DOS Final Rule Amending B Visa Regulations

DOS Final Rule Amending B Visa Regulations

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DOS final rule amending the B visa regulations to establish a rebuttable presumption that a B nonimmigrant visa applicant who a consular officer has reason to believe will give birth during her stay in the United States is traveling for the primary purpose of obtaining U.S. citizenship for the child. The rule requires consular officers to deny B nonimmigrant visas to applicants who do not overcome the presumption. The rule is effective 1/24/20.

SUMMARY: The Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs (‘‘Department’’), is amending its regulation governing the issuance of visas in the ‘‘B’’ nonimmigrant classification for temporary visitors for pleasure. This rule establishes that travel to the United States with the primary purpose of obtaining U.S. citizenship for a child by giving birth in the United States is an impermissible basis for the issuance of a B nonimmigrant visa. Consequently, a consular officer shall deny a B nonimmigrant visa to an alien who he or she has reason to believe intends to travel for this primary purpose. The Department does not believe that visiting the United States for the primary purpose of obtaining U.S. citizenship for a child, by giving birth in the United States—an activity commonly referred to as ‘‘birth tourism’’—is a legitimate activity for pleasure or of a recreational nature, for purposes of consular officers adjudicating applications for B nonimmigrant visas. The final rule addresses concerns about the attendant risks of this activity to national security and law enforcement, including criminal activity associated with the birth tourism industry, as reflected in federal prosecutions of individuals and entities involved in that industry. The final rule also codifies a requirement that B nonimmigrant visa applicants who seek medical treatment in the United States must demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the consular officer, their arrangements for such treatment and establish their ability to pay all costs associated with such treatment. The rule establishes a rebuttable presumption that a B nonimmigrant visa applicant who a consular officer has reason to believe will give birth during her stay in the United States is traveling for the primary purpose of obtaining U.S. citizenship for the child.

DATES: This rule is effective on January 24, 2020.

Source: AILA Doc. No. 20012334.