Birth Tourism: 29 countries that give birthright citizenship

Last update: November 2, 2017

Dateline: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

There are a number of ways to get a second passport, depending on how badly you want one.

We recently discussed 13 citizenships you could get rather easily by using one of the oldest tricks in the book: marrying a foreigner.

However, obtaining second citizenship is just as important – if not more so – for your children and future generations. For years, surveys such as The Best Places to Be Born have chronicled where children are likely to have it best.

I recently discussed this in my article on tips for parents-to-be, suggesting that parents who apply our principles of international diversification practice something called “birth tourism“.

If you live in the United States, you have probably heard the term “anchor baby” positioned in a bad light, but you can use the same principle to give your kids a head start.

I believe the practice of choosing the best country to give birth in should be important to all parents, especially since even the “first world” United Kingdom failed to crack the top 20 places in which to give birth, falling behind the likes of Montenegro and Lithuania. The study concluded that children born in Britain suffer higher infant mortality rates than many emerging countries.

Birth tourism is simple: have a child in a country that provides benefits to all children born there and gives your child the passport you could never have. In many cases, parents of such children enjoy a faster naturalization timeline, as well.

The process of “jus soli” is generally available to anyone who has a child on the territory of a birth tourism country, even if they are a temporary resident or even an illegal alien. The only people whose children don’t qualify for instant citizenship are diplomats.

These countries offer what is called “absolute jus soli“, meaning that the biggest hurdle you’ll face in some countries is having to register your bundle of joy with the local authorities to secure it a passport.

The United States and Canada are the only “first world countries” that offer unconditional citizenship to children born in the territory, although there are plenty of other excellent places that I’d actually prefer to live in.

Here in Asia, Mainland Chinese parents often seek to give birth in Hong Kong to obtain the “right of abode” for their children. (Hong Kongers are Chinese citizens, but with special privileges to reside in Hong Kong.)

Of course, we know that the United States offers such citizenship for the same reasons ancient Rome did: to increase the number of US tax-payers needed to pay off the country’s catastrophic debts.

Giving birth to a child in the United States is setting them up for a lifetime of taxes which they can’t even get out of without renouncing their citizenship. That means even opening a bank account for their college savings will require you to file paperwork with the US government.

For those who want to bestow their child with a second citizenship outside of the highly taxed western world, there are a number of places that offer “jus soli”, or birthright of the soil.

Any child born within that country’s territory becomes a citizen at birth, and there are dozens of countries whose laws allow the practice. So, which countries automatically give a passport and citizenship to children born there, regardless of the nationality of the child’s parents?

Ten years ago, Ireland amended its constitution to end their practice as the last European country offering unconditional citizenship rights to children born to two foreign parents. Malta had amended their earlier, too. Other countries, such as Australia, have similarly tightened their laws.

But when you follow the birth tourism blueprint, you can forget about dual citizenship and give your child multiple citizenships.

Here is the full list of the best countries in which to give birth when seeking birth tourism options, excluding countries where a ban on the practice is currently underway.

1. Argentina
2. Belize
3. Bolivia
4. Brazil
5. Canada
6. Costa Rica
7. Dominica
8. Ecuador
9. El Salvador
10. Fiji
11. Grenada
12. Guatemala
13. Guyana
14. Honduras
15. Jamaica
16. Mexico
17. Nicaragua
18. Pakistan
19. Panama
20. Paraguay
21. Peru
22. St. Kitts and Nevis
23. St. Lucia
24. St. Vincent and the Grenadines
25. Trinidad and Tobago
26. Tuvalu
27. United States
28. Uruguay
29. Venezuela

[One commenter also told us that Chile offers citizenship based on a child’s place of birth.]

Out of that list are a few gems…

Panama, Brazil, and Argentina are particularly noted for their quality medical care, including for world-class facilities that make giving birth there not only easy but much cheaper than any country in the West.

Two of the countries — Dominica and St. Kitts and Nevis — sell economic citizenships for six-figure price tags and even charge for your children to receive a passport, as well. Other countries that used to offer citizenship by investment programs, such as Belize, are also attractive birth tourism options.

Similar to how US persons complain of illegal immigrants getting access to welfare benefits for their US citizen child, several countries on this list offer the ability to fast track your own naturalization as the parent of a local child.

In Brazil, the wait is only one year, prompting my friend Neil Strauss to suggest “knocking up a Brazilian girl” in his book Emergency.

