“Now there’s a much easier path to ­citizenship: birth tourism”

Canadian citizenship, Jan Wong calculated, is worth about $840,000 in tangible benefits, excluding welfare payments should you end up on the dole

Canadian citizenship, Jan Wong calculated, is worth about $840,000 in tangible benefits, excluding welfare payments should you end up on the dole

Interesting article on the Toronto Life website today by Jan Wong about pregnant women travelling to Toronto to have their children on Canadian soil, thus granting them citizenship.

Here’s some quotes from the article:

“Now there’s a much easier path to ­citizenship: birth tourism. Foreign companies are helping pregnant women take advantage of our breathtakingly generous birthright policy, which grants automatic citizenship — and all the rights and ­benefits it entails — to any baby born on Canadian soil.”

“With today’s relatively cheap airfares, it’s easy for non-Canadians to fly in, have their babies and then whisk their newly minted Canadian citizens back to the motherland to raise them. Upon reaching the age of 18, the birth-citizen can return to Canada and apply to sponsor his or her parents, ­grandparents and siblings for ­immigration — all without having paid a single cent in Canadian taxes.”

“What is Canadian citizenship worth in cold hard cash? Like a birth tourist trying to decide whether to hand over $36,200, I crunched the numbers. Canadian citizenship, I calculated, is worth about $840,000 in tangible benefits, excluding welfare payments should you end up on the dole. Assuming a current average life expectancy of 81 years, free health care alone is worth at least $485,000 ($5,988 annually, but much more if you require major surgery or a long hospital stay), according to 2013 health data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information.”

“Here’s an idea: how about we stop lavishing our home-and-native assets on newborns unless their mothers have spent a few years in the country, preferably as landed immigrants or citizens themselves; instead, let’s issue one-way, exit-only, good-for-travel-back-to-the-motherland documents for the infants. Canadian citizenship shouldn’t be a freebie to anyone whose mother waddles through the airport arrivals lounge. I suspect ­Grandfather Chong would approve.”

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