Canada and Mexico agree a deal on visa free travel

by Ray Clancy on June 30, 2016

Mexican citizens will soon be able to travel to Canada without a visa as part of a plan to boost visitor numbers, job prospects and trade.

The Government of Canada has announced that it has made it a top priority to re-establish and strengthen its relationship with Mexico, which is described as one of the country’s most important partners.

CanadaThe intention to remove the need for visas from December 2016 was announced by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after a two-day State visit to Canada by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

He said that lifting the visa requirement will deepen the ties between Canada and Mexico and will increase the flow of travellers, ideas, and business between both countries.

‘Canada and Mexico both understand the importance of having a productive and respective relationship, one that allows for greater trade, stronger growth, and more job creation,’ he explained.

‘Canada is pleased to deliver on the government’s commitment to lift the visa requirement for Mexican nationals. We look forward to the social and economic benefits that lifting the visa requirement will bring to both countries, especially to the middle class here in Canada,’ he added.

Canadian officials are currently working with their Mexican counterparts on final details to ensure a successful visa lift. This includes expanding existing collaboration and cooperation on migration issues with the goal of ensuring that the benefits of the visa lift are fully maximized by both countries.

Until 30 November 2016, the visa requirement is still in place for Mexico. Additional information will be provided to Mexican citizens in advance of the visa lift, so that they can experience a seamless transition to visa free travel.

The visa requirement was imposed by Canada in 2009 in an attempt to stem a large number of what were regarded as false refugee claims. However, according to Canadian government figures Mexican asylum bids have fallen from a peak in 2008 when Mexicans accounted for one in four refugee claims to below 1%.

Mexico, meanwhile, has agreed to remove barriers to Canadian beef imports imposed after a 2003 outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Although the majority of beef exports go to the United States there is a growing demand for Canadian beef among Mexico’s growing middle classes and top restaurants.

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