And surprisingly, some of these countries offer remarkably good passports. Holders of passports from Argentina, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, St. Kitts and Nevis, Uruguay, and Venezuela enjoy visa-free travel to all of Central and South America as well Europe’s borderless Schengen Area and almost every country in Europe.

Guatemala passport holders enjoy all of these privileges save the right to travel to Mexico. Nicaragua citizens enjoy Schengen area access, but more limited options within the Americas. And even some of the lesser passports here allow for visa-free travel of some sort to the UK, Ireland, Malaysia, and Singapore.

For someone interested in raising their family in the world’s emerging markets, the Peruvian passport allows for more visa-free travel to Southeast Asia and South American countries than most “first world” passports.

Outside of Canada and Chile, none of these citizenships will allow your child to visit the United States visa-free. But if you’re reading this, you might actually view that as an added benefit rather than a detriment.

Keeping your child in a growing, more laissez-faire environment is the best way to make the most of his or her birth tourism citizenship.

Be careful that you have the most up-to-date information before giving birth overseas, as a number of countries have ended their policy of giving citizenship based on birthplace; these include Australia, most recently, and New Zealand, Ireland, France, Malta, and India.

Of course, only you can determine how far you want to take the second citizenship and birth tourism game in an effort to bestow as many nationalities on your children as possible.

And if you happen to be pregnant now, you could always book your hospital stay and join us for one of our upcoming events on the beach.

Andrew Henderson
Last updated: Dec 29, 2019 at 1:24AM

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67 Comments

  1. Iamnotweetoddit

    In Canada the Hong Kong flights coming in are just packed with baby bumpers, it could be worse I guess, they could be from Ghana.

    Reply
    • Kass

      Iamnotweetoddit……are we to understand that you identify as a wee bitty brained racist…..bleach and soap for that mouth and brain…..

      Reply
    • LBX

      Racist!!

      Reply
    • Neenoio

      If you only saw what was pouring into the States! There are companies backing and bringing in Russian’s by the thousands. Putting them up in “birth hotels” as they await their little bundle of citizenship. NYC in many neighborhoods now looks (and sounds) like a Third World Country. You’re lucky if you could find someone who speaks English in local stores, etc. It’s nuts. Globalization is NOT the answer, for ANY country. All the folks supporting this in the States…. careful what you wish for. The idea isn’t so sunny once it starts to happen in your backyard and in a turn of irony, you’re forced to adapt to the upheaval. It’s not pretty.

      Reply
      • getoverit

        Better Russia than South America

        Reply
  2. Alex

    Argentina, Brazil and Panama have quality medicare, I wonder why…

    Oh right

    Damn commies and their cheap good quality healthcare.

    Reply
    • pabo

      It may be cheap for YOU in Panama but not for most of the locals.
      Public hospitals are horrible in Panama and people there are scared of staph infections.
      Anyone with any money in Panama always goes to a private hospital.
      Middle class Panamanians have health insurance to go to private hospitals.

      The “Commie” hospitals have Commie quality.
      The private hospitals are of a much higher quality.

      Have you ever been to Panama? Do you know any Panamanians?

      (BTW, I consider the US healthcare system Fascist as it is controlled by government/corporate cartels)

      Reply
      • Mia

        My brother in law stole my husbands inheritance real estate money and lives in panama, makes you wonder if foreigners are trustworthy there

        Reply
      • Jerry

        Much like Canadians who flock to the U.S. for healthcare when they can afford it.

        Reply
  3. Senor C O Jones

    Then why is everybody coming here?

    Reply
    • Mia

      Deceived is why

      Reply
  4. Pigoon Rancher

    This is a shitty practice that’s fueling America’s right-wing, which in the near-term will only promote violence against immigrants to the US.

    Reply
    • morton

      ”right” being the operative word here. Being the opposite of wrong which the democrats are. Hence they lost to Mr Trump saviour of the US.

      Reply
  5. Mia

    Nazis

    Reply
  6. Mia

    No need to in Brazil, just give birth and your entitled to reside there permanently, only problem is cps of Brazil will arrange a kidnapping of your child to black male you for child support

    Reply
    • Dr.Urooj Zanib

      CPS means please ? and can you tell me please that in 2016 is the same policy of giving a baby birth in brazil for gettig a passport ?

