The Canadian border has become a little tighter, with a new rule requiring Mexican and Czech citizens entering Canada to have a visa.
The visa requirement became effective July 15. The Canadian government announced July 13 that it was changing its entry requirements for the two countries because of high numbers of refugee claims.
According to the Canadian government, refugee claims from Mexico have almost tripled since 2005, and in 2008 only about 11 percent of those claims were accepted. Canada dropped visa requirements for Czech citizens in 2007, but since then, Canada has seen nearly 3,000 refugee claims, compared to a mere five in 2006.
“The visa requirement I am announcing will give us a greater ability to manage the flow of people into Canada and verify bona fides,” said Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney in a statement announcing the new visa requirements. “By taking this important step towards reducing the burden on our refugee system, we will be better equipped to process genuine refugee claims faster.”
“The visa process will allow us to assess who is coming to Canada as a legitimate visitor and who might be trying to use the refugee system to jump the immigration queue,” Minister Kenney said. “It is not fair for those who have been waiting patiently to come to Canada, sometimes for years, when others succeed in bypassing our immigration system.”
In order to receive a receive a visa, a Mexican or Czech citizen must now show that their visit to Canada is temporary, that they have enough money for their stay, and that they are in good health, do not have a criminal record, and are not a security risk.