Some citizens of Mexico now require a visa to visit Canada

In response to the increase in asylum seekers from Mexico, Canada now requires some Mexican citizens to obtain a visitor visa to temporarily enter Canada.

This change is effective February 29, 2024. Previously, all Mexican citizens were eligible to receive a 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 the following three criteria:

  • They are entering Canada by air or flying to Canada to transit to another destination;
  • They come to Canada for a short-term visit (typically for stays of up to six months in duration); and
  • Have had: a Canadian visitor visa (or other temporary resident visa*) within the last 10 years or a valid United States nonimmigrant visa at the time of your application and travel.

*Temporary resident visas They include visas related to visitor, work and study permits.

Mexican travelers to Canada should also note that if they had an eTA before 11:30 pm EST on February 29, 2024, it will be canceled and they will need to apply for a new permit. If these people 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 who are already in Canada as visitors?

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

However, your eTAs will be cancelled. 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 of the above eligibility criteria.

How do these changes impact Mexicans who are already in Canada with a work or study permit?

Mexican citizens who are already in Canada with a study or work permit will not have their eTA canceled. These people will keep their previous eTA and will be able to continue traveling with it if the document is valid.

If these people apply for a new work or study permit, they will automatically be issued a visa or eTA (depending 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 cases, an eTA is for air travel only. Even if people have a valid eTA, they will need a valid visitor visa if they plan to travel to Canada by car, bus, train or ship (including a 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 eTA reactivated. To find out if this is the case, you can:

If these individuals are not eligible to reactivate their eTA, they will need to submit a new eTA or visitor visa application, according to the new requirements.

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