On Jan. 24, 2020, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) posted a final rule, effective immediately, imposing new restrictions on individuals applying for B nonimmigrant visas at U.S. consular posts outside of the United States. A B nonimmigrant visa is used by individuals traveling to the United States for business (B-1 visa) or pleasure (B-2 visa).
Under DOS regulations, the term “pleasure” has long been defined to include legitimate activities of a recreational character, including tourism, amusement, visits with friends or relatives, rest, medical treatment and activities of a fraternal, social or services nature. The new rule now explicitly excludes travel under the B visa category for those applicants traveling to the United States with the primary purpose of obtaining U.S. citizenship for a child by giving birth in the United States, also referred to by the DOS as “birth tourism.”
The DOS claims that reporting from U.S. embassies and consulates across the globe have documented an increasing number of B visa applicants who have stated that giving birth in the United States was their primary purpose of travel. Under U.S. immigration law, a child born in the United States is a U.S. citizen at birth, regardless of the immigration status of the child’s parents.
The new rule also establishes that an applicant is presumed to be seeking a B visitor visa for the primary purpose of obtaining U.S. citizenship for the child if the consular officer has reason to believe that the applicant is planning to give birth in the United States. The burden is on the applicant to rebut this presumption when applying for the B visa. Read more