¡Atención queridos Mexicanos! Visa Requirement Re-Instated for Mexican Citizens

As of 11:30 p.m. on February 29, 2024, citizens of Mexico will be required to possess a temporary resident visa (TRV) to enter Canada with a few limited exemptions. The government is applying this requirement in response to the high number of asylum claims received from citizens of Mexico. Previously in 2016, the government had lifted the TRV requirement for citizens of Mexico but is now re-instating it.

A TRV is a document affixed to a traveller’s passport which allows them to enter Canada. They are separate from status documents such as work permits, study permits, and visitor records which denote one’s immigration status in Canada. Countries that do not require visas are typically those that are wealthy, have good diplomatic relations with Canada, and whose citizens the Canadian government feels are unlikely to make asylum claims if they travel to Canada.

One limited exemption to the requirement for TRVs for citizens of Mexico requires that the traveller previously held a Canadian TRV in the past 10 years or currently holds a United States non-immigrant visa, and they will be flying into Canada. If they meet the exemption, they can apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) instead. The eTA is typically a quick online application that is approved within minutes, compared to a TRV which can take months to process and requires that the passport be sent to a Canadian visa office. However, given that TRVs have not been required for citizens of Mexico since 2016, this exemption will be very limited indeed.

Another limited exemption is for Mexican citizens who already have a work or study permit. If these individuals already have an eTA (highly likely as most will have flown to Canada), they can continue to use their eTAs for as long as they are valid. Upon the expiry of their eTAs however, they will need to apply for a TRV or, if they meet the exemption listed above regarding holding a TRV in the past 10 years or a U.S. non-immigrant visa, a new eTA.

Those who are in Canada as visitors will have their eTAs cancelled. If they wish to enter Canada again, they will need to apply for a TRV or an eTA if they meet the exemption regarding holding a TRV in the past 10 years or a U.S. non-immigrant visa.

For Mexican citizens or employers with Mexican employees, the re-instatement of the visa requirement will likely affect them. If you have questions related to this requirement and how it will affect you or your employees, our Canadian immigration legal professionals can be reached by phone (416 368 1111) or via email: caruso@cilf.ca; fagan@cilf.ca; bonisteel@cilf.ca; ali@cilf.ca; mukherjee@cilf.ca; garciafialdini@cilf.ca.