On June 28, 2016, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
formally announced that the Temporary Resident Visa
("TRV") requirement for citizens of Mexico travelling to
Canada will be eliminated as of December 1, 2016. However,
the existing TRV requirement will continue until November 30,
2016. Mexican citizens who wish to travel to Canada before
December 1, 2016, will still need to obtain a TRV from a Canadian
This announcement reverses Canada's prior
decision to impose TRV requirements on Mexican citizens, which
became effective on July 14, 2009. At the time, Citizenship
and Immigration Canada ("CIC") indicated that Mexican
refugee cases had almost tripled since 2005, making it the number
one source country for refugee 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% were accepted.
Just prior to the Prime Minister's announcement,
the media reported that the Trudeau government was still
prepared to re-impose the TRV requirement if the number of refugee
claims from Mexico jumped above a certain level. It also
reported that CIC officials had opposed the move, warning that
Mexico's low standard of living, poor human-rights record, and
high crime rates would drive Mexican citizens to seek refuge in
Canada. They also expressed concern that refugee claimants in
other Latin American countries, wishing to gain entry to Canada,
could take advantage of Mexico's weak passport system without
having to undergo Canada's rigorous visa screening.
CIC officials apparently advised the Federal Cabinet that
removing the TRV requirement for Mexico would result in 3,500
asylum claims in 2017, up to 6,000 the following year and 9,000 in
2019. According to the media, the Federal Cabinet disregarded
CIC's recommendations but set specific conditions for Mexico to
satisfy, including a partial re-imposition of the TRV requirement
if refugee claimants from Mexico reach a threshold of 3,500 within
any 12-month period.
Even after December 1, 2016, visa-exempt Mexican citizens will
still be required to register under Canada's
Electronic Travel Authorization ("eTA")
Program. The eTA requirement was supposed to become mandatory
for almost all visa-exempt travellers on August 1, 2015.
However, CIC later
announced a leniency period and indicated that the eTA
requirement would not become mandatory until Fall 2016. Of
course, the eTA requirement should be in place by the time Mexican
citizens become TRV-exempt on December 1, 2016.
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September 21st, 2016 - Immigration authorities conducted the 20th round of invitations under Express Entry in 2016 and 43rd overall, inviting 1288 applicants for permanent residence with a lowest CRS score of 483.
Canada received more than 320,000 immigrants in the last 12 months, approaching levels not seen since the early 20th century. The per capital immigration rate at .88%, is consistent with previous Liberal government policies.
October 12th, 2016 - Immigration authorities conducted the 21st round of invitations under Express Entry in 2016 and 44th overall, inviting 1518 applicants for permanent residence with a lowest CRS score of 484.
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