MONTRÉAL, May 12, 2014 /CNW/ - Canada's Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander announced today that the government is taking real action to make it faster and easier for Mexican visitors to come to Canada.
Under the CAN+ program, Mexican nationals who have travelled to Canada or the United States within the last 10 years will be eligible for expedited visa processing. CAN+ is yet another option to make it easier for Mexican travellers to come to Canada.
By fast-tracking a large number of applications, CAN+ is freeing up visa officers to work on other cases. As a result, the program is improving overall processing times for all Mexican travellers who will see their visas processed in 10 days or less.
Alexander highlighted how the government is increasing legitimate trade and travel to Canada. The success of the Canada Multiple-Entry Visa (MEV) program is another example of ways the government is providing fast and convenient options for travellers wishing to visit Canada. In April 2014 alone, more than 95,000 MEVs, which allow visitors to come and go from Canada for six months at a time for up to 10 years, were issued to individuals coming to Canada on vacation or to spend time with family.
- Canada's close tourism ties with Mexico continue to grow with more than 34,000 visitor visas, study and work permits issued to Mexican visitors, students and workers between January and April 2014; a 20 percent increase from the same period in 2013.
- More than 2 million Canadians visit Mexico each year.
- The CAN+ program will speed visa processing for an expected 50 percent or more Mexican travellers to Canada.
- A six-month pilot of the CAN+ program delivered real results: visas were issued in seven days or less with an approval rate of over 95 percent.
- Citizenship and Immigration Canada also offers three "Express" programs that help Mexican business people, tourist groups and students come to Canada faster:
- Business Express expedites business travel from Mexico with visas issued within days with a near-perfect approval rate for those registered in the program.
- Travel Express offers a fast, simplified visa application process for tourists who use travel agencies registered with the Canadian Embassy.
- Mexican Student Pilot fast-tracks the processing of study permits with a near-perfect approval rate for those who study at participating Canadian educational institutions.
"Our government is opening the door to economic growth while protecting the integrity of Canada's immigration system. By making the CAN+ program permanent, our government is making it easier and faster for Mexican travellers to come to Canada to do business, visit family or friends, or bolster Canada's tourism industry. This will further strengthen relations with our valued NAFTA partner and will help foster economic growth in both our countries."
Chris Alexander, Canada's Citizenship and Immigration Minister
"The CAN+ program will speed visa processing and reinforce Canada as a top international travel destination. Canada believes that trade and investment represent the twin engines of growth for the global economy. Our government is committed to enhancing our tourism experience and improving access to Canada."
Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism, and Agriculture)
"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."
David Goldstein, President and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada
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General admissibility criteria that all visitors must meet to enter Canada.
List of countries and territories whose citizens need a visa to visit Canada.
Photos of Minister Alexander available at: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/photos/index.asp
SOURCE: Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Building a stronger Canada: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) strengthens Canada's economic, social and cultural prosperity, helping ensure Canadian safety and security while managing one of the largest and most generous immigration programs in the world.