Are you considering coming to Canada to give birth? Having a child born in Canada can provide benefits like Canadian citizenship and the ability to sponsor family members in the future. However, there are specific requirements for obtaining a Canadian visa for giving birth that you need to understand.
In this comprehensive guide, I will outline everything you need to know as a foreign national about getting a Canadian visa for the purpose of giving birth in Canada.
Overview of Birth Tourism in Canada
Canada is a popular destination for non-residents who want to give birth in the country. Here are some key facts about birth tourism in Canada:
- Canada automatically grants citizenship to any child born in the country.
- The number of non-resident births in Canada has increased significantly in recent decades, now accounting for about 1-2% of all births.
- Most women engaging in birth tourism in Canada come from China, India, and the Middle East.
- Vancouver and Toronto are major hubs for birth tourism due to large immigrant populations.
- Giving birth in Canada provides the child benefits like Canadian citizenship, subsidized healthcare and education, and future sponsorship eligibility.
However, Canadian immigration authorities now carefully regulate visas issued solely for giving birth to limit birth tourism.
Requirements for Canadian Visitor Visa for Birth
If you want to give birth in Canada, you must obtain a Canadian visitor visa. Here are the key requirements:
- Valid passport: You must hold a valid passport from your home country.
- Letter of acceptance: You need a letter confirming you are accepted for medical treatment at a Canadian hospital.
- Proof of funds: You must prove you have sufficient funds to pay for medical costs and living expenses for yourself and any family members coming with you.
- Binding ties to home country: You must convince visa officers you plan to return to your home country after giving birth.
- Valid medical insurance: You need private health insurance to cover your medical bills and hospital costs in Canada.
- Medical exam: You may need to undergo a medical exam as part of the application.
- Processing fee: A CDN$100 application fee applies.
Officers scrutinize visitor visa applications for birth tourism to confirm you meet all requirements and do not intend to overstay in Canada.
How to Apply for a Visitor Visa for Giving Birth
If you meet the eligibility criteria above, here is how to apply for a Canadian visitor visa for giving birth:
- Review the document checklist and gather all required paperwork.
- Complete the online or paper visitor visa application form.
- Pay the CDN$100 visa application fee.
- Include your letter of acceptance from a Canadian hospital.
- Provide proof of sufficient funds to cover costs.
- Undergo a medical exam from an approved doctor, if required.
- Convince officers of your ties to your home country.
- Submit biometrics if requested.
- Mail or submit your complete visa application to the Canadian visa office.
- Wait for a decision, which may take several weeks or months.
If approved, you will be issued a single-entry visitor visa valid for a few months. Notify officers once you’ve given birth so they don’t presume you are overstaying.
What Medical Costs Will You Pay?
As a non-resident, you are responsible for paying all medical costs associated with giving birth in Canada out-of-pocket, which may include:
- Hospital fees for delivery room/bed, obstetrician, anesthesiologist, pediatrician, medications, etc.
- Prenatal and postnatal doctor visits and lab tests.
- Ultrasounds, blood tests, screenings during pregnancy.
- Any complications or emergency care required.
- Costs for a newborn bassinet, incubator, etc.
Total costs for an uncomplicated birth often range from $5,000 to $15,000 CAD. But costs can be much higher if there are any pregnancy/birth complications requiring extended hospitalization or neonatal intensive care.
You must prove to Canadian immigration authorities you have sufficient funds to cover all anticipated medical costs before you can be approved for a visitor visa for giving birth.
What Are the Risks and Downsides?
While giving birth in Canada has benefits, there are also considerable risks and downsides to consider:
- High medical costs: Out-of-pocket costs for prenatal care, delivery and hospital stays can be very expensive for non-residents.
- No insurance coverage: You won’t have coverage under Canadian Medicare and must pay for private insurance.
- Limited hospital access: Not all hospitals accept non-resident births, so choice may be limited.
- Citizenship risks: There is a small chance Canada may change citizenship laws before a birth citizenship application is approved.
- No support system: You will be far from family and friends during pregnancy and birth recovery.
- Travel risks: Long flights and changing time zones can be risky during late pregnancy.
- Visa denials: You may get denied for a visitor visa if officers believe you plan to overstay.
Consider both benefits and risks carefully when deciding the best location to give birth.
What Are the Requirements for a Child Born in Canada?
If you succeed in giving birth in Canada, here is what’s required for your child to obtain Canadian citizenship:
- File an application for citizenship certificate once the child is born.
- Provide the child’s Canadian birth certificate.
- Pay a CDN$100 processing fee.
- Provide copies of parents’ passports and visitor visas.
- Complete form requirements and submit biometrics for the child.
- Wait for citizenship certificate, which takes about 2-4 months if approved.
- Apply for Canadian passport once citizenship is confirmed.
With Canadian citizenship, your child will have access to Canadian education, healthcare, and the ability to sponsor you and other family members to immigrate to Canada in the future.
What Are Alternatives to Giving Birth in Canada?
Instead of a visitor visa for giving birth, some alternative options include:
- Permanent residence: If you are eligible for a program like Express Entry, study/work permit, etc. you can give birth as a permanent resident covered by Medicare.
- Cross-border birth: You may look into options for giving birth at hospitals near the Canada-US border.
- Returning home: You can give birth in your home country where you’ll have more support and lower costs.
Discuss the options thoroughly with your family to make the best choice given your unique circumstances.
Want to Learn More?
I hope this overview gives you a great starting point to understand the visa requirements and process for giving birth in Canada. While benefits like citizenship exist, it involves major costs and logistics to consider.
At workliveincanada.con, we provide the most current and accurate immigration information to help you make the right decisions for your family. Let me know if you have any other questions