Looking for more information about birth tourism? This is the guide you need, with a clear overview of what it is, the best countries for birth tourism, and more.
Newborn children acquire citizenship by either the right of blood or the right of soil.
In the former, children acquire citizenship through their parents, meaning the child will inherit whatever citizenship the parent(s) hold(s).
In the latter, the newborn child will receive citizenship based on where they were born. In some countries, both these principles apply.
Once a child has received citizenship by being born in a country that applies jus soli, parents and siblings of the newborn may apply for permanent residency. In most cases, being immediate family to a citizen also offers a fast-track to citizenship.
Currently, 33 countries around the world practice birthright citizenship. However, requirements can differ from country to country. In this article, we’ll go through 5 desirable countries where obtaining citizenship and permanent residency for your family is easy and fairly straightforward.
Table of Contents
Birth Tourism – FAQ
Before going through the best countries for birth tourism, let’s have an overview about it, such as what it is, the best countries, and more.
What is Birth Tourism?
Birth tourism (also called Pregnancy tourism) refers to the practice of traveling to another country to give birth there. This allows the child to obtain citizenship or residency in the destination country based on birthright laws.
This is often motivated by the desire for the child to have access to various benefits like education, healthcare, and work opportunities in the future, or for ease of travel.
Is Birth Tourism Illegal?
The legality of birth tourism varies by country. It is legal in some countries like the United States and Canada as these countries grant citizenship by birth on their soil.
That being said, lying on a visa application about the purpose of travel, is illegal.
Other countries have stricter laws and do not grant citizenship by birth, or have measures in place to discourage birth tourism. It’s important to consult the laws of the specific country in question to understand the legalities of birth tourism there.
What are The Best Countries for Birth Tourism?
The United States and Canada are particularly favored for their high standards of living and comprehensive social services.
Brazil and Mexico also attract birth tourists, offering easier pathways to citizenship compared to many other countries. Of course, there are more, and here below are all the countries that allow birth tourism.
What are all the Countries for Birth Tourism?
Like I mentioned previously, there are 33 countries in total that offer citizenship by birth, and here they all are below:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
- St. Kitts and Nevis
- St. Lucia
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United States
It’s worth noting that rules differ for some countries, and you’ll want to check the rules and requirements for each before traveling for birth tourism.
For instance, to get citizenship, the parents of a child born in Chile must already have permanent residency in the country,
Also, for Portugal, parents must have been residents for at least one year.
Best Countries For Birth Tourism
Now that you have a better understanding of what birth tourism is and have an overview of all the countries that allow it, here are the best countries.
United States of America
Birth tourism in the United States offers significant advantages due to the country’s policy of birthright citizenship.
This policy ensures that children born on American soil are granted U.S. citizenship, opening doors to countless opportunities in education, healthcare, and employment.
Parents choose the U.S. for its high standard of living and the long-term benefits citizenship can offer their children, such as ease of travel and access to a stable economy.
A child born in the U.S. automatically becomes a citizen, and that includes Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Marianas. Eventually, parents will be eligible to get a second citizenship.
However, there are essential considerations to keep in mind. It’s essential to comply with U.S. visa regulations; misleading or fraudulent visa applications can lead to serious legal consequences.
Also, medical and travel insurance is advisable due to the high cost of healthcare in the U.S. Birth tourism in the United States.
Birth tourism in Canada is another great option due to the country’s inclusive citizenship laws, quality healthcare, and overall high standard of living.
When a child is born in Canada, they automatically receive Canadian citizenship, regardless of the parents’ citizenship status.
This benefit allows access to Canada’s healthcare system, educational opportunities, and a stable social environment, making it a good destination for a better future for children.
When coming to Canada for birth tourism, you must adhere to standard travel and visa regulations. It’s important to be transparent when applying for a visa and to have the necessary financial means to cover medical and living expenses during the stay.
Mexico is a vibrant, culturally rich country that is very welcoming to foreigners. It offers great and affordable health care, as well as birthright citizenship, known as jus soli, to individuals born within its borders.
This principle establishes that anyone born in Mexico, regardless of their parents’ citizenship, automatically becomes a Mexican citizen. As parents to a child born on Mexican soil, both parents will receive permanent residency based on family unity. Siblings under 18 can also apply for permanent residency.
