Canada’s Mexico visa rule change ‘had to happen’ after massive spike in assylum claims

Mexican citizens will require visas to enter Canada again due to a surge in asylum claims from Mexico. Immigration Minister Marc Miller announced the change, citing a significant increase in claims, with over 60% being rejected or withdrawn. The number of asylum claims from Mexico skyrocketed by over 22,600% since 2015, reaching 25,236 in 2023. The visa requirement, lifted by the Liberals in 2016, will be reinstated, except for those with valid work or student permits. Instead, Mexican citizens may need an electronic travel authorization if they hold a U.S. non-immigrant visa or had a Canadian visa in the past ten years and are traveling by plane.

Quebec supports this decision to curb the influx of asylum seekers but acknowledges it won’t solve all issues. Premier Francois Legault expressed concerns over the strain on Quebec’s services for refugees. However, the Mexican government opposes the move, regretting the decision and hinting at possible reciprocal measures. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador criticized Canada’s decision, threatening to skip the upcoming North American Leaders summit if Mexico feels disrespected on immigration and other matters. Minister Miller disagreed with López Obrador’s characterization, emphasizing ongoing discussions between the two nations.

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