Mexicans will no longer need a visa to seek temporary entry to Canada

Posted on 10th January, 2016

Estimated reading time 3 minutes

The background

In 2009, in the face of surging numbers of refugee claimants, Canada instituted a visa requirement for Mexican citizens to travel to Canada.  Whatever impact this move may have had on stemming the tide of refugee claimants, it was both

  • harmful to business, and
  • a sticking point in Mexico-Canada relations.

How is this position set to change?

The Government of Canada is now set to terminate the visa requirement.

Effective 1 December 2016, Mexicans will no longer need a visa to seek temporary entry to Canada.  This includes entry for the purpose of work, study, business visitation, or ‘ordinary’ visitation.  In essence, from this perspective, Mexicans will be in the same position as any other non-visa national.

What are the impacts on Mexican citizens travelling to Canada?

There are two principle impacts of this measure:

  • After the removal of the visa requirement, Mexicans will require an Electronic Travel Authorization like virtually all other non-visa nationals (see details further below).
  • Mexicans’ substantive rights under NAFTA remain unchanged.  Mexicans are entitled to the full benefits of NAFTA including work permits under professional categories, and will now be able to seek these upon arrival at a port of entry (as they used to).


Canada is tearing down walls in its relationship with Mexico.  This can only serve to improve issues vis-a-vis business immigration and mobility between the countries.

Anyone dealing with companies doing business in Canada, or generally, global corporate immigration, will want to be aware that this significant NAFTA party -  Mexico – is having a visa requirement removed for travel to Canada. This will mean significant chances to substantive considerations, processes and timelines.

Further information

For further information or to discuss any of the issues raised, please contact Benjamin A. Kranc ( on + 1 (416) 977 7500.



Content is for general information purposes only. The information provided is not intended to be comprehensive and it does not constitute or contain legal or other advice. If you require assistance in relation to any issue please seek specific advice relevant to your particular circumstances. In particular, no responsibility shall be accepted by the authors or by Abbiss Cadres LLP for any losses occasioned by reliance on any content appearing on or accessible from this article. For further legal information click here.

Circular 230 disclosure

To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS and other taxing authorities, we inform you that any tax advice contained in this article (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties that may be imposed on any taxpayer or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.