Trump Creates New Visa Rules Restricting “Birth Tourism”

Beginning January 23, the Trump administration will begin implementing its new visa rules which seek to limit “birth tourism,” the practice of women traveling to the United States in order to allow their children to have United States citizenship. Addressing one of his most prominent political priorities, Trump’s new rules will deny pregnant tourist visa applicants unless they can prove the motivation for their travel to the country is not solely based on the American passport their child will receive. Under the new rules, applicants will have to prove that they need to come to the United States for medical reasons and that they have the finances to pay for it or have another compelling motivation.

While officials have stated that consular officers will not ask all female visa applicants of child-bearing age whether or not they are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant, they will make the inquiry only if they have reason to believe this to be the case. Officials listed visual cues, such as appearing pregnant or listing “medical treatment” as a reason for wanting to travel to the United States, as the basis for eliciting such inquiries. Officials also stated that the new rules would be applicable only to what are referred to as “B” class visas which permit short-term stays for business or pleasure, not to foreign travelers from any of the 39 predominantly Europe and Asian countries enrolled in the Visa Waiver Program.

According to the new rules, the State Department, “does not believe that visiting the United States for the primary purpose of obtaining U.S. citizenship for a child, by giving birth in the United States — an activity commonly referred to as ‘birth tourism’ — is a legitimate activity for pleasure or of a recreational nature.”

For more information, view the full article from The Associated Press.

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