Birth Tourism and the Best Countries for it

Birth tourism is not a new practice among expecting parents. It is the activity of going to another country where neither parent is a citizen, for the sole purpose of childbirth. There are many reasons why expecting parents may leave their country to give birth in another country:

  • For better medical care: There are countries with better and safer maternity healthcare systems. Parents-to-be could choose to give birth in other countries to get the best birthing experience.
  • To give their children a better quality of life: Some countries provide a better quality of life than others. Giving birth in such countries where the child becomes a citizen gives the child a better standard of living.
  • To get dual citizenship: If children are born in countries where citizenship at birth is granted, they automatically have access to the citizenship of two countries. That is, from their birth parents’ country and from the country they are born in.
  • To get residence and citizenship: Having a child as a citizen of a country makes the application for permanent residency and citizenship of his/her parents easier.

Note that not all countries give citizenship to children born within their borders. Countries grant either jus soli (right of the soil) or jus sanguinis (right of blood). Jus soli grants citizenship for being born ‘on the soil’. Jus sanguinis citizenship is based on the nationality of the parents.To avoid going to a country that practices jus sanguinis expecting citizenship, here are 5 countries best for birth tourism.


In Canada, a child can automatically get their second passport days after birth. With the Canadian passport, citizens can travel to 190 countries without having a visa. The child becomes eligible to apply for jobs when they are older and they can run for political positions, as every other citizen would. The healthcare system in Canada is good and you don’t have to worry about your child losing their citizenship status. It is there for life. Unlike in the United States where children who acquired citizenship by birth has to pay taxes, in Canada your child wouldn’t have to pay taxes if he/she doesn’t reside in the country.

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The Brazilian passport was ranked 12th best in the world in 2021. As a parent with a Brazilian citizen for a child, you can obtain permanent residency by submitting your child’s birth certificate and passport and applying for citizenship after a year. Not to mention that Brazil has world-class facilities and good healthcare. The Brazilian passport also allows travel to over 150 countries, visa-free.



Mexico is a popular vacationing spot but it is also at the top of most expecting parents’ list of countries to give birth in. This country is part of APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) and as such, their passport gives access to other member states like Australia, Malaysia, Russia, among others, visa-free. What’s more? After obtaining permanent residency for having a child who is Mexican, the parents and grandparents of that child are eligible to request for citizenship after two years instead of five years that every other person has to wait for.



Chile is not as popular as Brazil as a hot spot for birth tourism but Chile’s passport is one of the strongest passports in the world. It ranks among the top twenty passports of the world. What makes having this passport better is the fact that if your child decides to move to Spain, they can get a Spanish citizenship after two years of residency and after passing the Spanish language test. Normally, people wait for about ten years before qualifying for Spanish citizenship. Chile and Spain have an agreement to make the process of citizenship for Chileans as fast and easy as possible. A Chilean passport gives access to 173 countries, visa-free.

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As the United Kingdom has conditional citizenship for children born on their soil, going to Barbados to give birth to your child provides a gateway to the UK passport – especially if you have any British ancestors. Barbados was a colony of the United Kingdom. Barbadian citizens also have travel access to 140 countries without a visa and special access to the United Kingdom.


Even though birth tourism has been cast in a bad light, it is not bad to want a better future for your children. Do not be ashamed to reach out for better healthcare, quality education and better opportunities for your children by obtaining birthright citizenship for them in other countries.

Opeyemi Kareem


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