MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico on Thursday formally announced new visa requirements for visitors from Venezuela in the government's official gazette, as part of efforts to curb a sharp increase in unlawful immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The new requirements published by the interior ministry, which will take effect in 15 days, come as Mexico attempts to curb the number of people from South and Central America trying to enter the United States illegally via its territory.
Venezuelans, many of whom have been departing their homeland due to the years of economic crisis the country has faced, do not currently need a visa to enter Mexico as tourists.
Mexico's government last month said it would impose visa requirements on Venezuelan visitors https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/mexico-impose-visa-requirements-venezuelans-2021-12-17, but had yet to issue formal notification of the impending changes.
The ministry cited a jump of over 1,000% in the irregular transit of Venezuelans to a "third country" compared with the previous five years. It said a growing number were giving false statements on their reasons for travel.
The government also pointed to growing exploitation of the demand to migrate by criminal gangs and people smugglers.
Reuters had earlier reported that Mexico was mulling imposing tougher entry requirements on Venezuelans https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/exclusive-mexico-considers-tighter-entry-rules-venezuelans-after-us-requests-2021-11-12, partly in response to requests from the U.S. government.
(Reporting by Dave Graham; Writing by Laura Gottesdiener; Editing by Richard Chang)