Visa-Free Travel To Canada For Mexican Citizens

Since 2009, there has been Visa-Free Travel To Canada for Mexicans. Citizens of Mexico may travel to Canada without having to apply for a Visitor Visa or Temporary Resident Visa beforehand.

The visa requirement was lifted on December 1, 2016 which means Mexicans traveling by air to Canada will need an electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) before boarding a flight, while Mexicans traveling to Canada by land require neither an eTA nor a TRV; these visitors simply need to present their passport at the Port of Entry (border).

Since this time last week, citizens of Mexico have been able to apply for an eTA. Mexicans with a valid TRV do not need to also obtain an eTA in order to enter Canada. However, after an individual’s TRV expires, he/she is required to apply for an eTA in order to enter Canada again, if travelling by air.

The promise to lift the visa requirement during the 2015 election campaign was made by the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, before formally announcing the new policy during a two-day state visit by Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto in June, 2016. They both announced their plans to lift Mexico’s ban on Canadian beef imports.

The relationship between Canada and Mexico is long and deep. The countries as well as the United States, implemented the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which came into force in 1994. The Mexican diaspora in Canada numbers 317,000 which is according to the 2011 census.

Data from Statistics Canada for the first seven months of 2016 showed a 17 per cent increase in travel from Mexico to Canada year-over-year. It was also noted in September that Aeromexico, the flag carrier in Mexico, announced that as a direct result of the lifting of the visa requirement as of December 1, the airline would increase flights to Canada by 47 per cent.

Last month, federal Immigration Minister John McCallum said the visa could be “reimposed” if the number of asylum claims spikes as a result of the policy change, but did not specify what number of claims would trigger a reversal.

On this issue, Canada still retains its sovereignty. A time will come where it will become unsustainable, but we hope that point will not arrive,” said McCallum.

In McCallum’s office, a senior official added that IRCC is working with Mexican counterparts to make sure there is a successful visa in Mexico this includes measures to identify and deter irregular migration.

The eTA

The eTA process is typically and easier and cheaper process, as compared to the process of applying for a TRV. Mexico will join other countries around the world that have an agreement with Canada whereby its citizens will not be required to apply for a visa before migrating to Canada.

Mexico citizens who plan to enter Canada by air are now required to get an eTA before they can board their flight. In August 2015, the was first introduced and was made mandatory on November 20, 2016 after a lengthy leniency period came to an end.

Those who need an eTA in order to visit Canada are required to fill out some personal information and answer a few basic questions relating to criminality as well as medical issues.

To complete the online form, you need:

  • A valid passport from a visa-exempt country such as Mexico
  • A credit card in order to pay the $7.00 CAD fee,
  • A valid email address, and
  • Access to the internet and a few minutes of your time.

An eTA is a form of an electronic document linked to an individual passport. The process of application is completely online, though a paper application may be made in certain cases. Once you have receive your eTA, the validity is for five years or until the individual’s passport expires, whichever occurs first. The process is usually fast — the eTA may be approved within minutes — although it is recommended that travellers apply in advance of their flight in order to avoid delays. However, some travellers have missed their flight because they’ve been taken unawares as the application process took longer than expected.

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