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Canada to require visas for Mexicans following surge in refugee claims

Mexican nationals will now need a visa to travel to Canada, that country's minister of citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism, Jason Kenney, announced Monday. Canada decided to stiffen the requirements due to what officials said has been a surge in claims for refugee status by Mexicans.

In a news release, Canadian immigration officials said that for the first 48 hours after the new rules go into effect today, Mexican citizens can apply for entry on arrival in Canada. But as of Thursday, a visa will be required:

Refugee claims from Mexico have almost tripled since 2005, making it the number one source country for claims. In 2008, more than 9,400 claims filed in Canada came from Mexican nationals, representing 25 per cent of all claims received. Of the Mexican claims reviewed and finalized in 2008 by the Immigration and Refugee Board, an independent administrative tribunal, only 11 per cent were accepted.

"In addition to creating significant delays and spiraling new costs in our refugee program, the sheer volume of these claims is undermining our ability to help people fleeing real persecution," said Minister Kenney. “All too often, people who really need Canada’s protection find themselves in a long line, waiting for months and sometimes years to have their claims heard. This is unacceptable.

"The visa requirement I am announcing will give us a greater ability to manage the flow of people into Canada and verify bona fides. By taking this important step towards reducing the burden on our refugee system, we will be better equipped to process genuine refugee claims faster."

For the last three years, Canada has seen an increase in immigration violations, according to the country's Citizenship and Immigration website. This includes Mexican nationals without proper travel documents and those not leaving Canada once their period of stay had expired.

Read the whole report here.

-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City

Comments () | Archives (24)

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I really liked your blog. it's awesome and informative. looking for more of your updates mate

Wow... some of you people are really dumb!! You guys think it's all great because they have to get visas to come into Canada, but the thing is they are only there to get jobs. It's not like they would leave their country if they didn't have to!! Maybe some of you people should think about that, and think about if you were in one of their situations...

I live in Canada. I have gone down to States many times. Made friends. But one thing that they all say is Mexican alliens.That they are paying for they health care and education. While these people pay no taxes and just keep taking.It might be too late for the states. But here in Canada its the best way to go. So Mexicans want to come here and do work then get a dam visa.

What a shame on the Canadiens, i always thought you where better than that and its called discrimination for our Mexican friends with this kind of govt. we sure aint gonna get any better and why dont we require visa for everbody toois not fair to tagged people like that and im sure im not going to visit your Beautiful Country

Stop the flow ,turn them back. We can not sustain all of the Mexican people here in Canada.
The experience of the USA is clear they come to undermine the fabric of our society.
I personally believe this is how they will break Canada into accepting a SPP agreement. By way of bankrupting Canada they think the people will go along with the SPP

Thumper, you couldn't be more correct. U.S. politicians, whether by design or not, ARE DESTROYING THE SOVEREIGNTY OF THE U.S. They daily dishonor the voice of the citizenry and should be kicked out of office and banned from the U.S. To these traitors, Americans always come last.

I am glad to see Canada taking this action. When the mess in the USA is observed, one can only shake one's head in disbelief. It is as if the elected officials of the United States are trying to destroy the sovereignty of their own country. The big question is "why".

I believe that a visa imposition to enter a country is a legitimate right, but I believe the way Canada made it to Mexicans was very awkward, irresponsible, stupid and unfair, and without any consideration whatsoever for the potential business ventures underway right now between Mexico and Canada, and without any thought of the damage this decision will have on the Mexicans with plans and payments made to travel to Canada, and to the Canadian leisure & travel industry which is at its worst.

I am Mexican and in the middle of a Medical Tourism venture, to offer affordable quality surgeries to Canadians, at half the price of those in the US and Canada, and this disposition will damage not us in Mexico, but many Canadian citizens that can't afford or can't get access to many life saving surgeries in Canada.

We were to open offices and hire local staff in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal, but because of this unbelievably dumb and badly planned decision, we will concentrate, for now, to continue to bring more and more Americans and Europeans to our facilities and to enjoy the benefits of affordable top quality surgeries in Mexico.

Also, I will no longer plan to spend my money and vacations traveling to beautiful Canada. I think I will take my family to travel in our own beautiful country, and to other countries that welcome honest, hardworking Mexicans.

Latin-America and Europe, here we go!!!

If Canada doesn't do something quickly it will end up like California.

I cannot beiieve that the Canadian gov't has implemented visa requirements for Mexicans without any notice whatsoever. Tourism is already down in Canada, and now this? I have a friend in Mexico who was planning to come visit me in August - not going to happen. Another Canadian friend has already paid return airfare for his Mexican fiance to come to visit his home coountry before they return to Mexico - his tickets are non-refundable .
This is very tipical of the way the Candian gov't operates -very self-centered without a global perspective. Shame on us!

I am Mexican, proud to be one. I can not understand the blogs at the beginning of the page, saying horrid things about Mexico, I bet they are the kind of people no one like in their own country. It is true ther are many Mexican alliens in the U.S. and Canada, may be because our people are such good workers that get the jobs of the lazy americans or the not qualified ones. I have been visiting Canada for at least 17 years and always felt welcome and now I think the Canada Embassy should have thought carefully how to carry on with this measure without harmming legitimate visitors,
to me this is trouble because I just have 2 days to get everything ready. If I knew in advance I would have programmed carefully, first the Visa then the plane tickets. This is how it is, nothing can be done. I just with those guys on the top never come to my Country and enjoy our nice people, beaches, food, museums and everything Mexico has to give which is much more than what they complaint about.

