New Travel Requirements for Mexican Citizens Visiting Canada

08 March, 2024

New Travel Requirements for Mexican Citizens Visiting Canada

In response to the increase in asylum seekers from Mexico, Canada now requires that some Mexican citizens obtain a visitor visa to enter Canada temporarily.
This change came into effect on February 29, 2024. Previously, all Mexican citizens were eligible to receive an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to enter Canada.
Canada initially waived the visitor visa requirement for Mexican citizens in 2016. However, since then, IRCC has observed an increase in asylum claims from Mexican citizens that were declined, withdrawn, or abandoned.
The reinstatement of visitor visas for Mexicans is a measure aimed at preserving the mobility of thousands of Mexicans while also safeguarding the efficiency of Canada's immigration and asylum systems.
Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) asserts that the majority of Mexican citizens will still enjoy visa-free travel to Canada.


Who will now require a visitor visa?


All Mexican citizens will now necessitate a visa for entry into Canada, unless they meet all three of the following criteria:
  • They are arriving in Canada via air travel or transiting through Canada to another destination by air;
  • They are visiting Canada for a short-term stay, typically up to six months in duration; and
  • They have either: 
    • held a Canadian visitor visa (or another type of temporary resident visa*) within the past 10 years, or 
    • possess a valid United States nonimmigrant visa at the time of application and travel.
*Temporary resident visas encompass visas related to visitor, work, and study permits.
Mexican travelers planning to visit Canada should also note that if they had an eTA before 11:30 pm EST on February 29th, 2024, it will be invalidated, necessitating them to apply for a new permit. If these individuals no longer qualify for an eTA following the implementation of the new regulations, they will now be required to apply for a visitor visa.


What effects do these alterations have on Mexicans currently in Canada as visitors?


Visitors, denoting temporary residents in Canada without a study or work permit linked to their stay (typically encompassing travelers on business or tourist excursions to Canada), will persist in being permitted to remain in Canada for the duration they were formerly authorized.
Nevertheless, their eTAs will be invalidated. If these visitors intend to re-enter Canada subsequent to departing, they will be obliged to request a visitor visa or a fresh eTA if they satisfy all the aforementioned eligibility prerequisites.


What impact do these adjustments have on Mexicans already residing in Canada under a work or study permit?


Mexican citizens currently in Canada under a study or work permit will not experience the cancellation of their eTAs. They will maintain their existing eTA and can continue to use it for travel as long as it remains valid.
If these individuals are seeking a new work or study permit, they will automatically receive a visa or eTA (depending on their eligibility) upon approval of their work or study permit application. They will not need to separately apply for a visa or eTA.
Please note that an eTA is solely applicable for air travel. Even if individuals possess a valid eTA, they must obtain a valid visitor visa if they intend to travel to Canada by car, bus, train, or boat (including cruise ships, even if travelers do not disembark).


What to do if you're Mexican and have planned a trip to Canada?


Firstly, you can ascertain whether you require a visa for your travel to Canada by utilizing the tool provided on the government's website.
If you're a Mexican visitor who possessed an eTA or applied for one before 11:30 p.m. ET on February 29, 2024, it won't be valid for your travel.
Before your travel to Canada, you must either apply for and receive approval for an eTA under the new regulations or obtain approval for a visitor's visa.
According to the government's website, under the new regulations, you must meet all the criteria to obtain an eTA:
  • Using a valid Mexican passport for air travel to Canada or for transiting through a Canadian airport to another destination.
  • Planning a short visit to Canada (typically for stays of up to 6 months).
  • Having held a Canadian visitor visa (temporary resident visa) in the past 10 years or
  • currently holding a valid United States non-immigrant visa.
If you still have questions about it or if you wish to issue the visa, we can help you! Contact our team and find out the details.
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