News report | | 22/03/2024 | ±3 minutes reading time

On 29 February 2024, the Canadian authorities tightened the rules Mexican travellers must comply with for applying for an eTA. Mexicans must meet additional requirements to qualify for an eTA Canada, and eTAs granted to Mexicans before 29 February 2024 will be cancelled.

New eTA requirements

Since late February, travellers with the Mexican nationality must meet a number of additional conditions to be eligible for the eTA. Mexican citizens must not only meet the regular eTA requirements, but also the following criteria to travel to Canada with an eTA. They must:

  • arrive in Canada by plane;
  • travel to Canada for no longer than 6 months;
  • either have held a Canadian visitor visa in the past 10 years;
  • or possess a U.S. non-immigrant visa at the time of the eTA application.

Mexican travellers arriving in Canada by car, bus, train, or boat can no longer use the eTA since the introduction of the new rules. According to the new guidelines, Mexicans who have not had a Canadian visitor visa in the past 10 years and currently do not have a valid U.S. non-immigrant visa, need to apply for a visa instead of an eTA for their trip to Canada. The costs of the eTA are significantly lower than those of the visa. Additionally, the collection of biometric data may be required for a visa application. The new rules make it more expensive and complicated for many Mexicans to visit Canada.

Previously granted eTAs revoked

The new rules came into effect on 29 February 2024, but also affect Mexicans who had already applied for an eTA before this date. Mexican travellers who had received their eTA Canada before 29 February 2024, are also not allowed to use it any more. All eTAs issued to Mexican citizens before this date have been retroactively cancelled. These travellers must reapply for an eTA under the new conditions or apply for a Canadian visitor visa if they do not meet all the additional criteria.

An exception applies to Mexican travellers already in Canada. They are allowed to stay in the country for the period allowed by their original travel authorization. However, if they leave Canada, they must meet the new rules to re-enter the country. In that case, they must apply for a new eTA or visitor visa. Additionally, an exception applies to Mexicans holding a valid work permit or study permit. These individuals can still travel to Canada even if the eTA associated with their work or study permit was issued before 29 February 2024.

Background of the decision

The tightening of the eTA requirements for Mexicans is partly a result of the large number of asylum claims from Mexican citizens. Since the visa requirement for Mexicans was abolished in 2016, the number of asylum claims from Mexicans in Canada has sharply increased. In 2023, the number of asylum claims reached a peak with over 25,000 applications. Of all asylum claims in Canada in 2023, 18 percent were filed by Mexican citizens. Only 2,894 of these applications were approved. As of 31 December 2023, there were still 28,165 asylum applications from Mexicans pending with the Canadian immigration authorities. It appears that the Canadian authorities cannot keep up with the large number of asylum claims from Mexicans.

One of the goals of tightening the visa requirements for Mexican citizens is to relieve the immigration services. Earlier this year, the Canadian Ministers of Public Safety and Immigration considered reintroducing the visa requirement for Mexican citizens. Although the visa requirement was not fully reintroduced, the rules for applying for an eTA for Mexican travellers were tightened.

eTA conditions for Europeans remain unchanged

The tightened rules for applying for an eTA apply only to travellers with the Mexican nationality. Travellers from the UK and Ireland still qualify for the eTA and do not need to consider the new conditions when applying for a travel authorization. If they meet the regular requirements, they can still easily apply for the eTA for Canada online.

Apply now for the eTA

e-Visa.co.uk is a commercial and professional visa agency, and supports travellers in obtaining, among others, the eTA Canada. e-Visa.co.uk acts as an intermediary and is in no way part of any government. You can also apply for an eTA directly with the immigration service (7 CAD per eTA, via onlineservices-servicesenligne.cic.gc.ca). However, not with our level of support. If you submit your application via e-Visa.co.uk, our support centre is available to you 24/7. We also check your application before submitting it to the immigration authorities on your behalf. If we suspect any errors or omissions while doing so, we will personally contact you to ensure that your application can still be processed quickly and correctly. To use our services, you pay us 7 CAD in consular fees, which we pay to the immigration service on your behalf, as well as £25.93 in service fees as compensation for our services, including VAT. Our services have saved many travellers from major problems during their trip. Should an application be rejected despite our support and verification, we will refund the full purchase price (unless an application for a previous eTA Canada was rejected for the same traveller). Read more about our services here.