Canada Slaps Visa Requirement on Mexico

By John Mitchell

The Canadian government has imposed a visa requirement on all Mexicans visiting Canada. An explanation of why Canada has instituted this new policy is given on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Website.

This sudden move will no doubt have a devastating impact on the tourism industry. Canada has become a popular holiday destination for Mexicans, who up until today have not needed visas to enter the country.

Visas will reportedly cost $75 for single entry and up to $400 for an entire family. Airlines are scrambling to help Mexican passengers who have bought tickets to Canada but who now have to apply for visas, and one can only imagine the chaos that will ensue at the Canadian Embassy in Mexico City as confused, would-be travelers line up to apply for visas.

Canada has every right to protect itself from visitors trying to take advantage of its hospitality, but surely Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government could have taken a more diplomatic and thoughtful approach to solving this problem.

P.S. The Canadian government now says that it had been planning this move for months. So why didn’t they warn travelers and businesses back then about the upcoming changes so that they could prepare? Pulling the rabbit out of the hat at the last minute certainly didn’t show much respect for legitimate Mexican tourists.

3 thoughts on “Canada Slaps Visa Requirement on Mexico”

  1. Mexicans accounted for more than 25 percent of all refugee claims filed in Canada. The trend has continued in the first half of this year, with over 5,500 claims received up to June 30, compared with approximately 3,700 for the same period a year ago. The Canadian government need to do something. Wouldn’t you agree?

  2. Yes, they obviously had to do something. I’m not sure that the visa requirement was the best option, though. What bothers me the most is the way the Canadian government went about imposing the new visa rule without giving adequate lead time to travelers and to the tourism industry. Canada also made the move before improving its visa-issuing infrastructure in Mexico City, thereby ensuring that chaos would result. This kind of rash, opaque decision-making is typical of the Harper government.

  3. I agree with John Mitchell. While agreeing with the Harper gov’t on the need to revamp the refugee system, the thoughtless way that it was done is distressing. I spend a lot of time in Mexico and me da pena to defend the lack of lead time to my friends there. So I don’t.

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