Improved Visa process for Mexican visitors a boost to Canadian competitiveness
The Tourism Industry Association of Canada’s (TIAC) President and CEO David Goldstein joined Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander to announce new initiatives to make it faster and easier for Mexican travellers to acquire a visa to visit Canada.
CAN+ is a new Citizenship and Immigration program that allows Mexican nationals, who have travelled to Canada or the United States over the past 10 years, to access to an expedited, on-line visa system that will process applications in 10 days or less. This initiative is a direct outcome of the Beyond the Borders Action Plan and builds on the momentum of the Federal Tourism Strategy.
"Mexico is a very important source market for Canada. Building on recent positive growth, today's announcement should help Canada to meet and surpass pre-2009 Mexican visitation levels. Under the CAN+ program 14 million Mexicans who visited the United States last year will now have access to an expedited visa process to Canada," stated Goldstein.
"I want to recognize and thank Minister Alexander for taking action on a TIAC recommendation to expedite visitor visas from Canada's key source markets. Since the PAFSO strike we have been increasingly concerned about the vulnerability of the visa system. Today's announcement is an important step forward that will make Canada a more competitive destination while maintaining the integrity of our immigration system. It is clear that the government takes this issue seriously," concluded Goldstein.
CAN+ Program - What Is It?
Under the new CAN+ program, Mexican nationals that have travelled to Canada or the US within the last 10 years will be eligible for expedited visa processing. Fast-tracking these applications will allow visa officers to work on other cases and will improve the overall processing times for all Mexican travellers - visas will be processed in 10 days or less.
Quick Facts About Canada / Mexico Relationship:
• In 2013, Canada issued more than 69,000 visitor visa and student permits to Mexican students and visitors
• More than 2 million Canadians visit Mexico each year
• The CAN+ program will speed visa processing for 50% or more Mexican travellers to Canada
• A 6-month pilot of the program delivered excellent results - visas were processed in 7 days or less with an approval rate of more than 95%
For more information on the CAN+ program, please visit news.gc.ca.
Minister Chris Alexander announces that the government is taking real action to make it faster and easier for Mexican visitors to come to Canada (Left to right: Mr. David Goldstein, President and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, Minister Alexander, and Mr. Daniel-Robert Gooch, President of the Canadian Airports Council)