      Reply
      • Fat Lip

        cps is CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES, it was banned in the 1970s because the gov used it to attack and destroy large families on welfare or relatives of political dissidents (people who are critics of the government) and they profiled the parents like they do when they target anyone and lie about the history after defaming them to various contacts linked to the targets.

        example, if they are after you they will have people lie about you to anyone they they believe does not like you, if they cant find anyone then they will pretend they engaged in some sort of domestic dispute with the target, even a verbal dispute, abused and even sexually assaulted, their last resort is to frame someone as a pedophile using children or even actors recording their voices even if they dont sound like you to just justify doing in case another law enforcement agency finds out they have a racket., CPS can be stopped at times but it literally depends on how far the courts and who behind the attack is profiting, usually a judge, social workers and psychologists work together to take the children away even if they where proved to of used a false profile or mistaken one, they get 5000 dollars per child bonus a year if they can defame the parents to look like they do drugs or did drugs as teenagers, with all the false evidence., then the social workers at foster homes get the same per month so they actually make 100 times more money per year then all the courts combined. (incase your confused, CPS, magistrates, foster home, child and family psychologists all racket off the children taken away) they get the money (and false witnesses) as well as police support from the state to build a false profile of their targets, some in the past where even PRESIDENTS, its like a coup.

        Even if the parents are wealthy politicians if the people behind targeting them have the resources they can frame anyone to look like they are crazy and need mental help, atleast to police to justify using them as a tool to arrest a parent.

        8 out of 10 terrorist cases in france where an dark skinned person was arrested or shot at was actually outraged and arrested because their children where taken away by CPS., so they where not terrorist but framed by racists who took their children and sent them to catholic families. (which is genocide), even though the rules at the UN say this the gov can not be stopped from breaking laws, for example Julian Assange of wikileaks never raped a women, all the womens names used said this but even with the United Nations saying Julian is innocent the media and people after him in the US are pretending he is wanted to rape allegations, he recently discovered they had a plot to frame him as a pedophile once they had him in custody to make him look insane but he foiled this during the presidential debates and exposed who was behind it.

        CPS is basically a tool the state uses to destroy a family or harass them for political or what they really are PRESENTERS OF ORGANIZED CRIME CARTELS in the billions who use money to do this to people.

        Reply
        • Dr.Urooj Zanib

          is this still happening in Brazil ?

          Reply
          • Rebecca

            That’s just all kinds of crazy. I live in Brazil and the rules on child support are hard (but fair, why should women carry all the burden?). The justice system is corrupt but this guy is smoking something.

            Reply
    • Jerry

      So, basically the same as the U.S.

      Reply
  7. Jerry

    “Giving birth to a child in the United States is setting them up for a lifetime of taxes which they can’t even get out of without renouncing their citizenship. That means even opening a bank account for their college savings will require you to file paperwork with the US government.”

    That’s not entirely accurate. US citizens working overseas are not taxed on the first $100k of W4 income. And, whether it’s entirely legal or not, I would imagine you can still open foreign bank accounts in many places without the US government ever knowing the account exists.

    Reply
    • pabo

      The first 100k exemption ONLY applies to earned income…not investment income, dividends, royalties, etc.

      The US citizen must file extra papers to qualify for the exemption.
      The US citizen must also submit costly federal forms if he has a corporation and other business interests…the proper filing of these forms requires costly accountants and lawyers.

      Most banks WILL notify the Feds if a US citizen opens the account.

      If the child merely starts a savings account at age 12 outside of the US and doesn’t file the proper papers, he is in violation.

      Reply
      • Jerry

        As I said, “W4 income”. . . That specifically excludes investment income.

        Reply
        • pabo

          Yes, you stated “W4 Income”

          However, a US citizen by birth who is earning money outside the US will not receive a W4 from their employer (unless possibly working for a US based company).

          I just wanted to emphasize that the exemption is not automatic.
          They ARE taxed on their income unless they specifically file for the exemption…and are approved by the IRS.

          Unfortunately, there are lawyers in Latin American countries who specialize in filing back tax forms for people whose parents had them in the US but never reported their income…and now they are having problems.

          Reply
          • Jerry

            I never thought of it as filing for an exemption – I guess that’s what I did, but I certainly didn’t wait for any “approval.” I filed the appropriate form and that was that. It was about as close to automatic as anything I’ve ever experienced.

            Not that it affects or concerns me in any way but what kind of problems are these tax lawyers in latin America having?

