Jus Soli Citizenship: Why Should Chinese Birth Tourists Have All the Fun?
Jus Soli is the concept that someone obtains citizenship of a country simply by being born inside its borders. The legal concept is predominant in the “New World” (read: North America, Latin America) as countries tried to build up their populations with immigrants and their children. Many other places, including all of Europe, have phased unconditional (read: automatic) Jus Soli citizenship out of their legal sytems. Without getting too analytical one might argue it is because politicians have been trying to protect their relatively functional socialist leaning systems from new immigrants. Usually new rules have been put in place, such as one parent must be a legal resident, and so on.
In this article we’re going to discuss a little about the top two North American Jus Soli jurisdictions. For someone from outside North America, the US or Canada are arguably the best choices to have a little one. Just ask the army of Chinese “birth tourists” descending on California and Vancouver! If you’re from North America (or just curious) we invite you to request the free guide to the top 3 picks South American Jus Soli countries. We picked them because they are a GREAT DEAL for the child AND the proud, internationally minded parents.
You can get a good overview of the information on the subject at the wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jus_soli.
First up, the good ol’ US of A.
As mentioned earlier, if you search for a few minutes on the subject, you will see that Chinese “birth tourists” have been making use of this rule for years, mainly in California. In the USA there is not a huge benefit to the new parents, but the child should more opportunities down the road. Why would someone want to be a US citizen when so many people want to “escape from America” ? Well, to the rest of the world the US looks pretty good and it is simply a door to more opportunities, just like many Americans may see other parts of the globe. The US passport is an excellent travel document with lots of visa free travel destinations, and citizens are free to live and work in the country and in particular get educated there, which is attractive to wealthy Chinese. There was an interesting graphic from a blog post: http://blog.stephenwolfram.com/2013/04/data-science-of-the-facebook-world/ showing how Facebook users are migrating around the world. The US is obviously the most popular destination for the rest of the world! Sure there are some negative trends happening there but the country has a lot going for it and the proof is in the pudding, so to speak.
Two more quick personal observations about Chinese birth tourists and why they seem hip to the idea:
1) China has an extremely wealthy upper class that understands the concept of international diversification and opportunities. Chinese businessmen, even smalltime traders, are EVERYWHERE, including Africa. They tend to stick together and help each other as a cultural tendency, as opposed to Westerners, who tend to have more of an individualistic streak.
2) Chinese have somewhat of a reputation for being far-sighted and making decisions with the next generation in mind (I’m going out on a limb there a little as I don’t have practical experience, just the impression from talking to people)
USA PROS: an old favorite and the cradle of the birth tourism industry (puns intended!). There is historical momentum behind the US economy and for many immigrants this has been the country of the future.
USA CONS: the historical momentum will only continue so far; in the next 20 years we can be reasonably certain there will be significant geopolitical shifts. The USA also taxes its citizens based on citizenship, not on residence like practically all other countries. No special treatment for foreign parents of newborn citizens – need to wait 10 years before applying for residence solely on the basis of the child. USA