Canada Reimposes Visa Requirements for Mexicans

Canada has reinstated visa requirements for Mexican nationals due to a surge of asylum claims. Mexicans can still apply for eTA Canada but they must meet additional requirements.
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A surge of Mexican citizens seeking asylum in Canada has caused the Canadian government to reimpose visa requirements lifted nearly eight years ago. 

The reinstatement of visa requirements for Mexicans came into force on March 1, 2024. 

New visa requirements for Mexicans applying for eTA Canada

Mexicans willing to obtain eTA Canada still can do it as long as they are able to meet one of the following requirements

  • They have held a visa for Canada at any point within the last 10 years prior to the date of a current planned visit to Canada
  • They currently hold a US non-immigrant visa

All other Mexican nationals who cannot meet the abovementioned eTA eligibility requirements will need to apply for a relevant visa to Canada. 

Reasons for reinstatement of visa requirements

In 2023, Canadian PM J. Trudeau and US President J. Biden agreed on a border deal that was supposed to close a loophole that used to allow asylum seekers to cross the Canada-US border through unofficial border crossing points. Many asylum seekers are now traveling to Canada by air.

On 29th Feb. 2024, Marc Miller, the Canadian Immigration Minister, announced that over 50% of the asylum applications submitted by Mexicans are either rejected or abandoned. 

It was in 2016 when Canada removed the requirements imposed on Mexicans in order to improve relations with Mexico.

Since 2016, however, the influx of immigrants has resulted in a burden on the Canadian government, and that is why the authorities decided to push it to a 'breaking point.' 

Claims for asylum in Canada from Mexican citizens rose from 260 to nearly 24,000 in 2016-2023. It is an increase of more than 9,000%. 

The Mexican government's representatives have expressed dissatisfaction with the reinstated visa requirements for Mexican nationals.

The Canadian government, however, confirms that Mexico 'is and will remain an important partner' for Canada

The restricted visa requirements imposed on Mexicans do not apply to Mexicans holding work and study permits. 

Katarzyna Żyła
2024-03-5

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