Mexican Visitors Now Need Visa to Enter Canada

Mexican Visitors Now Need Visa to Enter Canada
Mexican Visitors Now Need Visa to Enter Canada
Avatar of Harry Johnson
Written by Harry Johnson

In order to stem the tide of asylum seekers, Canada will reintroduce visa requirements for Mexican citizens.

<

In 2023, there was a surge in asylum applications from Mexicans in Canada, adding to the strain on Canada’s asylum system, housing, and social services. The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada dismissed about 60% of these claims, while the rest were either withdrawn or abandoned by the applicants.

Mexican citizens made up 17% of all asylum claims worldwide in 2023. Since the visa requirement was removed in 2016, Mexico’s asylum claim rate has dramatically increased from 260 claims in 2016 to 23,995 claims in 2023.

In order to stem the tide of asylum seekers, Canada will reintroduce visa requirements for Mexican citizens. Mexicans planning to travel to Canada are now required to obtain an electronic travel authorization. This can be done by utilizing a valid US visa or an expired Canadian visa that was issued within the last decade. If individuals do not possess either of these, they will be required to apply for a Canadian visa.

Last month, the Canadian government stated that it was evaluating multiple new strategies aimed at deterring Mexican citizens from entering the country by air to seek asylum. To curb the influx of asylum seekers from the United States, Canada reached an agreement with Washington last year.

Today, Canadian government issued the following press release regarding updated travel information for Mexican citizens coming to Canada:

“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 traveling 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 labor 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 centers 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.”

  • 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.

“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,” said the Honorable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.

WHAT TO TAKE AWAY FROM THIS ARTICLE:

  • 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.
  • 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 traveling by air on a Mexican passport will be able to apply for an electronic travel authorization (eTA).
  • 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.

About the author

Avatar of Harry Johnson

Harry Johnson

Harry Johnson has been the assignment editor for eTurboNews for mroe than 20 years. He lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is originally from Europe. He enjoys writing and covering the news.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x
Share to...