Ciudadanos de Mexico y Rep. Checa necesitan Visa para entrar a Canada
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julio 14, 2009 a las 11:29 am #234339
Canada has slapped visa requirements on citizens of Mexico and the Czech Republic, citing a huge surge in refugee claims by visitors from those countries.
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.
The Czech Republic ranks second with nearly 3,000 refugee claims filed since the visa requirement for visitors from that country was lifted in October 2007. That compares with fewer than five claims in 2006, the department said.
“In addition to creating significant delays and spiraling new costs in our refugee program, the sheer volume of these claims is undermining our ability to help people fleeing real persecution,” Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said. “All too often, people who really need Canada’s protection find themselves in a long line, waiting for months and sometimes years to have their claims heard. This is unacceptable.
“The visa process will allow us to assess who is coming to Canada as a legitimate visitor and who might be trying to use the refugee system to jump the immigration queue,” Kenney said. “It is not fair for those who have been waiting patiently to come to Canada, sometimes for years, when others succeed in bypassing our immigration system.”
The department said the Immigration and Refugee Board accepted only 11 per cent of claims by Mexicans in 2008. It did not provide a figure for claims by Czechs.
Many of the Czech refugee claims are made by Roma alleging discrimination at home. Human rights organizations have repeatedly accused the country of discriminating against its 250,000 Roma minority.
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