The process can be started right after birth and is fairly easy. Family members may also apply for Mexican citizenship after 2 years, but are required to learn Spanish and take a test on Mexican history.
The Mexican passport currently ranks 52nd in the world, allowing visa-free travel to 122 countries, so going this route is a great and easy option, especially for those with weaker passports.
Depending on the parents’ citizenship and the rules of the parents’ native country, the newborn child may also acquire citizenship through jus sanguinis or right of blood.
For example, if one parent holds Italian citizenship and the other holds US citizenship, the newborn child will acquire Mexican, Italian, and US citizenship.
Brazil is another good option to obtain a second citizenship for your child on grounds of jus soli. The Brazilian passport currently ranks 48th in the world and allows visa-free travel to 131 countries.
Brazil is also known for its state-of-the-art medical facilities and a popular destination for medical tourism.
Brazilian public hospitals are free for childbirth for both locals and foreigners, which can help save some costs. Overall it’s a very comfortable place for you or your partner to give birth.
As parents to a child with Brazilian citizenship, you can apply for permanent residency in Brazil, granting you a lifelong right to reside in Brazil. The process can be started immediately.
After one year in Brazil as a permanent resident (you won’t be able to travel abroad during the first year), you may apply for Brazilian citizenship by naturalization, which will require you to learn Portuguese.
The process of getting permanent residency is more lengthy and bureaucratic compared to Mexico, and it is advised to hire an immigration lawyer. Brazil does recognize dual and multiple citizenships, meaning the child can inherit the parents citizenship(s).
Most countries in Latin America and South America apply the concept of right of soil, and Costa Rica is no exception.
By giving birth in this picturesque country, known for its incredible natural wonders, rich biodiversity and aromatic coffee, you can obtain citizenship for your child and permanent residency for your family.
The process to obtain residency can be started after giving birth and takes up to 15 months. Both parents of the Costa Rican citizen as well as dependents who are under 24 years old can apply.
Once the application process is started, you will receive a “Hoja trámite” from immigration, allowing you to stay in Costa Rica until your residency application is approved.
It is important to note that Costa Rica does not recognize dual citizenship with any other country but Spain.
If you hold any other citizenship, your child will need to choose whether to keep Costa Rican citizenship before they turn 25.
Panama is another interesting option to obtain second citizenship for your child. Panama is a modern country with great medical facilities, a strong economy and a territorial tax system.
By giving birth to a child in Panama, the newborn will automatically receive Panamanian citizenship.
Parents of the child may apply for permanent residency in Panama once the child turns 5. You may stay outside of Panama for the first 5 years of your citizen child.
The Panamanian passport currently ranks 60th in the world, and Panamanian citizens can travel visa-free to 110 countries.
In recent years, Panama has increased the financial requirements to receive permanent residency in the country. What makes giving birth in Panama interesting is the option to acquire permanent residency in a tax-haven for relatively low costs.
Panama officially does not allow dual citizenship, however, in practice, dual citizenship is possible.
In recent years, Argentina has received a great influx of people from all over the world seeking to get citizenship through birth.
As a parent of an Argentinian citizen, you can immediately apply for permanent residency with a chance of becoming a resident yourself in 2 years.
The Argentinian passport ranks 46th and allows visa-free travel to 134 countries in the world.
Argentina is a popular destination for Russians, as they can enter the country visa-free. Argentina recognizes dual and multiple citizenships.
As mentioned previously there are many countries that offer citizenship by birth but I hope this gave you a good insight into how this can be a great way to provide a second residency/citizenship not only to your kids but even for yourself.
Keep in mind that migration laws constantly change so when you got to the action taking part make sure you get support from a migration agent or a migration lawyer who can help you along the way.
Feel free to reach out if you need a recommendation.
Do you want professional help with your own International Tax Strategy and Corporate Structure?
Check out our current services. We are here to guide you and help you navigate through the complex world of International Taxes and Business Structures.
We hope you have enjoyed this article. If you have any further questions please leave us a message below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.
NOTICE: The content of this article is not to be considered as a legal opinion or tax advice. Wanderers Wealth does not hold itself out as a legal or tax advisor. If you want to receive a legal opinion or tax advice on the matter in this article please contact us directly and we will refer you to a legal practitioner.
Ps: This post contains affiliate links that are at no additional cost to you, but I may earn a small commission.