Visa requirements on Venezuelans entering Mexico go into effect today.
The move follows a US government request to increase entry restrictions on Venezuelans to reduce migrant flows from the country.
47,752 Venezuelan migrants were encountered at the US-Mexico border in 2021, up from 1,227 in 2020. In August and December, Mexico revoked its visa exemptions for Ecuador and Brazil after the US experienced similar spikes in migrants from those countries. Over 1.6 million migrants arrived at the US-Mexico border in 2021, with 1.05 million coming from countries other than Mexico. Mexico is also facing migration pressures, with 90,314 applying for asylum in Mexico in 2021.
Expect the visa requirements to reduce the number of Venezuelan migrants arriving in Mexico and at the US border as more migrants are stopped at Mexico’s southern border. If the requirements substantially reduce migrant numbers from Venezuela, expect Mexico to remove visa exemptions from other Latin American countries such as Colombia and Costa Rica, should the US request it. If migrant numbers do not reduce, expect Mexico to impose more restrictions on Venezuelans obtaining visas, such as slowing the application process and implementing quotas, as well as increases in undocumented crossings into Mexico.
Kyle is a Publisher and Analyst on the Analysis team. He specializes in foreign policy and human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean, with a particular focus on Mexico and Central America.