Prime Minister Trudeau announced the Government’s intentions to lift the visa requirement for Mexican citizens visiting Canada. The visa requirement is to be officially lifted as of December 1, 2016 but until that time Mexican travellers to Canada are still required to apply for and receive their visa before travelling to Canada.
The visa requirement for Mexican citizens was originally put in place in 2009 by the Conservative Government. This was introduced as a method to help lower the amount of asylum claims made by Mexican travellers while in Canada. The implementation of this controversial requirement has had the intended effect of lowering asylum claims but also stated to have caused Canada to lose revenue from tourism as a result of fewer Mexican citizens travelling to Canada.
Although the visa requirement will be lifted as of December 1, 2016, Mexican citizens must still obtain authorization to travel to Canada. As with all visa exempt countries, with the exception of the United States, Mexican travellers will be required to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) before departing for Canada. This is an application which costs approximately $7 CAD and is said in most cases to be approved within minutes. The eTA is valid for a period of 5 years or until the expiry of the applicant’s passport, whichever event happens first. It also remains a requirement that a study or work permit must be applied for if the traveller wants to engage in either of those activities while in Canada.