Refugee claims in Canada from 1999 to 2008. Refugee claims in Canada from 1999 to 2008.

Visa change coming but with conditions

Canada to lift visa restriction but will monitor refugee claims from Mexico

The Canadian government will allow Mexican citizens to visit without a visa starting December 1, but there will be conditions, according to a report yesterday.


According to the Globe and Mail newspaper, those conditions will be in the form of limits on refugee claims. If the number of asylum-seekers exceeds 3,500 within any 12-month period, there will be a partial reimposition of the visa requirement.

Immigration authorities had recommended against lifting the visa restriction on the grounds that it will drive more Mexicans to seek refuge in Canada to escape low standards of living, human rights violations and crime.

Another fear was that citizens of other Latin American countries could take advantage of a weak passport system in Mexico in order to gain entry into Canada.

The visa restriction was imposed by Canada’s previous government in 2009 following an increase in refugee claims. Those claims fell from more than 9,000 to 1,199 as a result.

Canadian immigration officials predicted that claims would increase once again, forecasting that lifting the restriction would result in 3,500 claims in 2017, 6,000 in 2018 and 9,000 a year later.

Unidentified sources told the newspaper that Mexico has assured Canada it will share security and background information on Mexican travelers, similar to a practice already in place between the United States and Canada.


In addition, Mexico will warn its citizens that obtaining refugee status in Canada is not easy.

The visa decision is to be announced Tuesday in Ottawa after bilateral meetings between President Enrique Peña Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Peña Nieto will also be in Canada, along with U.S. President Barack Obama, for a North American Leaders’ Summit, also known as the Three Amigos Summit.

Another move by Canada’s previous administration was the inclusion of Mexico on a list of countries it believed were safe and therefore unlikely to produce valid refugee claimants. That action was taken in 2012 and generated objections from human rights activitists.

Another objection has come in the form of a report by the University of Toronto’s International Human Rights Program, which says Mexico should be removed from the list immediately.

“While Mexico has undertaken significant reforms to combat discrimination and human rights violations, people living with HIV, sexual minorities and other vulnerable Mexicans still have little protection when their rights are violated,” said Samer Muscati, director of the program and the report’s author.

He said Mexico’s failure to investigate and hold perpetrators accountable for violent crimes against marginalized people is at odds with Canada’s designation of the country as safe.

Source: Globe and Mail (en), Canadian Press (en)

Stories from our archives that you might enjoy

  • Alan Anderson

    I am a Canadian and have lived in Mexico for 14 years. Yes there problems here. But people are being shot in gay nightclubs in the States. Native children are tragically killing themselves in Canada and, for the most part, native living conditions in Canada are abysmal. Does this mean Canada should start granting refugee status to gay gringos? Should the States grant refugee status to native Canadian youths?
    There are no valid refugees arriving in Canada from the States. There are no valid Canadian refugees trying to get into the States and there should be no valid refugees coming to Canada from Mexico.
    I would like to see the statistics on how many Mexicans are on Canada’s welfare rolls. Is it possible they arrive in Canada, go quietly to work probably in a job no Canadian wants, and start contributing to Canadian society?

    • Hailey Mannering

      I agree regarding false refugee claims from Mexicans saying they are gay. There are absolutely parts of Mexico that are very gay friendly. IE: Yucatan peninsula and Mexico City.

      • Cool Hand Luke

        Puerto Vallarta and surrounding areas are a gay haven and if not mistaken one of the largest gay communities in Mexico is in the Romantic Zone.

        • Vernon King

          Ajijic on Lake Chapala south of Guadalajara is probably the highest per capita gay population in Mexico. We all seem to get on quite well.

          • Greg Needham

            gay communities …… check canadian ones ….. montreal and quebec have some of the largest … in canada …. and your point is .. ??????? being gay does not mean they are collecting welfare … i am not gay myself nor homophobic …. they should still be allowed to visit and see canada ….

      • Alan Anderson

        I’m not sure what they claim. Why not just let them in like they let Canadians into Mexico. Like I said I doubt there more than a handful that are on the dole. The ones I am aware of work hard, keep the peace and contribute to the country.

    • Greg Needham

      thanks Alan Anderson ….. for saying what i have been saying for a long time …. most if not all quietly go to work ….. and they are diligent and direct when they are looking for work …. i to live in mexico and i too am a canadian … have seen both sides … and met many mexicans in canada …. they love the country and they also have their harts in mexico ….

      • Alan Anderson

        Perhaps it is time we stop this “It’s my country not yours so na na na”. If there were no borders perhaps there would be no wars. Perhaps the whole world should be like the EU. To quote Carlos Santana, “One day there will be no borders, no boundaries, no flags and no countries and the only passport will be the heart.”

        • BETOXELA2015

          Ah yes, the ultimate utopianism of the microcephalic liberals. Get out of your pajamas and you dark basement where you write your mundane stupidies to see that there is a whole sunny world out there that is so alien to your non-working liberal one. After reading what you have written above, I am finally convinced that Liberalism is a mental disorder.

          • Dave Warren

            Beto……shouldn’t you be on the “Donald Trump Xenophobe Appreciation Site” ? He is a big Conservative…You will like his site….only there is a security wall to get in.

      • BETOXELA2015

        Jeez, learn to spell and write coherently pinche liberal. How in the f—k do you know what is happening in the huge country of Canada, especially when societal west Canada and societal east Canada are so opposite of each other, and you have your pinche culo in Mexico. All you liberals are pericos mouthing the same liberal talking points ad nauseam. This goes ditto for your fellow traveler that you are so much in agreement with proceeding you with his liberal diatribe

        • Greg Needham

          you write much but speak of nothing you understand … obviously you are not a true canadian …. to be making a comment about me being liberal ….. you will not understand what i have been fighting my government about …. nor could you understand …as for your comments …. is nothing more than verbal diarrhea ..every one needs a good shit …. in your case it is coming out of the wrong part of your body …

  • Felipe_Calderoff

    I am just waiting to see who will be the 3,500th Mexican to ask for asylum in Mexico and blow it for everybody else. He will probably be the only Mexican who will then truly need asylum….from his countrymen.