Before and After the Visa Imposition: Mexican Immigration to Canada, 2003–2013

Ian Van Haren , McGill University
Claudia Masferrer, Centro de Estudios Demográficos, Urbanos y Ambientales, El Colegio de México

Before 2009, Mexicans did not require visas to visit Canada. This changed when the Canadian government imposed a visa requirement to respond to “bogus refugee claims”. We use administrative immigration records from Statistics Canada’s Permanent Resident Landing File (PRLF) data to understand changes in Mexican immigration to Canada before and after 2009. We study composition by immigrant class of entry to highlight increases in particular streams of economic migration and humanitarian migration. We investigate changes in socio-demographic characteristics and settlement patterns within Canada and highlight how immigrants from Mexico differ from immigrants from other regions of the world. Results are discussed in the context of recent research on visa impositions and migration flows, changes in Mexican migration to the US, changing economic migration policy, and temporary labor migration. The restricted individual-level data available in the PRLF allow for a detailed understanding of changes not possible using other data sets.

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 Presented in Session 5. Immigration Policy