits by giving birth in the USA. Your child cannot sponsor you as a dependent until they turn 18, and you cannot stay in the USA solely based on your child's citizenship.


Additionally, your child cannot live alone without appropriate guardianship arrangements. As a parent of a US citizen child, you would need to apply for the appropriate visa or immigration status if you wish to reside in the US legally.



Will they revoke my B1/B2 tourist visa after giving birth?

Your B1/B2 visa won't be revoked or canceled solely because you gave birth in the USA as it's not illegal.


As long as you return home within the allowed time limits, and do not overstay your visa, and if you clear any medical bills incurred during your stay, your visa status typically remains unchanged.


Immigration officials primarily check for overstays or violations of visa conditions, rather than solely focusing on childbirth during your visit.


Can I renew my B1/B2 visa after giving birth in the USA?

Yes, you can apply for a B1/B2 visa renewal from your home country after giving birth in the USA. However, the renewal process involves submitting a new application and undergoing the interview process again. You must disclose the child born in the US on DS-160 when you apply for B1/B2 renewal.


While giving birth in the USA isn't a disqualifying factor, visa officers will assess various factors, including whether any medical bills incurred during your stay were paid, and if you adhered to the permitted length of stay without overstaying.



What are the advantages and disadvantages of a baby being born in the USA?

Advantages:


  • Automatic US citizenship for the child.

  • Access to high-quality education and healthcare systems in the US.

  • Opportunities for the child to avail themselves of US government benefits and protections.

  • Potential for the child to sponsor family members for immigration in the future.

  • Enhanced travel privileges with a US passport.

  • Better job opportunities for the child as a US citizen.


Disadvantages:


  • Financial costs associated with childbirth and healthcare in the USA.

  • Possibility of facing scrutiny or denial of entry by immigration authorities if perceived as engaging in birth tourism.

  • Legal obligations associated with dual citizenship or navigating US tax laws.

  • Challenges in obtaining and maintaining US visas for family members if desired.



Can my child sponsor me for US citizenship in the future?

Yes, your child, once they reach the age of 21 and meet certain eligibility criteria, can sponsor you for US citizenship or permanent residency through family-based immigration processes.



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