Beginning July 14, 2009, citizens of the Czech Republic and Mexico now require a Temporary Residence Visa (TRV) to travel to Canada.
Czech citizens may apply for a TRV from the Canadian Visa Office in Vienna, Austria, which currently serves nationals from several other European countries. Mexican citizens may apply at the Canadian Embassy in Mexico City, and are encouraged to send their applications by courier or mail rather than in person, as short-term delays are expected while Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) works to increase the processing capacity of the Embassy.
Applicants from both countries must satisfy the granting officer that they meet the visa requirements in place for all Canadian TRVs, namely that their visit is temporary, the approved time will not be overstayed, they have sufficient funds to cover their stay, are in good health, have no criminal record, and will not pose a security risk to Canada.
The stated purpose of introducing the visa requirements is to reduce the burden on the refugee system resulting from an influx of refugee claims from the Czech Republic and Mexico in recent years. Mexico is currently the top source country for refugee claims, with 9,400 claims in 2008. The Czech Republic is the second, with 3,000 claims since October 2007 when the previous visa requirement was removed. When announcing the new requirements, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism emphasized that Canada has strong ties with both the Czech Republic and Mexico, and continues to welcome all genuine travellers from both countries.
For futher information, please view the following news releases from Citizenship and Immigration Canada: