Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has announced a change to visa requirements for Mexican nationals.1

Effective 11:30 PM EST on February 29, 2024, Mexican nationals will no longer be able to benefit from visa-free travel to Canada.  All Mexican nationals will now require a temporary resident visa (“visa”), unless they meet the eligibility criteria for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).  (For prior coverage, see GMS Flash Alert 2024-117, June 8, 2023.)  Specifically, only individuals that have held a Canadian visa in the last 10 years, or hold a valid US non-immigrant visa, and are travelling to Canada by air will qualify for an eTA.


Under the new measures, only select Mexican nationals will be able to travel to Canada with an eTA.  This includes eTA -eligible individuals such as business visitors, tourists, and those who already hold a valid Canadian work permit or study permit.

Mexican nationals who have a valid eTA will no longer be able to apply for work permits directly at the port of entry.  Instead, they will have to submit their applications online at overseas visa offices.

This announcement aligns Mexico with other visa-requiring countries that maintain eTA eligibility for certain specific individuals, with Mexico now being the 15th country to be included.  (For prior coverage, see GMS Flash Alert 2024-117, June 8, 2023.)  


Since 2016, Mexican nationals have been eligible for visa free travel to Canada, with this allowing Mexican tourists, students, and workers to travel to Canada without the need for a visa. Previously, as visa-exempt nationals, Mexican workers were eligible to apply for work permits directly at the port of entry with a valid eTA and avoid the processing times associated with overseas visa applications. 

More Details

Any eTAs issued to a Mexican passport prior to 11:30 p.m. Eastern time on February 29, 2024, will be invalidated. The only exceptions will be for previously approved eTAs for Mexican nationals that already have a valid Canadian work or study permit.  Any travellers that previously relied upon an eTA for visa free travel will need to review the new eligibility criteria to see if they qualify for a new eTA or need to apply for a visa.

eTA Eligibility

To qualify for visa-free air travel, Mexican nationals must have either held a Canadian temporary resident visa in the last 10 years or currently hold a valid US non-immigrant visa.

These individuals will need to obtain an eTA online prior to flying to or transiting through a Canadian airport.  Costing CAD 7, eTAs are typically valid for up to five years or until the foreign national’s passport expires (whichever is sooner) and typically allow for stays of up to 180 days at a time.  


Additional Considerations

Mexican nationals who already hold a valid Canadian visa can continue to use it to travel to Canada. Those who are not eligible for an eTA, or who are travelling to Canada by means other than air (for example, by car, bus, train, or boat – including cruise ship), will now need a visitor visa.

Individuals who have questions or concerns about the new measures are encouraged to contact their usual immigration counsel or KPMG Law LLP (see the Contact section) for further guidance.  


1  Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Newsroom, "Updated travel information for Mexican citizens coming to Canada."

* Please note the KPMG International member firm in the United States does not provide immigration or labour law services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.


The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Canada.


Connect with us

Stay up to date with what matters to you

Gain access to personalized content based on your interests by signing up today


GMS Flash Alert is a Global Mobility Services publication of the KPMG LLP Washington National Tax practice. The KPMG name and logo are trademarks used under license by the independent member firms of the KPMG global organization. KPMG International Limited is a private English company limited by guarantee and does not provide services to clients. No member firm has any authority to obligate or bind KPMG International or any other member firm vis-à-vis third parties, nor does KPMG International have any such authority to obligate or bind any member firm. The information contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.

We respectfully acknowledge that KPMG offices across Turtle Island (North America) are located on the traditional, treaty, and unceded territories of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

© 2024 KPMG LLP, an Ontario limited liability partnership and a member firm of the KPMG global organization of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Limited, a private English company limited by guarantee. All rights reserved.

For more detail about the structure of the KPMG global organization please visit