US: New visa restrictions for pregnant women travelling for birth tourism

The US administration has published new visa rules effective Friday aimed at restricting ‘birth tourism’, in which women travel to the United States to give birth so their children can have a coveted US passport. Applicants will be denied tourist visas if they are determined by consular officers to be coming to the US primarily to give birth, according to the rules in the Federal Register. Those with medical needs will be treated like other foreigners coming to the US for medical treatment and must prove they have the money to pay for it – including transportation and living expenses. Officials said the rule will not apply to foreign travellers coming from any of the 39 mainly European and Asian countries enrolled in the Visa Waiver Program, which allows citizens of those countries to come the U.S. without a visa for temporary stays. The rule will only apply to applicants for so-called “B” class visas that permit short-term stays for business or pleasure.

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