People travel to the United States for all kinds of reasons. When visitors use a B visa, they are usually coming for things like business, tourism and short-term visits. However, concern over how some people are using those visas has resulted in a new rule that targets pregnant women hoping to visit New York and elsewhere in the country.
Some government officials believe that so-called birth tourism is a serious problem. While some women do want to secure birthright U.S. citizenship for their children, others simply want to give birth in a country with higher safety standards and lower infant mortality rates. In an effort to stop this practice, embassies can now deny B visas for women they think are trying to give birth in the U.S.
Pregnant women will not be the only ones affected by the new rule. B visas can be good for as long as 10 years, so a young woman who is in her childbearing years could even be told “no” if a consular officer feels that she might get pregnant during that time frame. Women who are already pregnant will also have to include extra information with their applications to still just be denied in the end.
The increased scrutiny on pregnant and young women will make it even harder for them to secure visas. This can be frustrating for women who simply want to visit New York. If a woman is worried about her chances of getting a visa, it could be helpful to talk to an immigration attorney about those concerns.