Le Lézard
Classified in: Tourism and vacations, Business
Subjects: CHI, PDT, FOR

Savory & Partners: Birthright citizenship and the exciting world of birth tourism


DUBAI, UAE, Dec. 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Jus Soli, or birthright citizenship, is a concept that has been applied for centuries throughout various countries. The premise of birthright citizenship is simple; those born within a country's borders are granted direct citizenship.

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However, in practice, birthright citizenship can get quite complicated, as each country continues to set its own laws and restrictions.

What is Jus Soli?

In April this year, Portugal passed a legislation regarding Jus Soli. According to this law, after one year of having a Portuguese residency, should you have a child born, they would be able to obtain Portuguese nationality immediately.

The idea of obtaining a preferable citizenship for one's children remains a major attraction, and in a world where travel times are short and visas are plentiful, it has given birth to a new type of tourism altogether - birth tourism.

"Jus Soli, or birthright citizenship, is a concept that has been applied for centuries throughout various countries. The premise is simple; those born within a country's borders are granted direct citizenship."

Birth tourism refers to those who obtain a visit visa to give birth to their child in a country that has Jus Soli laws in place, allowing them to obtain a citizenship for their newborn.

Unlike immigrants giving birth to their children abroad in their new country of residence, birth tourism only requires a visit visa and a well-timed trip.

One of the countries with the highest birth tourism rate is unsurprisingly the USA, as the nation has unrestricted birthright citizenship laws in place, allowing anyone born on its land to obtain US citizenship directly.

While birth tourism is not easily tracked, the Center For Immigration Studies, a US based think tank, estimates that 33,000 people on visit visas give birth in the US each year. The center also states that most of these birth tourists hail from China, Taiwan, Korea, Nigeria, Turkey, Russia, Brazil, and neighboring Mexico.

The premise of birth tourism has quickly grown, but those considering it must be aware of the country's birthright citizenship laws, as not all Jus Solis are born equal, and traveling to a country to give birth for the purposes of gaining citizenship without understanding birthright citizenship regulations can be a costly and futile affair.

Understanding Birthright Citizenship

First, there are unrestricted and restricted birthright citizenship laws. Unrestricted birthright citizenship means that anyone born on the soil of a nation will automatically obtain citizenship, no matter their circumstances. This is the case in the US, Canada, and even Brazil, which many estimate may be one of the most birth-touristic countries in the world thanks to its powerful passport and easy visa process.

Other countries have restricted birthright citizenship, which means that in addition to being born within the country's jurisdiction. This is the case in the UK and Ireland, for example, where to gain citizenship in the former, one of the newborn's parents must either be a citizen or a settled resident in the UK. Settled in this context refers to someone on a permanent residence permit, or an indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

As for Ireland, one of the parents must actually be a full-fledged citizen, hence negating the entire premise of birth tourism.

Most countries allow the children of their citizens born abroad to apply for citizenship; and with a few exceptions such as Saudi Arabia requiring the father to be a Saudi national for the child to obtain citizenship, it allows for people who venture into birth tourism to obtain dual citizenship for their newborn on the day they are born.

Understanding the laws of birthright citizenship is the first obstacle, the second is getting to the country at the right time. This usually requires a visa, unless a person has visa-free travel to a country, and in the case of the US, it is difficult for pregnant women to obtain B1 or B2 visas during their second and third trimesters.

The Dual Benefits of a Dual Citizenship

Nevertheless, birth tourism remains highly attractive, especially for those who have already obtained a second citizenship through investment. For example, a person that obtains a Maltese citizenship through investment gains the ability to travel visa free to the US and Canada, two countries with unrestricted birthright citizenship, and the latter even provides free healthcare.

By getting a Maltese citizenship, a person can structure it so that their child is born in the US or Canada, giving them a third citizenship in the process, in addition to the Maltese one and their original citizenship, essentially tearing down all mobility obstacles in their child's path and providing them with the tools they need to fulfill their potential.

Another simplified route that allows people to get another citizenship for their children is through the Portuguese golden visa, which awards those who invest in Portugal with a residency permit for themselves and their family members. If a person has a golden visa and has a child within Portugal then that child can become a citizenship after one year of their birth. As the golden visa has a fast track to citizenship after five years and minimal residence (just seven days a year), it is an excellent option for those looking to get a second citizenship for their children in a relatively short time frame while also laying the groundwork for getting the citizenship themselves a little farther in the future.

Birthright citizenship on its own remains a very interesting topic, however, when combined with citizenship by investment, it can yield outstanding results that are open to very few people around the world.

