Give Birth in USA | Cost of Giving Birth in USA from Nigeria
Birth tourism which is used to describe the act of traveling down to a foreign country for the purpose of delivering a baby has become very popular among Nigerians especially to countries like Canada, United Kingdom and the United States. The United States is one of the most famous countries of destination for birth tourism in Nigeria. An increasing number of pregnant Nigerian women especially the affluent now travel to the United States towards their due dates to birth their babies every year. Nowadays, even the not-so-affluent saves towards this same goal. The reasons range from enjoying high quality medical care to the dual citizenship benefit it gives the child.
However, there are a lot of questions surrounding the whole issues of deciding to birth your child in the United States and how to go about the entire process. This article will address a number of common questions and list important information that you need to know about birthing your child in the United States.
Can foreigners give birth in USA or is it legal to have a baby in the US?
First of all, some may ask if it is even legal or accepted to leave Nigeria to birth your child in the United States. This is very much accepted. Delivering your baby in the United States is legal and guaranteed under the Fourth amendment of the United States constitution. Although the current president of the United States has made statements that may seem not to be in support of Nigerians or any other foreigners coming to deliver in the United States, there is absolutely no law against doing such. Foreigners including Nigerians are allowed to come into the United States to deliver their children. However there is a certain procedure to follow and guidelines to keep to and nowadays a high number of people have been going against this procedure hence committing what is regarded as an immigration fraud. To birth your child in the United States, you are expected to obtain a B1/B2medical visa (since you are going to obtain a medical service) and go through the regular process as specified by the United States Immigration Service.
Also, you must be able to show evidence that you can take care of yourself and cover medical bills for your child as well. Inability to take care of medical expenses may hinder you from being granted a visa and if you are granted, you may not be able to leave without completing your payment. Also any default in the payment of medical services or not being able to show proof of payments may affect you when you wish to re-enter into the United State or renew your visa.
Reasons/Benefits- Why Do Nigerians Travel to Give Birth in the United States?
As a matter of fact, there are numerous benefits attached to giving birth to your baby in the United States, so many of them. Different people have different reasons and priorities might be different but there are certain general benefits of birthing your baby in the United States. These include:
- Dual Citizenship/ Diplomatic Benefit: First and foremost and by far the most important benefit to any Nigerian giving birth in the United States is the automatic citizenship for the child or children. Once you deliver your child in the United States, the baby automatically becomes an American citizen by birth regardless of the territory where the child is born within the United Sates. Needless to say that there are several benefits that will accrue to such child that even you the parent who is not a citizen will not be entitled too. The child automatically starts to enjoy privileges and several opportunities attached to being a United States citizen and that goes on for the rest of his/her life.
Not to forget, your child is still a Nigerian as well so now he or gets to enjoy double citizenship, something a lot of us do not get throughout our entire lives.
- Special Privileges: Now let me mention just a few of these opportunities and privileges your child has as an American Citizen;
- Access to better quality education
- Ability to contest for political post within the United States and also freedom to vote and be voted for.
- Your child will have the freedom to engage in any form of legal business or transaction within the United state without [prejudice
- And overall, he or she has the opportunity to live a better life in terms of basic needs of life available and of course better security and perform at optimum potential.
3. Fantastic health and medical benefit: now this is also very important. Delivering your baby in the most advanced country of the world certainly affords you the privilege of being attended to by the best health care practitioners and getting an amazing health and medical attention. The probability of having complications is reduced to a barest minimum and if any, they are easily resolved. We all know that knowing you are in safe hands not only brings peace of mind but also makes the whole process worth looking forward to. Also considering the rate of maternal mortality in Nigeria which is still very much on the high side, about 50% or more, an opportunity to deliver your baby in the United State wouldn’t be a bad idea at all. There is access to better facilities, amazing ante natal and postnatal care, among many other fantastic benefits.
4. Cost of enjoying facilities: for some countries like the United States, the citizens are usually given preference in enjoying certain services and facilities as opposed foreigners at a reduced cost. For instance, the cost of education up to some certain level may be reduced or even totally free for a citizen as against someone who not a citizen. This is an additional benefit for the child who was delivered in the United States.
5. Opportunity for parent to obtain citizenship: although this may take a little while, the parent of the child also stands a chance of getting American citizenship through the child. Once the child clocks 21, he has the freedom to sponsor his or her parents for a green card as well. President trump described this as the “chain immigration” and is more than willing to eliminate it but it is still on and remains a benefit.
Without doubt, these aforementioned reasons will make anyone want to birth their child or children in the United States. However there are certain things to consider if you choose to engage in birth tourism and this leads us to the question of immigration fraud and its consequences when travelling to the United States to birth.
Can you be deported if you have a child born in the US?
There is a growing number of people found to be entering the United States illegally to deliver their children, not all these people are fraud , there are some who have been scammed by agents or who go through inappropriate procedures due to lack of knowledge. However engaging in immigration fraud is punishable by law and has its consequences which may include deportation. Therefore it is possible to be deported even if your child is a United States citizen so far you have been found to commit a crime or fraud and the consequence is deportation.
