Updated travel information for Mexican citizens coming to Canada

February 29, 2024, 8:30 a.m. – Ottawa – Canada and Mexico have maintained a deep, positive and constructive diplomatic partnership over the past 80 years. We have worked to ensure North America is the world’s most competitive economic region and maintain strong bilateral, regional and multilateral cooperation. To support travel and people-to-people connections between Canada and Mexico, while also preserving the integrity of our immigration system, the Government of Canada is adjusting its travel requirements for Mexican citizens.

As of February 29, 2024, at 11:30 p.m. Eastern time, Mexican citizens who hold a valid US non-immigrant visa or have held a Canadian visa in the past 10 years and are travelling by air on a Mexican passport will be able to apply for an electronic travel authorization (eTA). With the high number of Mexican citizens currently holding US visas, the majority will continue to enjoy visa-free travel to Canada. Those who do not meet these conditions will need to apply for a Canadian visitor visa. This responds to an increase in asylum claims made by Mexican citizens that are refused, withdrawn or abandoned. It is an important step to preserve mobility for hundreds of thousands of Mexican citizens, while also ensuring the sound management of our immigration and asylum systems.

The application process for Mexican citizens seeking a work or study permit will not change. Mexican citizens who want to work in Canada will continue to have access to a wide number of existing labour pathways, including the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and the International Mobility Program.

Canada supports ongoing travel, tourism and business with Mexico. We will continue to work with the Government of Mexico to strengthen our regular pathways to immigration, and with our provincial and territorial counterparts to support a system of managed migration as well as to support those in need of protection. Canada is expanding its network of visa application centres in Mexico to better serve these clients. Today’s action will relieve pressure on Canada’s borders, immigration system, housing and social services, while preserving mobility for Mexican citizens who want to come to Canada.

The Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) is a vital example of the mutually beneficial migration that we seek to promote regionally and globally. Canada is ready to work with Mexico to build on this program, through the modernization of a new SAWP bilateral agreement, to offer Mexican workers new opportunities, through the incorporation of year-round primary agriculture and seasonal fish, seafood and primary food processing into the program. This will benefit workers and businesses on both sides of the Canada–Mexico relationship.

Canada is continuously monitoring the impacts of its visa policies for both visa-exempt and visa-required countries, as well as asylum claim trends. These challenges are not limited to one country. Any adjustment to Canada’s travel requirements are made to preserve the integrity and sustainability of our asylum and immigration systems.

More information about these changes, including for people in transit or with upcoming flights, is available on IRCC’s website.

Quote:

“Mexico is an important partner to Canada. We will continue to welcome Mexican temporary workers, students, visitors and immigrants who bring diverse skills and important contributions to our economy and communities. We strive for balance between the movement of people between our two great countries, and the need to relieve pressure on our immigration system so we can provide protection to those who need it the most.”

– The Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Quick facts:

  • Asylum claims made by Mexican citizens reached a record high in 2023 at a time when Canada’s asylum system, housing and social services were already under significant pressure. The majority of these claims (approximately 60%) were either rejected by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, or withdrawn or abandoned by the applicant.
  • In 2023 alone, asylum claims from Mexican citizens accounted for 17% of all claims made that year from all nationalities around the world. The country’s asylum claim rate has risen significantly since the visa was first lifted in 2016 (from 260 claims in 2016 to 23,995 claims in 2023).
  • All eTAs issued to Mexican passports before 11:30 p.m. Eastern time on February 29, 2024, will no longer be valid—except for eTAs linked to Mexican passports with a valid Canadian work or study permit. Mexican citizens travelling to Canada without a valid work or study permit will need to apply for a visitor visa or reapply for a new eTA—if they are eligible.
  • Mexican citizens holding a valid work or study permit can still travel by air to Canada with their existing eTA as long as it remains valid, and they can continue to study or work in Canada based on the validity and conditions of their permit. Mexican visitors who are already in Canada on an eTA can stay for as long as they are authorized (up to six months from the date they arrive in Canada). However, if they plan to leave Canada and wish to return, they must have the proper travel documents (visa or new eTA).
  • Most approved visa applicants receive multiple-entry visas, which allow them to visit Canada as many times as they want, for up to 10 years, or until their passport expires.
  • The eTA is a digital travel document that most visa-exempt travellers need in order to travel to or transit through Canada by air. IRCC first began expanding its eTA program to eligible citizens from visa-required countries in 2017. Mexico will now be among 15 countries whose citizens can to fly to Canada on an eTA, instead of a visa, if they meet certain requirements.

 

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