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Canada imposes new entry restrictions on Mexican travelers

Mexico City, Mexico — The Government of Canada has announced new entry requirements for Mexican nationals. The new requirements are set to take effect shortly before midnight.

In a statement, Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE) says that the Government of Mexico has been informed of the new requirements that are to take effect on the night of February 29.

“Mexico has been informed that starting 22:30 hours today, February 29, Canada will increase travel requirements for Mexican people.

“Applications for electronic authorization (eTA) must be accompanied by the existence of a current U.S. visa or a Canadian visa issued within the last ten years. Mexican people who do not comply with the above must apply for a Canadian visa.

“In recent weeks, Mexico sent two high-level missions to Canada to reiterate the importance of protecting people who are victims of fraud, trafficking and disinformation schemes.

“In the conversations held, it was achieved that instead of imposing a general visa requirement, the eTA was maintained with additional restrictions, which would cover 60 percent of Mexican people who travel to Canada, according to estimates by the Canadian government.

“However, Mexico regrets this decision and considers that there were other options before applying this measure.

“Mexico reserves, of course, the power to act in reciprocity,” the SRE published in a statement Thursday.

The group met Wednesday to discuss the new requirements among other topics. Photo: Alicia Bárcena February 28, 2024.

According to senior officials from the Canadian Broadcasting Corp, the new entry requirements are part of a move to curb the flow of asyulum seekers.

Requests for the tightening of visa requirements for Mexican nationals has been ongoing. In April of last year, the U.S. asked Canada to reimpose the requirements.

Last month, Quebec Premier Francios Legault also made a similar request, urging the Canadian government to stem the flow of asylum seekers from Mexico. The Quebec Premier went as far as to ask that the government compensate the provice for costs since, according to Legault, the lack of visa requirements meant more refugees were arriving by plane and that the province’s social services were at a breaking point.

Last month the federal government said it was looking into ways to prevent Mexican nationals from flying into Canada seeking asylum.

According to Mexico’s Foreign Ministry, today’s decision to add the additional requirements came after talks between Mexican and Canadian delegations.

In a public statement the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) posted “As of February 29, 2024 at 11:30 PM EST, Mexican citizens will need a visa to enter Canada unless they meet certain criteria.

“Most existing electronic travel authorizations (eTAs) for Mexican passport holders are being cancelled. Mexican citizens may reapply for a new eTA if they are flying to Canada and: (1) held a Canadian visitor visa in the last 10 years, or (2) currently hold a valid United States non-immigrant visa. Otherwise, they need a visa.

“Mexican citizens with a valid Canadian work or study permit are not affected. Their eTA will not be cancelled and they can continue to travel to Canada.

“Mexican citizens without a valid work or study permit who are already in Canada may stay for as long as they are authorized, but their eTA will be cancelled. If they leave Canada and wish to return, they’ll need a visa or a new eTA, if eligible.

“Mexican travelers may experience delays when arriving at Canadian airports due to the changing entry requirements.”