Canada imposes a visa on Mexico

Commencing 12:01 a.m. EDT on July 14, 2009, Mexican nationals will need a visa to take a trip to Canada, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced.

Refugee claims from Mexico have approximately tripled since 2005, making it the number one basis country for claims. In 2008, over 9,400 claims filed in Canada came from Mexican nationals, representing 25 per cent of all claims acknowledged. Of the Mexican claims evaluated and finalized in 2008 by the Immigration and Refugee Board, and sovereign administrative tribunal, only 11 per cent were accepted.

Minister Kenney said that besides creating considerable delays and strengthening new costs in our refugee program, the pure volume of these claims is undermining our aptitude to assist people fleeing genuine persecution. All too often, people who actually need Canada’s protection find themselves in a long line, waiting for months and occasionally years to have their claims heard. This is intolerable.

The visa requisite will give a better ability to manage the flow of people into Canada and confirm bona fides. By taking this significant step towards reducing the load on refugee system, Canada will be better prepared to process authentic refugee claims faster.

The visa process will let Canada to assess who is coming as a genuine visitor and who might be trying to use the refugee system to jump the immigration line. It is not fair for individuals who have been waiting tolerantly to come to Canada from different parts of world, sometimes for years, when others succeed in bypassing Canadian immigration system.

Canada frequently reviews its visa policies toward other countries. Countries are conscious that if they do not satisfy the conditions of a visa-exemption, a visa may be imposed.

This alteration means that nationals from Mexico who desire to travel to Canada will first require applying for a Temporary Resident Visa and meeting the requirements to obtain one. It is up to the applicant to convince the visa officer their visit to Canada is temporary, they will not extend their approved time in Canada, they have sufficient money to cover their stay in Canada, they are in good health, and they do not have a criminal record, and are not a safety risk to Canadians. These requirements are the same for any person who wants to visit Canada from any part of the world.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has been working to add to processing capacity in Mexico City. However, the imposition of the visa will mean short-term waits in travel as CIC puts resources in place. Applicants are encouraged to mail their applications by courier or registered mail and to keep away from visiting the Embassy unless specially invited for an interview.

“Canada has well-built ties with Mexico,” said Minister Kenney. “We keep on welcoming all genuine travelers to Canada from this country.”


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