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Top Countries For Birth Tourism

Birth Tourism is giving birth in a country that grants citizenship based on jus soli and provides benefits to all children born there. This will not only give your child a better quality of life but also entitles them to a second passport immediately from birth. In many cases, parents of such children enjoy a faster naturalization timeline as well.

When it comes to determining a child’s citizenship at birth, countries usually apply one of two rights: jus soli (right of soil) or jus sanguinis (right of blood). Jus soli grants citizenship merely on the basis of being born “on the soil” of the country in question. Jus sanguinis determines the child’s citizenship based on the parents’ nationality.

The process of “jus soli” is generally available to anyone who has a child within the territory of a country with birthright citizenship, even if they are a temporary resident or an illegal alien. The only people whose children do not 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 their passport.

Birth tourism is common practice in both North and South America for countries to grant citizenship to anyone born on their soil.

Almost all of the countries in North and South America recognize the right of a child born on their soil to have citizenship in their country. Canada, being a first-world nation that practices birthright citizenship, is a popular destination for birth tourism. As global tourism, international travel, and digital nomadic continue their exponential rise, birth tourism can be expected to become even more commonplace.

The primary advantage of birth tourism is that you get a second passport for your child. In some cases, it can also expedite permanent residency and citizenship for the parents as well.

In Mexico, if your child is a Mexican citizen, then you can apply immediately for permanent residency, whereas most people need to live there for at least four years on a temporary residence permit. Furthermore, you would be able to apply for Mexican citizenship within only two years.

Likewise, if your child is born in Brazil then you can also fast-track Brazilian residency and citizenship on account of your family ties. Both the Mexican and Brazilian passports are highly desirable allowing visa-free travel throughout most of the world.

Another advantage to birth tourism is the ability to access first-world social services as a citizen. For example, a child born in Canada and possessing Canadian citizenship could return and access highly subsidized post-secondary education without shelling out the CAD $30,000 a year that most international students pay.


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Having a second passport increases substantially the opportunities available to anyone. While a child born in Canada may eventually be able to confer permanent residency to their parents through sponsorship, they must be of adult age and have the means to financially support their parents to do so. America too has a similar process.

While having a child in Canada or the USA may confer citizenship to the child, it does not necessarily mean the parents can stay with them or immediately become citizens as well.

Another reason for birth tourism, aside from birthright citizenship, is affordability. While taking advantage of getting a secondary passport for your child you can also save money by having your child overseas.

In Brazil, for example, health care is a right even for foreigners, and if you wanted you could have your child for free in the public system. Or you could opt for the higher-quality private hospitals, and still save money vs having your child in the states.

Mexico is another low-cost destination for childbirth, with costs starting as low as $500 (although $1500 to $2000 is probably more typical).


top countries for birth tourism

Most of the countries in the Americas allow for birthright citizenship (Colombia being one notable exception). Canada and the USA are two of the most desirable locations, since being the richest nations they afford their citizens the most economic opportunities.

Mexico and Brazil have their advantages, as they offer parents of so-called “passport babies” a fast track to citizenship, and they are popular expat destinations anyway.  

Chile is also a fairly desirable location for birth tourism, as their economy is robust and growing, and their passport is fairly powerful, however, as of 2019, they require at least one parent to be a legal resident.

Panama is another excellent country for birth tourism, as they have high-quality hospitals, a great economy, and they allow parents of Panamanian citizens a fast track to citizenship. They also practice a territorial tax system so if you become a tax resident there you do not have to pay any tax on foreign-sourced income.

Here is a list of the best countries in which to give birth:







Costa Rica



El Salvador














St. Kitts & Nevis

St. Lucia

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Trinidad and Tobago


The United States






how to engage in birth tourism

If you are thinking about having your baby in a foreign country in the Americas to take advantage of birth-right citizenship, then how is the best way to go about it? First, you will have to pick the country you want to give birth in. The easiest approach is to go somewhere where you have visa on arrival or visa waiver privileges so you can just go ahead and show up. Alternatively, if you have to apply for a tourist visa to go to that country (we’ll look at Mexico here in our hypothetical but there are plenty of other options to consider as well) then you must do that. Alternatively, you could also consider applying for a temporary residency in this country, if you have some family or business ties there or want to make an investment in that country.


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Once you have figured that out, you want to travel to the country when you are pregnant. You will need to find a good hospital, make sure you check out the reputation and reviews online and talk to any friends you might have with first-hand knowledge. Of course, you will want to have ample savings to cover both the cost of your hospital stay as well as your extended stay in Mexico leading up to the pregnancy. You might be pleasantly surprised at some of the differences in medical care and the attention you receive from your physician. Hotels are very affordable in Mexico, so you might opt to stay in a hotel nearby the hospital in the time leading up to your birth to minimize travel time when the big day comes.

After you have your baby, you will need to register them to get a birth certificate, then once you have that you can apply for their passport and you are good to go. If you are interested in Mexican citizenship yourself then as we mentioned earlier you can use your child’s status as a Mexican citizen as a means of fast-tracking your own permanent residency and citizenship. And even though your baby is now a Mexican citizen, they are still going to have the citizenship of their birth parents as well. So if you are a Canadian citizen, then your child will also qualify to be a Canadian citizen you just have to fill out some paperwork.


I help my clients to move offshore for freedom, privacy and autonomy by focusing on the immigration, legal, and tax issues that you will face when becoming an expat. If you would like to work one-on-one with me on getting out of Canada or the USA (or setting up a Plan-B location), then read this important letter and fill in an application form to become a Private Client. My fees are not cheap, however, I can assure you that when you work with a professional, your risks can be reduced considerably.

Mikkel Thorup

Written by Mikkel Thorup

Mikkel Thorup is the world’s most sought-after expat consultant. He focuses on helping high-net-worth private clients to legally mitigate tax liabilities, obtain a second residency and citizenship, and assemble a portfolio of foreign investments including international real estate, timber plantations, agricultural land and other hard-money tangible assets. Mikkel is the Founder and Director at Expat Money™, a private consulting firm started in 2017. He hosts the popular weekly podcast, the Expat Money Show, and wrote the definitive #1-Best Selling book Expat Secrets - How To Pay Zero Taxes, Live Overseas And Make Giant Piles Of Money.

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