TIAC Concerned Over Mexican Visa

 

The Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) is expressing concern over Canada’s introduction of partial visa requirements for visiting Mexican nationals.

As of February 29, Mexican citizens who hold a valid US non-immigrant visa or have held a Canadian visa in the past 10 years and are travelling by air on a Mexican passport will be able to apply for an electronic travel authorization (eTA). With the high number of Mexican citizens currently holding US visas, the majority will continue to enjoy visa-free travel to Canada. Those who do not meet these conditions will need to apply for a Canadian visitor visa.

“The new system, which will apparently apply a light touch approach to a reported 60 per cent of Mexican travelers, still raises concerns about the remaining visitors from that country who may face prolonged visa processing times,” said Beth Potter, president and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada. “Prolonged delays will very likely deter potential visitors, undermine our industry recovery, and compound the significant challenges already being experienced by operators in many destinations.”

While TIAC understands the government’s objective to streamline the process and ensure a robust immigration system, the potential repercussions on the tourism sector, still recuperating from the effects of previous travel restrictions, cannot be overlooked. Mexican tourists have historically contributed significantly to Canada’s economy, with an estimated $754 million expected from Mexican spending in 2023 and a noticeable increase in overnight arrivals compared to the previous year.

TIAC is urging the government to implement definitive service standards that guarantee prompt visa processing for Mexican nationals, and safeguard the tourism sector from the potential forfeiture of hundreds of millions of dollars in annual business revenue.

“Our members implore IRCC to revise its criteria and recognize Mexican nationals with a history of Canadian visits from 2014 to 2024 as reliable and with a high propensity to return to Mexico following their stay in Canada,” added Potter.

As Canada prepares for the busy travel seasons, timely visa processing becomes even more critical. Delays could have a ripple effect, not only on potential Mexican visitors, but also on the broader tourism-related businesses that rely on their patronage.

 

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