Changes to the Canada visa requirements for Mexican citizens

by Pilar Dujan | March 4, 2024
Discover the new Canada travel requirements for Mexican citizens

The Canadian government announced important changes in regards to travel permits for Mexican citizens. From February 29th onwards, those who wish to travel from Mexico to Canada might have to apply for a visitor visa instead of a Canada eTA.

The changes include new eligibility rules and the cancellation of all pending applications and granted eTAs by the time the new measure was put in place. The only exception is if the holder also has a valid work or study permit for Canada. 

Having a pre-booked trip will not exempt you from having your current eTA canceled. However, if a Mexican citizen was already in Canada by the time of the announcement, they will be allowed to stay for the allowed period under their current eTA. 

If you already had an approved eTA or you were waiting for the resolution, you will have to apply again as long as you meet the new requirements. If you are not included in the new eligibility requirements, you will have to apply for the visitor visa. 

New requirements for the Canada eTA for Mexican citizens

Mexican citizens who meet the following requirements will be eligible to apply for the eTA Canada:

  • If they travel by air with a valid Mexican passport. The eTA is not available for those traveling by any other means besides flying.
  • If they travel for a short stay (6 months or less)
  • If they have been granted a Canadian visitor visa or a US Green Card/nonimmigrant visa in the last 10 years

If you meet all these Canada visa requirements, you will have the advantage of applying for the eTA instead of a traditional visa. The processing time for the latter is much longer than for the online eTA: while the visitor visa takes around 40 days to be processed, the eTA can be granted in a matter of minutes or a few days.

Montreal in Canada

The new Canada entry requirements for Mexican citizens

Now, citizens of Mexico that wish to travel with an eTA have to meet the new Canada entry requirements:

  • A valid passport. It must be the same used in the eTA application
  • The passport holding your work or study permit (if you are eligible for the eTA under this condition)

The Canadian government also recommends bringing the passport with your expired Canadian visitor visa or the valid US nonimmigrant visa to prove your eligibility status. They also suggest that you bring a printed copy of the new and approved eTA. 

What was the reason for these changes?

The Canadian government took these measures to try to reduce the amount of asylum claims from Mexican citizens (17% of all applications made in 2023). 

Moreover, Immigration Minister Marc Miller claims that many Mexican travelers enter through Canada to then migrate to the United States, something they also seek to impede. 

In response, the Mexican government put out an official statement to express their disappointment. They also said that their government reserves “the power to act in reciprocity”, so there could be more changes to the visa requirements for both countries soon.