Travel Restrictions to IVF/ Surrogacy Destinations
In this difficult time, Growing Families is providing an update on current travel restrictions which will impact intended parents travelling internationally for embryo creation or the birth of children.
OVERSEAS TRAVEL FOR BIRTHS (updated as at 9.30pm 16 June AEST)
You need to consider
- Whether your local authorities will allow you to leave your home country
- Whether your destination will allow you to enter
- What flights are available
- What quarantine requirements are on arrival
Outbound travel: Note that while some governments (eg Australia) have banned international travel, you can apply for travel on compassionate grounds.
Inbound travel: Flights are still entering the USA & Canada.
For countries not listed below, please see link
CANADA (Over 100,763 CoVid cases)
- Canada has closed their passports office however online applications can be made under humanitarian grounds. See link
- From 18 March 2020 foreign nationals are barred from entering Canada
- Exceptions are available
- If you have been authorized in writing by a consular officer of the government of Canada to come to Canada to reunite with immediate family members; (ask your Canadian lawyer)
- Air Canada have ceased flights from Australia
- The only airports open to international flights are Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary & Montreal
- 14 day quarantine on arrival applies
COLOMBIA (Over 53 168 Co-Vid cases)
Border expected to re-open to foreigners around 31 May
CYPRUS (Over 985 Co-Vid cases)
- Unless you are a resident of the Republic of Cyprus, you won’t be permitted to enter.
- Exceptions: This does not apply to passengers with a special authorization issued by the competent ministry of Cyprus. If so you must have a certificate of health stating you are free from COVID-19 issued within a maximum of 4 days before departure. You will be quarantined for 14 days.
- Turkish-Cypriot authorities will deny entry to all who do not reside in northern Cyprus. Compulsory self-isolation measures are in place across the island.
- Some crossing points between the south and north are closed. Current rules in place until April 1
GEORGIA (over 879 CoVid cases)
- Entry to foreigners may re-open early July
- There are weekly flights to Tbilisi from Amsterdam starting 8 June. These are onsale now https://www.georgian-airways.com/
- Flights are in line with WHO protocol, passengers seated on a chess principle and 100 passengers maximum.
- There is a nighttime curfew from 4pm
- All shops with the exception of food shops, pharmacies, petrol stations, banks and post offices are closed.Government offices are closed as are notary offices
- IPs entering in June are obliged to present Coronavirus free (PCR) certificate, Note Verbal from their embassy and remain in 14-day quarantine.
GREECE (Over 3134 Covid-19 cases, 5 in Crete)
Open to EU citizens only. From 16 March, all people arriving in Greece from abroad are required to go into 14 days’ self-isolation. Has suspended all transport links with non EU countries as well as Spain and Italy till further notice. Some IVF clinics have closed for six weeks.
Exceptions may be obtained (ask your Greek lawyer) The relevant authorization needs to come from the Greek embassy/consulate.
KENYA (Over 3727 CoVid-19 cases)
All international flights to Kenya are suspended.
Country in lock-down until 19 April
MEXICO (over 150,264 CoVid-19 cases)
Mexico is entering phase 3 of the National Emergency Plan and it will last until the third week of July
RUSSIA (over 544,725 Covid-19 cases)
- Closed to foreigners
- Exceptions: passengers who are family members (spouses, parents, kids, adoptive parents, adopted), guardians and trustees of citizens of the Russian Fed., subject to the presentation of a copy of a document confirming the relationship status
- Russia has implemented enhanced screening procedures and entry restrictions. These include border closures, flight cancellations, medical checks at international border checkpoints and mandatory 14 day quarantine for travellers arriving from a range of high risk countries. It may change these restrictions at short notice.
UKRAINE (Over 33,209 Co-Vid cases) BELARUS (over 54,680)
- From 16 March, foreigners are banned from entering Ukraine unless you hold a residence permit Exceptions are available if your embassy has sought Ministry of Foreign Affairs approval. These approvals are available for parents from Australia, Sweden, UK, USA, Ireland, Canada. They are not available for citizens of Poland, China, Taiwan, France or Spain
- No commercial flights. Instead travel is required by road from Minsk, Belarus. Growing Families can organise transport from Minsk to Kiev
- The measure will be reviewed after 15 June
- On March 16th Ukraine closed the Metro, and intercity transportation. Domestic flights are grounded.
USA (Over 2,114,000 Covid cases)
Open to some foreigners. The US has suspended entry to foreigners who have travelled to, or reside in, China, Iran, European Schengen countries, UK & Ireland.
- Exceptions: the parent/legal guardian of an infant who is a US citizen
- They may also deny boarding of any US bound travellers showing signs of illness. Expect enhanced screening procedures. New York, Washington DC and California are particularly affected.
- The US Passport office is closed to walk-in applications. Online applications may take 6-8 weeks to be processed.
General Those unable to travel as planned for an upcoming birth should contact their surrogacy agency. Agencies can sometimes arrange for you to see the delivery via video. Many airlines are waiving flight change costs, however you will often need to upgrade to a more expensive fare.
USA. Agencies and attorneys in the USA & Canada may be able to arrange temporary guardianship or other care arrangements (see following blog).
Pre-birth Surrogate Care: Some agencies have commenced care for some surrogates in their home city, given they are not able to travel to Kiev currently for closer monitoring. For parents and surrogates who travel to Kiev earlier , apartments can be organised earlier (eg week 25-28). For those surrogates/IPs keen to have their surrogates in Kiev for third trimester monitoring, a taxi can be arranged from neighbouring regions.
Post-birth care: Agencies will hire a nanny/nurse to be with the baby until parents arrive.
Birth certificates: Both parents needs to be present at baby registration for birth certificates.
Other Documents: Agencies can prepare other documents prior to IP’s arrival (eg translated hospital reports, translated surrogate consent)
GEORGIA. Maternity hospitals are not allowing visitors. Where parents cannot travel, their baby can stay in the maternity hospital until their arrival ( €88 per day).
Birth certificates: Intended Parents can assign a power of attorney to apply for birth certificate. This will take 2 weeks to 2 months.
GREECE Where parents cannot travel, their baby can stay at the birth clinic for up to 4 weeks (€100,- a day per baby. After this time clinics will rent houses and have 24 hour care by nurses and/or midwives.
Issuing birth certificates is not possible without the parents present.
Seek advice from your surrogacy agency. If you need counselling or further support, contact [email protected]