On July 14, 2009, the Canadian government introduced a Temporary Resident Visa (“TRV”) requirement for Mexican nationals. The decision was and continues to be extremely controversial. Mexico responded by slapping a visa requirement on Canadian diplomats. During the 2011 Federal Election campaign, the Liberal Party promised to revoke the visa requirement. On May 9, 2011, the Globe and Mail featured an editorial titled “The Visa for visiting Mexicans has run its course.”
I believe that once Bill C-11 is in full affect, the costs of the TRV requirement will far outweigh its benefits, if they do not already.
Acknowledging the Success of the TRV Requirement
There is no question that the TRV requirement has reduced the number of refugee claimants from Mexico. In the first three months of 2009, 2,757 Mexicans applied for refugee status. During the same period in 2010 the number was 384.
The acceptance rate, which was always low, continues to hover at around 10%.
The Inconvenience to Travelers is Massive
While the TRV requirement has reduced the number of Mexican refugee claimants, it has also greatly inconvenienced tens of thousands of Mexicans, and deterred many hundreds of thousands more from coming to Canada.
In 2010, the Canadian embassy in Mexico City processed 57,966 temporary resident visa applications. The Mexico City embassy is only responsible for processing temporary resident visa applications for people who have been residing in Mexico with status. From 2006-2008, the Mexico City embassy processed an average of 1,500 temporary resident visa applications. Assuming this number remained constant in 2010, then it can be assumed that in 2010 approximately 55,500 Mexican nationals applied for a visa to visit Canada. Indeed, Mexicans have gone from not having to apply for a temporary resident visa to being the second largest applicant source country.Read more ›