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Important Facts For Prelims

US to Limit Visas to Curb Birth Tourism

  • 25 Jan 2020
  • 3 min read

Why in News

The United States of America is planning to bar pregnant women from attaining visas for “birth tourism”.

  • The measures are to be adopted to curb the number of foreigners who use the visa to secure automatic permanent citizenship for their children by giving birth on American soil.

Birth tourism

  • It is technically defined as a pregnant woman's decision to travel to another country for the specific reason of giving birth in that country and hoping to gain citizenship.

Key Points

  • B1/B2 visitor visas would no longer be issued to “aliens" seeking to enter the United States for birth tourism.
  • Pregnant women will need to provide a specific reason for travel, like medical necessity, beyond giving birth to travel to the US.
  • The crackdown on “birth tourism” is for public safety and national security as well as to maintain the integrity of the US immigration system because the birth tourism industry threatens to overburden valuable hospital and national resources.
  • Currently, US law does not bar foreign women from travelling to the US to give birth. However, women need to prove that they have the financial means to pay for a medical procedure if that is the reason for the trip.
  • The US considers this “a glaring immigration loophole”.

B1/B2 Tourist Visa

  • It is a temporary, non-immigrant visa, allowing the holder to travel to the US for business and tourism purposes.

Requirements for becoming a U.S. citizen

  • At birth:
    • Have been born in the US or certain territories or outlying possessions of the US and subject to the jurisdiction of the US; OR
    • Had a parent or parents who were citizens at the time of birth (if the person was born abroad) and meet other requirements.
  • After birth:
    • Apply for “derived” or “acquired” citizenship through parents.
    • Apply for naturalization.

Acquisition and Determination of Indian Citizenship

  • There are five ways in which Indian citizenship can be acquired: birth, descent, registration, naturalisation and incorporation of territory. The provisions are listed under the Citizenship Act, 1955.
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