Trump administration adopts rules restricting ‘birth tourism’

| Jan 27, 2020 | Immigration |

The State Department has announced new regulations restricting tourist visas for pregnant women who travel to the United States for the purpose of giving birth so their children can be granted citizenship.

The regulations seek to deny foreigners rights, which are granted by the U.S. Constitution, allowing birthright citizenship to anyone born in the U.S.

Applicants must pass tests under the new rules

The regulations are another step in the Trump administration’s efforts to curtail immigration. Under the rules, pregnant applicants will not be granted a tourist visa unless:

  • There are valid medical reasons for the birth to take place in the U.S.
  • Applicants have the money to pay for the procedure
  • They convince consular officers that another credible reason exists for the birth to happen in the U.S.

Regulations target female applicants of child-bearing age

The State Department says it will not ask all women applying for visas whether they are already pregnant, or intend to get pregnant during their stay in the U.S. Instead, officers will only ask that question if they suspect that the applicant is pregnant or will likely give birth during their stay.

Officers will use potential visual evidence, such as a woman who appears to be pregnant, or one who lists “medical treatment” as the reason for wanting a tourist visa. Even if an applicant is pregnant, she could still receive a visa if she has a valid reason, such as visiting a relative who is ill or attending a business conference or meeting.

Rules will not affect those in waiver program

The new regulations are designed to target immigrants who only plan short stays in the U.S. and do not apply to foreign travelers from nations enrolled in the Visa Waiver Program, which consists of 39 mainly European and Asian countries. The rule only applies to those seeking so-called “B” class visas.

Applying for immigrant visas can be extremely complicated matters for those who want only short stays in the U.S. as well as those seeking permanent citizenship. An experienced and compassionate immigration attorney will protect you and your loved ones’ rights and guide you through the application process.