In this case you may take your child along or decide to leave him or her with relatives or friends in the United States.
What kind of visa is needed for child birth in the US from Nigeria
Now this is a very delicate aspect of the whole process. The regular way of obtaining a visa to the United States to deliver your baby and the most acceptable is to get a medical visa since you are going to get medical services. There are several conditions surrounding applying for and getting a medical visa but this is what is required of you.
Although, it is very much possible to deliver your baby in the United States using a visitor visa, obtaining a medical visa will give you more peace of mind and less hassle. If you choose to go deliver your baby on a visitor visa, then you may have to do these long before your bump even starts showing.
Apart from applying for a medical visa, making medical fees payments in advance and showing these to the officials could also hasten the process since you have shown proof that you have economic solvency and by the way, you are going to spend for them and contribute to their economy, they should be happy (PS: please don’t go for your visa interview with this attitude).
More importantly, ensure that the hospital you have chosen has refund arrangements in case your visa is denied for one reason or the other.
How much is the cost of delivering a child in the United State?
This is a very important aspect to consider if you decide to deliver your child in the United States. We all know the benefits are worth spending on but how much are we talking about exactly. Below is the extensive explanation of how much it will cost you to deliver your baby in the United States from Nigeria on the average. There are several options to choose from depending on the size of your pocket and your priority. A lot of factors influence the cost of delivery. There are deliveries done in a birth centre and others in a regular hospital. Also there are different costs for natural deliveries and caesarian sections. There is also the possibility of complications (usually resolvable) which cost extra therefore you must put all of these into consideration. Simply put three factors that affect the cost of delivering your baby in the United States are;
- Where: Choosing a birth center or a hospital
- How: if you deliver through vaginal/natural birth or caesarian section
- What: whether complications arise or not
- Natural Birth this is the vaginal form of delivery that does not involve a surgery.
-To deliver your baby through natural birth at a birth center, the cost is approximately $3,000
– To deliver your baby through natural birth at a regular hospital will cost you approximately $10,000. This is well over three times what you will pay at a birth center and is the cost of delivery without complications.
– Natural birth delivery with complications at a regular hospital costs about $13,000(That’s an extra $3,000 you may want to hold)
- Caesarian Section: this is the form of delivery that does involve a particular kind of surgery
-To deliver your baby through caesarian section at a regular hospital with complications will cost you approximately $23,000.
Important things to Note about cost of delivery:
- All of the aforementioned costs apply to single baby deliveries only and the cost of birthing two or more are usually higher than one hence you might want to consider that too.
- Different states have different price lists for delivery hence you may want to check for states where delivery costs are cheaper.
- Some hospitals provide discounts for expectant mothers who pay their hospitals bills in cash or in advance of delivery. Discounts may reduce your bills up to half of the regular price so ensure you obtain all necessary information about the hospital you choose to deliver your baby.
- Ensure that you have enough extra funds. Giving birth in a place far away from your home country is not exactly a fun jolly ride if you do not have enough money. There could be complications, accommodation issues, transportation and whatever issue. You may even need to pay for some extra services for you and your baby. Therefore ensure you have enough in terms of funds and also enough extra.
- It is also very important that you do not accept the offer of Medicaid for your treatment while in the United States. Although this will help release your financial burdens but you are most likely not going to be allowed to enter the United States again after since you will be seen as someone who is only there to add to their burdens and enjoy free services without offering anything. Therefore, pay all your bills yourself!
Things to do to successfully apply for Visa and Deliver your baby in the United States
There are a lot of things to do before deciding to give birth in the United States. Before you take the basic steps of obtaining your visa and all the other things, these are the first things you must consider before making that decision to go and deliver your baby in the United States:
Determine and review your budget.
Before going ahead to think about travelling to deliver your baby within the United States, you may want to take a sit and check your account balance properly. How much do you have to spare? The following are different costs you must consider
– Visa and ticket fees: this is much smaller when compared to the cost of delivery but well, it is also important. I mean if you cannot deliver a baby in the United States from inside Nigeria, you need a visa. The average cost of obtaining a visa to the United State is about $160. Also, the cost of getting a return ticket is put to about 750,000 naira.
–Delivery cost (including cost to manage complications in case of any): The average cost of delivering a baby in the US is about $10,000. Do not be deceived as to the many advertised for cheaper payments and all. Delivering a baby is not for certain a hitch free process (there is always possibility of a complication and in the United Sates, this means extra money) and you also have other things to take care of including accommodation, transportation to the hospital and well as the upkeep of the child after birth ( at least for as long as you will be there after the birth). Be sure to check your funds and ensure that you have enough and extra.
–Accommodation cost: another important one to consider is the cost of accommodation. If you do not have friends or relatives willing to accommodate you and your baby during your stay in the United States, you may want to consider getting a hotel or renting a space for the time period. The least cost of hotel you can find should cost you about $1,500 a month. So you might want to calculate with the time you will be there to the time you will spend after delivery. Your expenses should also include transport and feeding and for these you should have at least $3,000 a month to be on a safer side.