            Reply
            • pabo

              Latin Americans who were born in the US but only lived there for a short time as as infants are having problems. Now as adults, they want to get a US passport and go to the US. But they can’t get a passport until they file all of their back tax returns. Even the ones who are not trying to go to US are being targeted.

              Reply
              • Jerry

                Is there a source where I can run down more info on this?

                Reply
                • pabo

                  I don’t have a specific source for Latin Americans with this problem other than what my long-term expat and local Panamanians have told me. It’s a similar situation to what London mayor Boris Johnson was in. He was born in the US and left at 5. He sold a house in London. He owed no capital gains in Britain but the Feds told him in 2014 to pay capital gains tax on the house. He refused. In 2015, he paid the tax and renounced US citizenship.

                  Reply
                  • Jerry

                    Sort of shutting the barn door after the horse has left, but I suppose I can understand why he did it. The IRS is out of control – not just when it comes to people who don’t live in-country.

                    Reply
    • Alex Tafarrodi

      The point is you have to FILE paperwork for everything, even for every bank account with over 10K. Do you know how much in accountant fees that accumulates over a lifetime? It’s a f—king pain in the ass.

      Reply
      • Jerry

        I guess the easy answer, then, is to simply stay home (outside the U.S.) and have your child there. . .

        Reply
  8. Rob

    With the advent and proliferation of FATCA, having a non-US place of birth becomes even more valuable.

    Many non-US banks are wary of doing business with US citizens due to the increased reporting requirements imposed by FATCA and the risk of penalties that apply if those banks fail to comply with the requirements of the Act (and their associated inter-governmental agreements). In fact, many foreign banks are refusing to do business with US citizens because the risks and costs outweigh the benefits.

    Obviously, this makes living overseas for US citizens next to impossible: if you can’t get a home loan or an investment account–much less, a basic bank account to receive your salary and pay your bills or whatever–life gets much trickier.

    Even if you have a second passport, a US place of birth gives away the fact that you’re a US citizen, and risk-averse banks will show you the door unless you can produce a renunciation certificate. However, with a non-US place of birth on a non-US passport, there’s nothing advertising one’s US citizenship. Of course, local laws and regulations and even bank policies may require potential customers to disclose all of their citizenships and nationalities; however, until that becomes the case, a US citizen born outside the US and holding a non-US passport could theoretically fly under the radar simply by remaining silent on the matter. Such a person could ostensibly even avoid running afoul of US reporting laws that apply to US citizens (such as the obligatory, annual Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR)) as long as the accounts never exceed $10,000 in value.

    US citizenship is becoming more of a scarlet letter with every legislative step…

    Reply
    • Irina Loncar

      Hi Rob. Thank you for your comment 🙂

      Reply
    • Rebecca

      I love “rich people problems” as to comments about problems opening bank accounts, hasn’t happened to me yet (neither in Spain nor Brazil). Agree one should be aware but there is a difference between being proactive and being a fear-monger.

      Reply
  9. stubhub center fifa 18

    Hello, I log on to your blog on a regular basis. Your writing style is witty, keep doing what you’re doing!

    Reply
    • Irina Loncar

      Thanks! 🙂

      Reply
  10. Christoph

    How long does it take if your child is born in St. Kitts and Nevis or Dominica to claim also passport in that country?

    Reply
  11. Corox

    France also have jus solí right, what happen when a child born in a French Island in the Caribbean , for example saint martin (French side of the island ) ?

    Reply
  12. Gina Rose wyatt

    Thanks for the information, sometimes the legalities make my head spin, but it’s so important to be informed on issues that affect our lives.

    Reply
    • Andrijana Maletic

      Thank you Gina, we appreciate your positive feedback.

      Reply
  13. Alan

    Have a Swiss friend with Swiss parents who was born in the US when her parents were grad students there. She’s been living in Switzerland since babyhood and is, of course, also a Swiss citizen. She’s slways lived in Switzerland.

    Now an adult, no bank will let her open a bank account in the small town where she lives and so she has to put all her utility bills in her father’s name just to pay them by direct debit. She will have to fork out a couple thousand dollars to renounce her accidental US citizenship and have a normal life. She is understandably not Uncle Sam’s favourite friend in Switzerland.

