Under Canadian law, any child born in the country is automatically a Canadian citizen. Online ads promoting so-called birth tourism have targeted expectant mothers, encouraging them to come to Canada and give birth to their children there.
WHAT IS BIRTH TOURISM?
The practice called birth tourism involves a pregnant mother applying for a tourist visa to Canada. Once in Canada, the pregnant mother gives birth in a Canadian hospital.
Because the pregnant mother is on a tourist visa, she will be shouldering all the costs involved in giving birth.
Canadian citizens and permanent residents who give birth in Canadian hospitals do not pay for costs incurred during the procedure. Provincial healthcare plans cover all the costs of giving birth in Canada, provided you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
The online ads, being run in mainland China, are being run by third-party representatives offering package services for pregnant women.
These packages include transportation, housing, meals, medical appointments, shopping and hospital stay assistance.
While the third party representatives do not mention fees in the online ads, such services reportedly run in the tens of thousands of dollars.
EXPLOITING LOOPHOLES IN CANADIAN IMMIGRATION SYSTEM
The online ads effectively tell expectant mothers how to exploit the loopholes in Canada’s immigration system, encouraging them to give birth in Canada so that their children can sponsor them when they become adults.
The online ads also emphasize Canada’s subsidies for young families as well as the benefits of Canadian citizenship.
Canadian citizens can visit over 200 countries without having to apply for a visa.
Other online ads also appeal to parents who want a better life for their children, touting Canada’s world-class education system.
Canadian citizens and permanent residents enjoy free education up to high school.
Canadian citizens and permanent residents also enjoy free healthcare.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO GIVE BIRTH IN CANADA?
If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, giving birth in Canada will cost you nothing. It is covered by your provincial healthcare plan.
If you are not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, normal deliveries will cost up to CAD$8,000.00. C-sections will cost upwards of CAD$12,000.00.
With recent media reports about birth tourism on the rise, Canadian citizens and permanent residents are growing more concerned, urging their local representatives in the Parliament of Canada to take a closer look at the situation.
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