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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Birth tourism" is the practice of travelling to countries that practice birthright citizenship to have children, thereby ensuring the child citizenship in the destination country.


In the United States

The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees citizenship to those born in the U.S. It has been reported[1] that some women, wishing their children to be born in the United States, engage in "birth tourism" so that their children become U.S. citizens.

This practice is believed to be popular among women in Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan.[2] According to Edward Chang, a scholar of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Riverside, the practice is popular among the elite of South Korea, since sons of these women can avoid compulsory military service. Temporary homes for these mothers are often located in residential neighborhoods, which neighbors allege decrease the quality of life in the neighborhood, primarily due to increases in traffic and other business-like effects.[1]

Being US citizens, these children do not have to meet the stricter international student rules to enter U.S. universities and colleges. In addition, when they turn 21, they become eligible to petition for a grant of permanent residency for their parents through family reunification. Some prospective mothers misrepresent their intentions of coming to the United States, a violation of U.S. immigration law. However, it is not illegal for a woman to come to the U.S. to give birth.

In Canada

Canada's citizenship law has, since 1947, generally conferred Canadian citizenship at birth to anyone born in Canada, regardless of the citizenship or immigration status of the parents. The only exception is for children born in Canada to representatives of foreign governments or international organizations. In the mid-1990s, the Canadian government considered a proposal to limit jus soli citizenship in cases where neither parent was a citizen or permanent resident of Canada, but the idea was eventually dropped and never became part of Canadian law.

In Mexico

The Mexican Constitution of 1917 states that children born on Mexican soil are citizens of the country.

In Ireland

The Twenty-seventh Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland abolished birthright citizenship in Ireland. It is suggested [3] that fears of birth tourism played a role in the amendment.

See also


  1. ^ a b Special Report: Born In The USA KNBC on 'Birth Tourism'
  2. ^ Korean moms want 'born in USA' babies 2002 LA Times
  3. ^ Baubock, Rainer (January 2007). "Who are the citizens of Europe?". Vanguardia Dossier, English version in Eurozine. Retrieved 2008-08-06.  


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