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Birth tourism on the rise in Canada

  • Published by Ozgur Tore

birth tourism canada

Babies born to non-residents in Canada and the U.S. gain automatic citizenship. Health officials do not record the nationalities of patients, so they could include so-called maternity tourists, but also those in Canada on work permits, student permits or refugee claimants.

According to a 2013 report found fewer than 500 reported cases (or 0.14 per cent of total births) per year in which a child was born in Canada with neither parent a citizen or permanent resident.

“Restricting birth on soil to those who have a permanent status in Canada would remove the incentive for foreign nationals coming to Canada to give birth to their children and gain access to Canada and the benefits of Canadian citizenship, thereby preserving the value of citizenship,” states the report.

As it stands presently, children born in Canada to foreign nationals may be eligible to sponsor their parents for permanent residency in Canada under Family Class sponsorship once they turn 18 years of age. Parents for whom this situation applies can fill out a free immigration assessment and learn how they may immigrate to Canada.

According to an article at Vancouver Sun, the number of foreign mothers giving birth in Vancouver and Richmond hospitals has quadrupled in the last five years. In the first nine months of 2014, 232 non-residents delivered babies at Vancouver Coastal Health and Providence Health Care hospitals, the majority in Richmond. This accounted for nearly six per cent of all births. That compares to 62 in 2009, which represented one per cent of the total.

In China, businesses have been advertising the benefits of delivering a child in Canada. They suggest that having a child who is Canadian will speed the immigration process and give newcomers fast access to generous social welfare state.

“In Canada, after birth, there are five kinds of documents that need to be processed: birth registration, birth certificate, SIN, medical cards and work card,” says the website of the Burnaby-based Loving Postpartum Rest Centre, offering to guide clients through the process.

Local health authorities in Vancouver require foreign patients to pay their own hospital bills since they are not covered by Medicare. An uncomplicated delivery costs between $7,000 and $8,000; caesarean section between $12,000 and $13,000.
Source: CIC News, Vancouver Sun

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