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It might surprise many of you that Mexican citizens did not need a visa to enter Canada. That's because they were part of NAFTA and it was assumed that no one from NAFTA should need a visa to enter Canada. As the US economy deteriorated, many Mexicans in US started heading north of the border, to Canada.

It is no surprise that Mexicans quickly become the first refugee claimant group in Canada in the year 2008.

In Canada, only 10% of all refugee cases from Mexican citizens are approved, the others, are thrown out.

In a sudden decision without a warning, today, the Canadian gvt imposed a VISA requirement for all Mexicans entering the country.

The change takes effect at 12:01 a.m. ET on Tuesday. For the first 48 hours, Mexicans and Czechs will be able to apply for entry on arrival in Canada. However, after 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, they must have a visa.

Mexico is now the No. 1 source of refugee claims, with the number almost tripling to more than 9,400 since 2005, the immigration department said in a release Monday. The figure represents one-quarter of all claims made.

To be fair, Canada refugee system is one of the best. There are countries that really have legitimate refugee cases with real reason to fear prosecution such as Iran, Iraq, Honduras, Sri Lanka, Sudan (Darfur), Congo and refugees in those countries are having to stay in camps because the lines of those who enter the country are jumping in front of the line... But on the other hand, Canada needs 300,000 immigrants per year.

I am thinking this decision is going to have a massive impact on legitimate business people who travel between Canada and Mexico, because Mexico is one of the biggest trader with Canada.

The Mexicans and Czechs were not impressed, and they are threatening a visa requirement of their own

In response to Canada's action, Mexico issued a release saying it regretted the decision, but gave no indication that it would require Canadian visitors to obtain visas.

However, the Czech Republic reacted strongly, with Foreign Minister Jan Kohout calling the action unprecedented against a European Union member and a war ally in Afghanistan.

Kohout indicated to The Associated Press that the Czechs are likely to impose visa requirements on Canadians travelling to the country.

Hummm... I want to visit Prague next summer... but, the Czech Republic is part of EU, so, I could just land in Germany, and train there. I don't know how that would work.

Either way, this decision is going to be interesting.

Originally posted to The Simple Canadian on Mon Jul 13, 2009 at 09:03 PM PDT.

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