The Trump administration implemented new rules in January 2020 that could make it more difficult for pregnant foreign nationals to travel to the United States using tourist visas to give birth to their child in the U.S. The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution grants citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States.” So, parents do not need to be U.S. citizens – once a child is born in the U.S. then that child is a U.S. citizen, regardless of parent’s citizenship.
The new rules attempt to crack down on “birth tourism,” or the practice of giving birth in the United States to obtain U.S. citizenship for a child. It’s not clear how consular officials at the U.S. Embassy will determine whether individuals seeking to travel to the U.S. are pregnant. The rule calls for officials to reject the visa applications of individuals whose “primary purpose” is obtaining U.S. citizenship for a child by giving birth.
The new rules also tighten the restrictions on traveling to the U.S. to seek medical treatment.
The department said it will deny visas to those seeking medical treatment if they are unable to establish “to the satisfaction of a consular officer” that there exists a legitimate medical reason for treatment and that a practitioner or facility in the U.S. has agreed to provide it.
The rule amends 22 CFR 41.31 to include three paragraphs.
The first paragraph, amends the Department of State’s regulations on B nonimmigrant visas to clarify that tourism for the purpose of obtaining U.S. citizenship for a child by giving birth in the United States, or “birth tourism,” is not a permissible activity for a temporary visitor visa, or B visa.
The second paragraph codifies current standards for obtaining a B nonimmigrant visa for the primary purpose of obtaining medical treatment, requiring such individuals to provide documentation showing that a physician and/or hospital has agreed to provide the treatment and that the applicant has the means to provide payment for all expenses, including incidentals, either independently or with prearranged assistance of others.
Lastly, those individuals with B-1/B-2 visas who have used their visa to give birth to a child in the U.S. are at risk to have their visas revoked and canceled.
For more information on rules regarding having a baby in the U.S.,
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