The Best Birth Tourism Countries Giving Birthright Citizenship
Birth Tourism is giving birth in a country that grants citizenship based on jus soli and provides benefits to all children born there. This will give your child a better quality of life and entitles them to a second passport immediately from birth. In many cases, parents of such children also enjoy a faster naturalization timeline.
How Does Birth Tourism Work?
Almost all countries in North and South America recognize the right of a child born on their soil to have citizenship. Canada, a first-world nation that practices birthright citizenship, is a popular destination for birth tourism. As global tourism, international travel, and digital nomadic continue their exponential rise, birth tourism can be expected to become even more commonplace.
The primary advantage of birth tourism is that you get a second passport for your child. In some cases, it can also expedite permanent residency and citizenship for the parents.
If your child is a Mexican citizen in Mexico, you can apply immediately for permanent residency. In contrast, most people must live there for at least four years on a temporary residence permit. Furthermore, you could apply for Mexican citizenship within only two years.
Likewise, if your child is born in Brazil, you can also fast-track Brazilian residency and citizenship because of your family ties. Mexican and Brazilian passports are highly desirable, allowing visa-free travel throughout most of the world.
Another advantage to birth tourism is accessing first-world social services as a citizen. For example, a child born in Canada and possessing Canadian citizenship could return and access highly subsidized post-secondary education without shelling out the CAD $30,000 a year that most international students pay.
Having a second passport substantially increases the opportunities available to anyone. While a child born in Canada may eventually be able to confer permanent residency to their parents through sponsorship, they must be of adult age and have the means to support their parents to do so financially. America, too has a similar process.
While having a child in Canada or the USA may confer citizenship to the child, it does not necessarily mean the parents can stay with them or immediately become citizens as well.
Another reason for birth tourism, aside from birthright citizenship, is affordability. While taking advantage of getting a secondary passport for your child, you can also save money by having your child overseas.
In Brazil, for example, health care is a right even for foreigners, and if you wanted, you could have your child for free in the public system. Or you could opt for the higher-quality private hospitals and still save money vs having your child in the states.
Mexico is another low-cost destination for childbirth, with costs starting at $500 (although $1500 to $2000 is probably more typical).
What Countries Offer Birthright Citizenship?
For those who want to bestow their child with second citizenship outside of the highly taxed western world, several places offer “jus soli”, or birthright of the soil.
Any child born within that country’s territory becomes a citizen, and dozens of countries’ laws allow the practice. So, which countries automatically give a passport and citizenship to children born there, regardless of the nationality of the child’s parents?
Almost two decades ago, Ireland amended its constitution to end their practice as the last European country offering unconditional citizenship rights to children born to two foreign parents. Malta had amended theirs earlier, too. Other countries, such as Australia, have similarly tightened their laws.
But when you follow the birth tourism blueprint, you can forget about dual citizenship and give your child multiple citizenship.
Here is the full list of the best countries to give birth when seeking birth tourism options, excluding countries where a ban on the practice is currently underway.
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
- St. Kitts and Nevis
- St. Lucia
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United States
HOW TO ENGAGE IN BIRTH TOURISM
If you are considering having your baby in a foreign country in the Americas to take advantage of birthright citizenship, what is the best way to go about it? First, you will have to pick the country you want to give birth. The easiest approach is to go somewhere where you have a visa on arrival or visa waiver privileges, so you can go ahead and show up. Alternatively, if you must apply for a tourist visa to go to that country (we’ll look at Mexico here in our hypothetical, but there are plenty of other options to consider as well), then you must do that. Alternatively, you could also consider applying for a temporary residency in this country if you have some family or business ties there or want to invest in that country.
Once you have figured that out, you want to travel to the country when you are pregnant. You will need to find a good hospital, check out the reputation and reviews online and talk to any friends you might have with first-hand knowledge. Of course, you will want to have ample savings to cover both the cost of your hospital stays and your extended stay in Mexico leading up to the pregnancy. You might be pleasantly surprised at some of the differences in medical care and the attention you receive from your physician. Hotels are very affordable in Mexico, so you might opt to stay in a hotel nearby the hospital in the time leading up to your birth to minimize travel time when the big day comes.
After you have your baby, you will need to register them to get a birth certificate; then, once you have that, you can apply for their passport, and you are good to go. Suppose you are interested in Mexican citizenship yourself. As we mentioned earlier, you can use your child’s status as a Mexican citizen to fast-track your permanent residency and citizenship. And even though your baby is now a Mexican citizen, they will still have the citizenship of their birth parents as well. So if you are a Canadian citizen, your child will also qualify to be a Canadian citizen. You have to fill out some paperwork…