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Canada brings back visa requirement for Mexican visitors

The Canadian government has reinstated the visa requirement for Mexican travelers to Canada which was lifted eight years ago. The move came into effect at 11:30 p.m. (ET) on Thursday, February 29.

pg7b copyThe measure was restored due to “an increase in asylum claims made by Mexican citizens that are refused, withdrawn or abandoned,” said a press release from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

Immigration Minister Marc Miller added that the move was also partly in response to pressure from the United States, which had raised concerns about Mexicans traveling visa-free to Canada and then crossing into the United States. 

More than 25,000 Mexicans requested asylum in Canada in 2023, according to Canadian government data—17 percent of all refugee claims Canada received last year. 

The move will not affect all travelers.  Mexican citizens who hold a valid U.S. non-immigrant visa or have held a Canadian visa in the past 10 years and are traveling by air on a Mexican passport will be able to apply for an electronic travel authorization (eTA). Immigration Canada said that the high number of Mexican citizens currently holding U.S. visas means that “the majority will continue to enjoy visa-free travel to Canada.”

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