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US restricts birth tourism

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(Office of the CNMI Congressional Delegate) — The U.S. Department of State is moving to reduce birth tourism, a practice that has put travel from China to the Marianas at risk.

Effective Friday, applicants for tourist visas (B visas) will be denied, if it is determined the primary purpose of travel to the U.S. is to give birth to a U.S. citizen child —birth tourism.

Although most Chinese tourists to the Marianas enter under the special Marianas-only parole system set up in 2009 by the Obama administration, under the new rule anyone who applies for and is denied a B visa will also be ineligible for Marianas parole.

The rule also establishes that applicants seeking medical treatment in the U.S. must be able to prove they can pay all costs of treatment and living expenses and that a U.S. medical practitioner or facility has agreed to treat them.

The State Department emphasizes that its rule applies only to its organization and does not change Department of Homeland Security regulations or standards.

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