OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 9, 2010) - Canada's visa office in Mexico City has established a special visa application program for Mexican business travellers, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.
"Canada welcomes travellers from Mexico and has been looking at ways to provide enhanced services to applicants. The Business Express Program is another example of our commitment to making service improvements where we can," said Minister Kenney.
"Canada and Mexico are among each other's largest trading partners," said Peter Van Loan, Minister of International Trade. "This program will help Canadian and Mexican companies do business together and continue to fuel our economic recovery."
The new Business Express Program was created to provide qualified businesses and their employees with a number of service advantages, including less paperwork, priority processing of visa applications, and a dedicated service to respond to the needs of those within the program. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is working closely with Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada and visa application centres in Mexico on this initiative.
The Business Express Program is modeled on a similar successful program introduced in New Delhi, India, in June 2008.
The program in Mexico is targetted at people employed by companies in Mexico who have a proven need for frequent travel to Canada. Participation in the program is by invitation only. Businesses with key connections to Canada are identified by the visa or trade sections of the Embassy of Canada in Mexico City, or Export Development Canada.
Businesses that have good immigration track records, meaning those with employees who were admissible, who previously travelled to Canada and adhered to Canada's immigration laws, and who have a significant number of business visitors destined to Canada are then invited by the Embassy of Canada to register for the program. Only businesses that are registered can submit visa applications through the facilitated process.
So far, the embassy has invited 113 companies to enrol in the program. Twelve businesses have registered.
Qualified applicants from businesses that are enrolled in the program can apply for their visa at one of the three visa application centres in Mexico, located in Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara. Processing by the Canadian visa office will be swift, with a turnaround time of 24 hours.
"Mexico is an important strategic partner. The Government of Canada continues, as a priority, to extend and improve services that will facilitate official, trade and educational travel from Mexico to Canada," said Minister Kenney.