Giving Birth in Canada

Did you know that any child born in Canada is automatically a Canadian citizen? Birth tourism is a big industry in Canada and here’s how you can take advantage of this opportunity.

To start off, coming to Canada with a purpose of giving birth is not illegal in Canada, all you need to do is meet the eligibility requirements of and be issued a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV). Being pregnant will not make you ineligible, however, in high-risk pregnancies, you must demonstrate that you have the additional funds to cover any potential unexpected medical procedures or treatments.

You must have your TRV before coming to Canada – you cannot get one upon your arrival. To obtain a TRV, there are certain steps you need to take. You must demonstrate that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay, have sufficient funds to sustain yourself and your family during your stay, be in good health and not intend to work or study unless you’re authorized to do so. You must have a TRV for every member joining you on your trip to Canada.

Budgeting is key when it comes to Birth Tourism. Giving birth in Canada without insurance or health care coverage can be quite costly, make sure to plan ahead! Though there are national estimates, the overall cost of your experience will depend on which city and province you’ll want to visit and what resources are available in those areas.

The average, low-risk, or ‘normal’ pregnancy can cost anywhere between $5,000 CAD – $10,000 CAD in medical expenses. These expenses can drastically increase if the mother has to have an emergency C-section. This cost is only one of the many factors you’ll want to consider.

Cost of living is one crucial factor to keep in mind as well. There are many different living accommodations you can consider. The first and most apparent is renting. In 2017, rent for a 2-bedroom apartment averaged to about $989 CAD across Canada. In major cities like Vancouver and Toronto and the surrounding areas, the average cost was closer to $1,500 CAD. Another option is birthing hotels. Accommodations explicitly made for pregnant women that offer things like appointment scheduling, transportation, translation services, meal delivery and postnatal care. The cost of birthing hotels will differ from location to location, so be sure to call ahead and get a quote!

So why would you want to give birth in Canada?

Well, all children born in Canada are Canadian citizens. As citizens, they are eligible for a Canadian passport and can later sponsor their families and parents once they turn 18.  Though babies automatically get citizenship, this does not improve or impact parent’s chances of becoming Permanent Residents nor is the child eligible for child benefit payments. However, parents can open up a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) for their Canadian-born children, accessible once they turn 18. For every contribution parents make, the Canadian government will match 20% of the first $2,500 CAD contributed per child per year. To learn more about RESPs, please visit Registered Education Savings Plan.

Some Things to Keep in Mind

  • Plan your trip well. While Canada does not bar pregnant women from coming to Canada to give birth, airlines may have specific regulations about when a pregnant woman can board a plane. The later you are in your pregnancy, the more likely it will be that airlines will refuse to allow you to board.
  • Timing is key – most TRVs will only allow you to be in Canada for 6 months at a time. It takes up to 3-4 weeks for birth certificates to be processed and you cannot apply for a Canadian passport for your baby until the birth certificate is ready. Your baby will not be able to travel without a passport. Give yourself enough time to get the necessary documents!
  • Make sure to plan financially – being pregnant may not be a barrier to your travels, but insufficient funds can be. Make sure you have enough money to cover medical bills (anticipated and unanticipated) and food and board during your visit.

So You’ve Decided to Come, are there any resources to help?

Once you decide to come to Canada, it’s important to be aware of the resources around you. With all the expenses that come with giving birth, all help is welcome!

  • Consider what kind of birthing support you need. From Doulas, Midwives, and Doctors to Specialists, there are many different health professionals that can meet your medical and financial needs.
  • Location is also important – are you looking to give birth at home, in a birthing centre or a hospital? Depending on your pregnancy risk levels, you may have multiple options to consider.
  • Community Health Centres can be a helpful and less expensive resource if you don’t have the insurance coverage and can connect you to the right services for you.
  • Programs like Healthy Babies, Healthy Children in Ontario offer home visits and focuses on the prenatal and postnatal health of mother and child, and offering support to new mothers
  • The Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program also gives viable and affordable options, supporting new mothers by offering nutrition counselling, prenatal vitamins, food coupons, breastfeeding support and support for infant care and child development.
  • If all else fails, rest assured that in cases of emergency, Canadian hospitals will not turn you away.

How We Can Help

To learn more about how to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa, get in touch with our experienced immigration lawyers today!

About the Author:

Sobirovs Law Firm
Sobirovs Law is a new generation law firm that merges the latest technology with traditional excellence in legal services. We focus on immigration law and business law practices and feel honored to serve Canada’s multinational community. Fluent in several languages, our lawyers truly reflect this community and make up a dedicated team of legal advisors who focus on delivering tailored solutions to each client’s legal matters. We have diverse client base: from investors and multinational corporations looking for business opportunities in Canada or relocating corporate management teams to Canada, to individuals hoping to settle in Canada. All our clients have one thing in common: they all work hard to succeed, and we share that passion with them. Whether it is a simple advice for an individual client or a complex international transaction for a business client, we provide cost-effective and pragmatic legal services that exceed client’s expectations. We believe that your success is our success. Because we care.

Leave A Comment