Canada Modifies Travel Requirements for Mexican Citizens to Enhance Immigration System Integrity

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Immigration

OTTAWA – POLITICS – Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, emphasizes, “Mexico is an invaluable partner to Canada. We are committed to welcoming Mexican temporary workers, students, visitors, and immigrants who enrich our economy and communities with their diverse skills and contributions. Our goal is to achieve a balance that allows for free movement between our countries while managing our immigration system effectively to offer protection to those who need it most.”

Over the past eight decades, Canada and Mexico have forged a deep and productive diplomatic relationship, working collaboratively to make North America a leading economic powerhouse while maintaining robust bilateral and multilateral cooperation. In a move to facilitate travel and strengthen people-to-people connections between the two nations, the Government of Canada is revising its travel requirements for Mexican citizens, effective from February 29, 2024, at 11:30 p.m. Eastern time.

Evolving Partnership: Strengthening Canada-Mexico Relations

This adjustment aims to support the continued exchange between Canada and Mexico, reflecting a shared commitment to fostering a dynamic and competitive North American region.

New eTA Requirements: Streamlining Travel for Mexican Citizens

Mexican nationals holding a valid US non-immigrant visa or who have previously held a Canadian visa within the last 10 years, and are traveling to Canada by air on a Mexican passport, will now be eligible to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). This change is designed to preserve the integrity of Canada’s immigration system while maintaining visa-free travel for the majority of Mexican citizens meeting these criteria. Those not meeting these new conditions will be required to apply for a Canadian visitor visa, a measure aimed at addressing the surge in asylum claims from Mexican citizens that are often refused, withdrawn, or abandoned.

Preserving System Integrity: Responding to Asylum Claim Trends

The revision in travel requirements comes in response to a significant increase in asylum claims by Mexican citizens, which have placed considerable pressure on Canada’s asylum, immigration systems, and social services. This strategic move seeks to balance the need for mobility with the management of Canada’s immigration and asylum systems effectively.

Unchanged Work and Study Permits: Continuous Support for Mexican Workers and Students

The process for Mexican citizens seeking work or study permits remains unaffected. Mexico continues to have access to a broad spectrum of labor pathways, including the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and the International Mobility Program, facilitating ongoing contributions to Canada’s workforce and educational exchange.

Enhanced Mobility and Protection: Balancing Immigration and Refugee Support

The Government of Canada, in collaboration with Mexican authorities and provincial and territorial counterparts, is committed to strengthening regular immigration pathways and managed migration systems. This includes expanding visa application centers in Mexico to better accommodate applicants and easing pressures on Canada’s borders, immigration system, and social services. Today’s actions underscore Canada’s dedication to preserving mobility for Mexican citizens while ensuring the nation’s capacity to offer protection to those in dire need.

The Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) stands as a prime example of the mutually beneficial migration Canada aims to promote, with plans to modernize the agreement with Mexico for the inclusion of year-round agriculture and seasonal industries.

As Canada continues to monitor the impacts of its visa policies and asylum claim trends, adjustments to travel requirements are made with the goal of maintaining the sustainability and integrity of the asylum and immigration systems.

For more detailed information on these changes, including for individuals in transit or with imminent travel plans, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website provides comprehensive guidance.

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