It is also possible that some hospitals have accommodation arrangement for expectant mothers, ensure you find this out about your hospital of choice and explore the option if you find that it will save costs. On the average, accommodation in a hospital should be around $1,500- $2,000 on a monthly basis.
- Be sure that you safeguard all the receipts you collect during your stay in the United States and makes copies of them especially your hospital medical bills and travel costs. This is necessary for when you decide to revisit the States. The immigration officers must be convinced that you do not owe them any money before they let you in their country again. More importantly, it is necessary for when you decide to leave for the same reason. The United States government would not let you out if you owe them any money for the beautiful services you have enjoyed!
- Concerning accommodation, even if you were staying with a friend or relative, it will be courteous to try and help with groceries once in a while in other to reduce the extra stress you and the baby may be putting on their finance, therefore you may want to hold some cash to help your friend or family out with bills.
Choose your State.
Determine which state you would like to deliver your baby. This is very important as it saves you a lot of stress and a lot of money. The choice of which state you will birth your child may be affected by certain factors:
- Do you have relatives, friends or family living within that state?
- Do you have accommodation in that state?
- How much are you willing to spend on the whole process (this is important since different hospital in different states charge differently for child birth) so if you are low on funds, you may want to consider states with the cheapest hospitals.
The following are the cost of delivery in some states of the United States;
- Wyoming, Maryland, Texas and New Mexico: the cost of delivery in these states is usually among the cheapest within the whole of the United States both for the natural delivery and caesarian section. These states charge between 10 to 15 % less than the average costs for deliveries. They are regarded as the most affordable states to deliver a baby within the United States
- Vermont, West Virginias and Utah: these states also charge considerably lower amount for all forms of delivery as compared to the average cost of most states.
- California and New Jersey: these two are some of the most expensive places to deliver your baby within the United States with an average of about $10-$17,000 increase above average costs of deliveries within the United States. Hospitals in California are known to charge the highest for delivery through caesarian section with complications while those in New Jersey charge the most for complicated and uncomplicated vaginal births.
- New York: is also an expensive state to deliver your baby within the United state but not as expensive as California and New Jersey, there prices are about 10 to 13 % higher than the average cost of delivery.
Apply for a Visa
Needless to say, for you to travel to the United States to deliver your baby, you need to apply for a B1 /B2 medical visa. The following are what you require to apply for the visa successfully.
- A valid passport: you must have a valid passport for you to be able to apply for a visa successfully. You can visit the Nigerian Immigration Service to obtain your passport.
- Create an online profile: for your visa application. For any Nigerian travelling to the United States, you are required to create an online profile for you visa application. You can follow the link here to check out how to create your online profile.
- Complete and submit the DS-160 form: you also need to fill completely and correctly the DS-160 form as part of your visa application process. Information on how to fill and submit this form can be obtained here.
- Pay your visa fees: Make payment for your visa application either by paying online or at any gtbank branch in naira. Ensure you collect your evidence of payment and make copies for evidence purpose.
- Apply for the interview: this is where you need to apply for your visa interview where you will be questioned as to your reasons for going to the United States and so on. Please be honest during your interview.
The following documents must be made available for your visa application process:
- Evidence of funds: if possible, pay your hospital bills in advance and go to the immigration office with your receipts. Also you must be able to show proof of enough funds to cover your accommodation, feeding and transport costs while you are in the United States.
- Evidence of Payment of your visa fees: you cannot successfully apply for a visa without paying for you visa. You can do this online or pay through a gtbank branch in naira.
PS: Again, you must be honest during your visa interview. If the immigration officials find you have lied maybe in your documentation or interview, your visa is mostly likely to be denied.
Note that it is not a crime to travel to the United States for the purpose of delivering a baby. However, it is considered criminal to hide this information from the immigration officials. This is usually called misrepresentation and may attract deportation or visa cancellation.
Child documentation after birth.
After you have had your baby, you need to move fast. There are a number of things you should take note of and get done once the baby is born to avoid staying longer than necessary in the United States.
- First you have to obtain the child’s birth certificate. You will agree with me this is very important. The hospital may help with these.
- Also ensure you obtain the child’s social security number that will afford him access to many opportunities we had earlier mentioned.
- Get the child’s passport. Yes!, that automatic citizenship we have been talking about is represented by the American passport, please be sure you do not leave the country without it. Apart from automatic citizenship the passport denotes, you will also need it to apply for a Nigerian visa for your baby faster. After you have received your child’s certificate, you should start the application for the passport. This process may take between 3- 5 days.
- Finally ensure you get all the right travelling documents for yourself and your child to make your flight back to Nigeria an easy one. Your baby will not be allowed to travel without all the complete documents
For your child’s documents, you may need the following;
- Two identical passports photograph of the child
- A copy of your Nigerian passport and that of the father.
- The child’s birth certificate ( original and photocopy)
Important Note: try to start all the documentation as early as possible as the whole process may include some delay and waiting, therefore an early start will help you beat time and leave the United States as at when due.
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