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Immediate changes to travel eligibility for citizens of Mexico

By Brittany Trafford and Brendan Sheridan

Today Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) has announced significant changes to the travel requirements for Mexican citizens.

As of February 29, 2024 at 11:30p.m. Eastern Time, all electronic travel authorizations (“eTA”) issued to Mexican passports prior to this date and time will become invalid, with the exception of those Mexican citizens travelling to Canada with valid work or study permits.

Mexican citizens who do not hold a valid US non-immigrant visa or who have not held a Canadian visa in the past 10 years will require a Canadian visa to enter Canada when travelling on a Mexican passport.  Those who meet the exemptions of having the valid US non-immigration visa or past Canadian visa will be able to re-apply for eTAs to enter Canada by air.  Even if eligible for an eTA to travel by air, if entering by car, bus, train or boat, a visa will be required.

Those who are eligible for an eTA will need to apply for a new eTA or a visa after 11:30 p.m. February 29, 2024. This includes persons who have applications for eTAs in processing but not yet issued as of the cut off time.  IRCC has specified that having travel booked does not guarantee the ability to rely on an eTA.  As a result, anyone travelling on a Mexican passport must carefully consider what steps they must take to come to Canada.  Current estimated processing times for a Canadian visa application from Mexico is 40 days; however, we would anticipate this may increase as more applications are made.

IRCC has announced that these changes are being made in response to the increase in asylum claims made by Mexican citizens that have been refused, withdrawn or abandoned. IRCC had lifted the visa requirement for those travelling on Mexican passports in December 2016.

This announcement by IRCC will impact many wanting to come to Canada and will certainly impact the timelines for many Mexican nationals to be able to enter Canada.

This client update is provided for general information only and does not constitute legal advice.

If you have any questions about the above, please contact a member of our Immigration group.



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