Visa Requirements for Mexican Visitors

The Canadian government introduced visa requirements for Mexican nationals on February 29, 2024. Prior to that date, Mexican citizens could travel to Canada by air once they had an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). With certain exceptions, this is no longer possible.


What has changed
  • Mexican nationals must submit a visa application before travelling to Canada;
  • There are some exceptions to submitting an eTA application.


Who can apply for an eTA under these new rules?
  • Mexican citizens are eligible if they meet the following three criteria:
    • They hold a valid Mexican passport to fly to Canada or to transit through a Canadian airport to another destination;
    • They are visiting Canada for up to six months;
    • They have held a Canadian visitor visa in the past 10 years, or a U.S. nonimmigrant visa.


How temporary foreign workers, international students and visitors are affected by these changes
  • Visitor eTAs issued prior to February 29, 2024 have been automatically cancelled. This includes individuals accompanying work or study permit holders, children under 18 and spouses;
  • Any eTAs issued before February 29, 2024 to individuals who hold work or study permits are still valid. However, some of these eTAs were cancelled in error;
  • Travellers can no longer apply for a work permit at a port of entry;
  • Work permit approval letters (letters of introduction) will no longer show an eTA number;
  • Passports must be sent to the Embassy of Canada in Mexico City for the application of a visa label;
  • Where a Mexican national uses a transportation method other than an airplane to travel to Canada, they must hold a visa even if they have a valid eTA;
  • The visa is valid for the duration of the work permit while the eTA is valid for a maximum of five years.


Transitional measures
  • Any eTAs issued prior to February 29, 2024 to workers who already hold a letter of introduction are valid. Where an eTA was cancelled in error, a reactivation request must be submitted online to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC);
  • Workers who are currently in Canada and hold a valid permit and an eTA may enter and depart Canada by air as long as their eTA remains valid.


Processing times announced by the Embassy of Canada in Mexico City
  • Between four and six weeks.


Measures put in place by the Canadian government to meet demand
  • Opening of several biometric processing centres in Mexico;
  • Increased capacity for case processing;
  • Work permits are given priority, particularly those for the agricultural and food processing sectors;
  • Faster production of visas.


Auray will be on the lookout for any changes and will keep you informed. We realize that arrival dates are a crucial factor of seasonal operations. Rest assured that we’ll do everything in our power with the government, make every effort and follow up to avoid additional delays in processing work permit applications.


Published on April 17, 2024


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