    Reply
  14. Essie

    Well, I am seeking information about obtaining a Guatemalan Passport. I am a US born citizen with a Guatemalan parent who now lives/retired in Guatemala. I anticipate having to travel there to secure my passport. Anyone have any insight on procedures on that one??? The consulate here is impossible (NYC). And I am definitely not pregnant. 😛

    Reply
  15. Lina

    Why do people always have to bring someone down, I believe this is a brilliant article. Love it! I love the witty:-)

    Reply
  16. Linzee

    This article is really informative! I was wondering which countries in Europe give passport to a baby who borns in their country?? Same as US or Canada?? As I’ve heard in Europe things are not same as US.

    Reply
  17. Andrew

    It’s actually pretty simple. We came down to the States and stay a couple of months until the baby was born. Since my wife is Canadian citizen the baby becomes an American Canadian.
    It’s a pity my passport cannot pass to my son. Otherwise, he would have three citizenship.
    If you go to Puerto Rico and have a child born there, he/she will be a PR citizen as well as a US citizen. And Spain has a fast track naturalization pathway for PR citizens.

    Reply
    • Erik

      There was s no such thing as a Puerto Rican citizen. A Puerto Rican is an American citizen. Puerto Rico is territory of the United States.

      Reply
      • Julio

        Puertorican here, I have both US citizenship and puertorican citizenship.

        Reply
    • Julio

      PuertoRican here. This is correct Spain has a fast track for puertoricans citizens to obtain Spanish citizenship.

      Reply
  18. P

    I’m still unsure which south/central American country is best.. Quality healthcare is important but so is quality of life and I don’t mean being rich, but maybe being able to afford a small holding?! Get a job.. Hope someone can advise.

    Reply
  19. ottavio

    Barbados should be added to the list.
    (at least, that was the case some years ago)

    Reply
  20. Alagwe

    This is very informative. It is also timely. A big kudos to the author.

    Reply
  21. Me

    Thank you for the info, but these comments are gross. Can you not moderate some of these disgusting racists?

    Reply
    • Vic

      Hey pal, everyone’s a racist, including you. Stop parroting the globalist controllers’ talking points for divide and conquer. Self-hate is no way to live.

      Reply
  22. Kavita

    I have a friend who is from Guyana and she has a visa to the US. She give birth while visiting the US and she is now worried that this is a violation to her visa status. Her visa is still valid. Is she correct?

    Reply
    • Erik

      Allow me to assure you that it is never a violation of your visa to give birth in the United States. It is a violation to become a public charge and a burden to the taxpayer, but if your friend covered her own bill she most definitely did not violate her visa requirements by giving birth.

      Reply
  23. Tommi Banks

    Nice article by the Nomadcap. Author. However, would be so kind to reply the email I sent you please? I’ll send another one immediately after this comment. Thanks. Regards.
    O. T. A. Oluwole

    Reply
  24. ayorinde

    Hello, I read your easy on BIRTH TOURISM in “Jos soli” countries. i must commend the time you put into it. Also you mentioned we can book for hospitals stay in those countries.
    Please kindly help to fast track doctor’s appointment to either of this country: Panama, Brazil and Argentina and visa requirement for these countries

    Good hospital with quality medical facilities and affordable is very important.

    Reply
  25. Angel Patrick

    Can my child get a U.S. passport if I give birth there end of next year

    Reply
  26. cecilia

    good morning,

    with recent Mr Trump statement on child birth in usa, what is the hope therein?

    Reply
  27. Nana

    This article was really helpful. I’m 2 months pregnant and hAve been researching for where to give birth. I’m considering Argentina, Panama and Kitts……
    Pls how do I book for hospital, Cost, housing and visa processing.

    Reply
  28. Phamoo

    Helo please can some explained more about Mexico to me…. I really wish to have my baby in Mexico….

    Reply
  29. Taiwo Chinyere Adetunji

    I am just planning to start a new life with my wife coming to join me later and apparently give birth in the country. Kindly advise on which country offers childbirth citizenship and good pay to expatriate workers .

    Reply
  30. espn.com/activate

    I just like the valuable information you supply to your articles.
    I will bookmark your blog and test again here frequently.
    I am relatively certain I’ll be informed many new stuff proper right here! Best of luck for the next!

    Reply
  31. damilare

    This writeup was really helpful. my wife is 2month pregnant and i am making findings on where she could give birth. I’m considering chile, brazil or barbados……
    Pls how do I book for hospital, Cost, housing and visa processing.

    Reply
    • Nelson

      Hello Damilare,
      My reply might be a little bit late and I want to believe that you have already gotten an answer. I am currently in the same situation as you. Do you have any information about Barbados and Brazil?

      Reply

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