Pregnancy Esta Visa

New DOS rule barring birth tourism goes into effect

The Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, is amending its regulation governing the issuance of visas in the “B” nonimmigrant classification for temporary visitors for pleasure. This rule establishes that travel to the United States with the primary purpose of obtaining U.S. citizenship for a child by giving birth in the United States is an impermissible basis that will affect the issuance of a B nonimmigrant visa and any entry to the United States as a temporary visitors.

What does this mean?

It means that women traveling to the United States as temporary visitors for pleasure (traveling on a B-1/B-2 or ESTA) will be subject to further scrutiny at a Port of Entry to the United States or at the Consulate while visibly pregnant. The Officer at entry can determine that the visitor has the intent to proceed to give birth to their child in the United States with the primary purpose of obtaining U.S. citizenship for the child.

The visitor will have the burden to rebut this presumption with objective evidence to justify that their entry to the United States is not for the sole purpose of obtaining U.S. citizenship for the child. Furthermore, if the visitor were to give birth to their child in the United States, a Consular Officer when applying or renewing their temporary visas or at subsequent entry, can determine that the applicant was a willful violator of their temporary visitor status. We are unsure how this would affect temporary visitors that have United States citizens children or what would be the exact implications of this new regulation, however, we recommend to consult with an Immigration Attorney before any intended trips to the United States or visas applications at a Consulate if applying for any visa.

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