Pregnant Russian women fly to Argentina for citizenship


More than 5,000 pregnant Russian women have arrived in Argentina in recent months, including 33 on a single flight on Thursday, officials said.

All the latest arrivals were in their last weeks of pregnancy, according to the national migration agency.

It is believed that the women want to ensure that their children are born in Argentina in order to obtain Argentine citizenship.

Recently, the number of arrivals has increased, which, according to local media, is a consequence of the war in Ukraine.

Of the 33 women who arrived in the Argentine capital on a single flight on Thursday, three were detained due to “documentation problems”, joining three others who arrived the day before, the head of the migration agency, Florencia Carignano, told La Nacion.

According to her, the Russian women initially claimed that they were visiting Argentina as tourists.

“In these cases, it was found that they did not come here to engage in tourist activities. They themselves admitted it.”

According to her, Russian women wanted their children to have Argentine citizenship because it gives more freedom than a Russian passport.

“The problem is that they come to Argentina, register their children as Argentine and leave. Our passport is very secure worldwide. He allows [власникам паспортів] to enter 171 countries without a visa,” said Ms. Carignano.

Having an Argentinian child also speeds up the process of obtaining citizenship for the parents. At the moment, Russians can travel without a visa to only 87 countries.

Travel to many Western countries has become more difficult for Russians since their country invaded Ukraine last February.

The visa facilitation agreement between the EU and Russia was suspended last September, leading to the need for additional documents, longer processing times and more restrictive visa rules.

A number of countries have also suspended tourist visas for Russians, including all EU countries bordering Russia.

The lawyer of the three women detained on Thursday said that they are being “falsely imprisoned” because they are being held on suspicion of being “fake tourists”. This is a term “that is not in our legislation”, said Christian Rubilar.

“These women, who did not commit a crime, who did not violate any migration legislation, are illegally deprived of their liberty,” he added.

Since then, the women have been released.

La Nacion attributes the sharp increase in the number of Russian citizens arriving to the war in Ukraine, saying that “apart from fleeing the war and protecting the health of their country, [російських жінок] also attracts theirs [право] visa-free entry to Argentina. both high-quality medicine and a variety of hospitals.”

“Maternity tourism” of Russian citizens to Argentina appears to be a profitable and established practice.

The Russian-language website offers various packages for expectant mothers who want to give birth in Argentina. The website advertises services such as customized birth plans, airport pickup, Spanish lessons and discounts on stays at “the best hospitals in the Argentine capital.”

Packages range from “economy” at $5,000 to “first class” at $15,000.

The website says its founder has been involved in maternity tourism since 2015 and offers migration support, and the company says it is “100% Argentinian”.

La Nacion newspaper reported on Saturday that Argentine police were conducting the raids as part of an investigation into a “million-dollar business and illegal network” that allegedly provided pregnant Russian women and their partners with fake documents issued in record time to allow them to settle in Argentina.

Police said the gang charged up to $35,000 for services.

No arrests were made, but police seized laptops and tablets, along with immigration documents and a significant amount of cash.

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