To know more about citizenship through birthright or investment, contact us today to talk with one of our second citizenship experts.

Some Countries with Birthright Citizenship







Country

Citizenship Type

Details

Antigua and Barbuda

Unrestricted (jus soli)


Argentina

Unrestricted (jus soli)


Australia

Restricted

If one parent is citizen or permanent resident or if child
has lived in country for 10 years.

Bahrain

Restricted

If father was born in Bahrain.

Barbados

Unrestricted (jus soli)


Belize

Unrestricted (jus soli)


Bolivia

Unrestricted (jus soli)


Brazil

Unrestricted (jus soli)


Cambodia

Restricted

If parents are living legally in Cambodia.

Canada

Unrestricted (jus soli)


Chad

Unrestricted (jus soli)

Unrestricted, but child chooses to opt in or out at age 18.

Chile

Unrestricted (jus soli)

Child can choose to opt in or out.

Colombia

Restricted

If one parent is citizen or legal resident.

Costa Rica

Unrestricted (jus soli)


Cuba

Unrestricted (jus soli)


Dominica

Unrestricted (jus soli)


Dominican Republic

Restricted

Mildly restricted.

Ecuador

Unrestricted (jus soli)


Egypt

Restricted

If one parent was also born in Egypt.

El Salvador

Unrestricted (jus soli)


Fiji

Unrestricted (jus soli)


France

Restricted

If one parent is French citizen or born in France. Or upon 18th
birthday if you've lived in France at least 5 years since age 11.

Germany

Restricted

If at least one parent has a permanent residence permit and has
lived in Germany at least 8 years.

Greece

Restricted

If parents live in Greece 5-10 years and child attends preschool,
or if child has unknown or no other nationality at birth.

Grenada

Unrestricted (jus soli)


Guatemala

Unrestricted (jus soli)


Guyana

Unrestricted (jus soli)


Honduras

Unrestricted (jus soli)


Hong Kong

Restricted

Complicated compatibilities with mainland China.

India

Restricted

If one parent is citizen and the other a citizen or legal migrant (as
of 2020).

Iran

Restricted

If one parent was born in Iran.

Ireland

Restricted

If one parent is citizen of Ireland or Britain or is legal resident three
of last four years.

Israel

Restricted

Children born in Israel who have no other citizenship can apply for
Israeli citizenship between ages of 18-21.

Jamaica

Unrestricted (jus soli)


Japan

Restricted

If born to stateless "or unknown parents."

Lesotho

Unrestricted (jus soli)


Luxembourg

Restricted

If at least one parent was born in country, or if child has lived in
country 5 straight years after the age of 12.

Macau

Restricted

Complicated compatibilities with mainland China.

Malaysia

Restricted

If one parent is a citizen or permanent resident.

Malta

Restricted

If one parent is citizen or born in country.

Mexico

Unrestricted (jus soli)


Mongolia

Restricted

If parents are valid residents or unidentified. Child must accept
citizenship at age 16.

Morocco

Restricted

If parents were born in Morocco, child can register for citizenship.

Namibia

Restricted

If one parent was also born in or regularly lives in Namibia.

New Zealand

Restricted

If one parent is citizen or permanent resident or if child is stateless.

Nicaragua

Unrestricted (jus soli)


Pakistan

Restricted

Children of refugees are ineligible.

Panama

Unrestricted (jus soli)


Paraguay

Unrestricted (jus soli)


Peru

Unrestricted (jus soli)


Portugal

Restricted

If child is born with no other nationality, or child petitions for citizenship
and one parent lived in Portugal for 2+ years before child's birth.

Saint Lucia

Unrestricted (jus soli)


Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Unrestricted (jus soli)


South Africa

Restricted

If parents are citizens or permanent residents.

Spain

Restricted

If one parent was born in Spain or if parents are stateless.

Sudan

Restricted

If father was born in Sudan.

Taiwan

Restricted

If parents are Taiwanese citizens or if parents are stateless or unknown.

Tanzania

Unrestricted (jus soli)


Thailand

Restricted

If parents are legal residents for at least five years.

Trinidad and Tobago

Unrestricted (jus soli)


Tunisia

Restricted

If father and grandfather were born in Tunisia. Child must claim
citizenship before age 20.

Tuvalu

Unrestricted (jus soli)


United Kingdom

Restricted

If one parent is citizen or legally settled in the country or if child
has lived in country for 10 years.

United States

Unrestricted (jus soli)


Uruguay

Unrestricted (jus soli)


Venezuela

Unrestricted (jus soli)


 

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For more information, please send an email to contact@savoryandpartners.com, Savory and Partners, +971 04 430 1717

 


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