Some citizens of Mexico now require a visa to visit Canada

Asheesh Moosapeta
Updated: Mar, 1, 2024
  • Published: March 1, 2024

In response to an increase in asylum claimants from Mexico, Canada now requires some Mexican nationals to obtain a visitor visa to enter Canada temporarily.

This change is effective as of February 29, 2024. Previously, all Mexican citizens were eligible to receive an electronic travel authorization (eTA) to enter Canada.

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Who will now need a visitor visa?

All Mexican citizens will now need a visa to enter Canada unless they meet all three of the following criteria:

  • They are entering Canada by air, or flying to Canada to transit to another destination;
  • They are coming to Canada for a short-term visit (usually for stays up to six months in length); and
  • They have either: held a Canadian visitor visa (or other temporary resident visa*) in the past 10 years or a valid United States nonimmigrant visa at the time of their application and travel.

*Temporary resident visas include visitor, work, and study permit-related visas.

Mexican travelers to Canada should also be aware that if they had an eTA before 11:30 pm EST on February 29th, 2024, it will be canceled, and they will need to apply for a new permit. If these individuals are no longer eligible for an eTA after the new changes are implemented, they will now need to apply for a visitor visa.

How do these changes impact Mexicans already in Canada as visitors?

Visitors are temporary residents in Canada who do not have a study or work permit associated with their stay (usually these are travelers on business or tourist trips to Canada). These individuals will continue to be allowed to stay in Canada for the duration they were previously approved for.

However, their eTAs will be canceled. If these visitors wish to re-enter Canada after leaving, they will need to apply for a visitor visa, or a new eTA if they meet all the above eligibility criteria.

How do these changes impact Mexicans already in Canada on a work or study permit?

Mexican citizens already in Canada on a study or work permit will not have their eTAs canceled. These individuals will retain their previous eTA and may continue to travel on it if the document is valid.

If these individuals are applying for a new work or study permit, they will automatically be issued a visa or eTA (based on their eligibility) when their work or study permit is approved. They will not need to apply separately for a visa or eTA.

Note: In all instances, an eTA is for air travel only. Even if individuals have a valid eTA, they will need a valid visitor visa if they plan to travel to Canada by car, bus, train, or boat (including cruise ship, even if travelers do not leave the cruise ship).

What can Mexican citizens do if they had a valid study or work permit at the time of the change, but their eTA was still canceled?

These individuals may be eligible to have their eTAs reactivated. To find out if this is the case, they can:

If these individuals are not eligible to have their eTA reactivated, they will need to submit a new eTA or visitor visa application, based on the new requirements.

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