I always get a good laugh when the US or Canada requires vidas from Mexican. Don't you know their "visa" is to sneak into any country they can? They are completely lawless. Our President wants to force them to become citizens. They have no intention of honoring the oath of citizenship. Why should they? All they have to do is to break in and they're rewarded with all sorts of freebies, especially citizenship if they can produce a baby as they step across the border and "yes, they can!" Government and businesses aid and abet by putting everything in Spanish. They can marc h in the streets (so much for being in the shadows) and Congress gives them whatever they want. We sure can't upset them or any or their supporters. They are the choosen people, and you can be sure that anyone who supports them are profiting greatly.

As a U.S. citizen I applaud Canada for it's position on Mexican nationals. We Americans are disgusted with Mexico and its demands that we accept their semi-literate cast-offs, with the ultimate end of relieving them of their disenchanted populace. And we Americans are tired of our own politicians sucking up to Latin American ethnocentric groups at the expense of the rest of us.

This is just another humiliation of the Mexican government for it's horrid governance. Maybe the Mexican people will finally become fed up with their corrupt politicians and generate enough testicular fortitude and vote their corrupt office holders out of office.

Canada as well as the U.S. is never going to force one of the most corrupt nations in the world, Mexico, to take care of its own people by allowing continued immgration. Mexico is a rich nation. It is estimated to be the 11 or 12th richest nation in the world, certainly it is in resources.

The problem is, its elite, are corrupt to the core and as a policy shove their societal problems on other nations. Mexican elite, pay the least amount of taxes in the Western Hemisphere. Illegal immigration amounsts to pure greed and opportunism on Mexico's part.

Just look at the effect Mexico has on the U.S. Aside from the U.S. taxpayer have to support to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars Mexico's 20 million illegal aliens, U.S. businesses keep leaving and going to Mexico. Hershey Chocolate Company, Chrysler or GM, I forgot which one, hundreds of parts companies, and on and on. Mexicans get jobs in Mexico, U.S. citizens lose jobs to Mexicans in the U.S. NO, twenty million people aren't picking lettuce,etc. I applaud Canada for thinking of its own citizens. Nothing wrong with that, they are the people that have paid the taxes,etc..

This is fabulous!
Keep on tightening up our borders Harper!
That is why I voted you in because I thought your government would be most likely to do this.

There are many people entering Canada who have been living illegally in the USA, get caught and claim "refugee" at our borders.
And we have the liberty of paying for everything for them. And if /when they get deported from Canada, do they pay that money back?
I don't think so!!!!!!
Let's bring in those that will contribute to our society, not be a total liablity.

Kudos to the Canadian government for quickly and efiiciently dealing with fraudulent, Mexican illegal immigration into their country. Canada needs ICE-like fugitive removal teams to remove the illegals who refuse to leave in a timely fashion.

Classic example of bad apples ruining it for everyone--or of someone (the Canadians) giving an inch and someone else (illegal aliens) taking a mile.

Better that Canada nip it in the bud than end up with the illegal immigration problem that the U.S. has now.

Those Mexicans are making life worse for others. Why don't they just stay in their own country?

Good for Canada,

As a Mexican Canadian I can definitely see the impact that undesirable individuals can have to a community. I know that I cannot generalize; however, if Canada want's to keep a tighter control of the people coming in and not leaving at the time they are supposed to this is the way of doing so.

In addition, Mexican political refugees? Come on! African countries, ex-soviet countries, etc are entitle to do so. Not because an ex-corrupt politician, or a corrupt PEMEX manager/director wants to leave Mexico they can use the refugee card.

We as Mexicans originated this, and I will support Canada 100% in order to avoid becoming another US border town!

I think that it's a right decision by Canada Govt. I support it, because there are many legal skilled immigrants outside Canada, including those in the US waiting for Canadian PR cards. And recently the processing time has increased in all categories, including provincial programms. With refugee claims processing time would just keep increasing, that's why I support this bill.

I have tickets and hotel reservations in Canada for the end of July for my Mexican wife, daughter and I. If as one person has commented it will take six weeks to process a visa what will we and what has to be thousands of others do? So typical of the Canadian government to make a move like this in the middle of tourism season instead of say January. Once again I am reminded of why I chose not to live in Canada.

i think this another time canada sucks up to american policies. and get closer and closer to comunist rule like in the states.

A lot of people from Latin America, Portugal and Eastern Europeans who were living in the United States as ilegals have come to Canada to claim refugee status under false claimants.

As A Travel Agent from Canada with lots of Higher end Mexican Clientel. I am more than a little pissed at this development by the Canadian Gov. It took the US how long to impliment the Western Hemesphere Passport thing!!!!
And the Canadian Gov. does this in 8 hrs, from the time of the announcement to time it is in effect.
Have visited the Canadian Consulate and they are saying it might ake up to 6 weeks before visa is done.
Big Mistake and Mess by the Canadian Gov.


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