The Argentine immigration authorities announced at the end of last week that more than 10,000 Russian women had landed in the country to give birth in the past twelve months. Since they don’t need a visa for Argentina, they hope to get dual citizenship for their child. Sesame useful given the increasing isolation of Russia against the background of the war in Ukraine.
10,500: That’s the figure given by Argentina’s immigration authorities on Friday, the Guardian noted here, when counting the number of Russian women who have traveled to Argentina to give birth in the past year.
The purpose of this “birth tourism,” as the British newspaper’s website adopts? Birth of your baby abroad so that it obtains local citizenship. A passport as a guarantee should Russia’s growing isolation escalate because of its adamant attitude toward Ukraine.
However, Russians do not need a visa to travel to Argentina. One more reason to end up on the side of Buenos Aires, Rosario or Santa Cruz.
The phenomenon has reached such proportions that Florencia Carignano – the director of Argentina’s immigration service – announced during an interview she granted in Telenueva on Friday that a judicial investigation would be launched into what she described as a “lucrative deal”.
She provided an eloquent example of this trend: On a single day, February 9, 33 pregnant Russian women stepped onto Argentine soil after disembarking from the same plane. All were eight months pregnant. A situation that is anything but atypical. According to Florencia Carignano, of the 10,500 Russian parturients recently admitted to Argentina, “5,800 were in the last trimester of pregnancy and many of them reported being in their 33rd or 34th week”.
In addition to the lack of a visa, it is all the more difficult for local services to deal with the problem, since in addition to the delicacy of returning a pregnant woman on the first flight, these unusual passengers are usually unaccompanied, have no no return ticket and little money.
Cynicism or Exile?
This does not mean that future mothers want to put down roots there. According to the Director of Immigration Services, 7,000 of them returned to Russia immediately after birth, leaving local lawyers to represent their child’s case and obtain Argentine citizenship for him. A tour tinged with cynicism for Florencia Carignano, judging by the Guardian’s comments:
“The problem is that they arrive, have their child and then leave Argentina, never to return. We cannot allow them to shamelessly lie to us and say they are tourists when they are not.”
But one of the lawyers hired by these Eastern patients assures us that not all are trying to play with the law of the land. For example, when Slate posed here, Christian Rubilar told broadcaster LN+ that his client was primarily in Argentina to “escape the war.” “Under Putin’s regime, not supporting a war is enough to send you to jail or send your loved ones to the front,” he said.
Robin Verner Journalist BFMTV