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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Canada to lift Mexican visa requirements

Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada would lift the visa requirement for Mexican visitors to Canada on December 1st, 2016, during a two-day visit to Canada by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. The GNCC asked the Government of Canada to lift the visa requirements on visitors from Mexico, and has lobbied federal ministers as well as our local federal representatives on this issue. We outlined the problem that the visa system poses to Niagara tourism in our Investing in Canadian Tourism policy brief, where we also advocated for extending the eTA system and abolishing tourist visas for visitors from emerging markets in China, Brazil, India, and Hong Kong. The lifting of the visa requirement will result in a boost for Niagara tourism, but we intend to continue our advocacy for further reform of Canada’s visa systems to maximize our competitive advantage in the sector.

The Government of Canada has made it a top priority to re-establish and strengthen our relationship with one of our most important partners, Mexico. To this end, Prime Minister Trudeau today announced Canada’s intention to lift the visa requirement for Mexican visitors to Canada beginning December 1, 2016. Lifting the visa requirement will deepen ties between Canada and Mexico and will increase the flow of travellers, ideas, and businesses between both countries.

Closer collaboration between Canada and Mexico on mobility issues will also help encourage travel between the two countries while preventing any increase in asylum claims or other irregular migration. Officials plan to meet regularly to promote these mutual interests.

Canadian officials are working with their Mexican counterparts on final details to ensure a successful visa lift.

Until November 30, 2016, the visa requirement is still in place for Mexico and – until it is lifted – Mexican citizens must continue to apply for a visa to visit, study or work in Canada. Mexicans can apply online for a visitor visa on Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s website, or can use the services of one of the Visa Application Centres in Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey.

Visitors are generally allowed a six-month stay from the day they enter Canada. If the Border Services Officer authorizes a stay of less than six months, they will indicate in the visitor’s passport the date by which they must leave Canada.

After the visa requirement is lifted, Mexicans wanting to work or study in Canada will still need to apply for a work or study permit prior to their arrival in Canada. Mexican citizens should also be aware that – once the visa is lifted – they will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly or transit through Canada. Applying for an eTA is a simple, inexpensive (CAD$7) process that takes just minutes to complete online. The eTA is electronically linked to a traveler’s passport, and is valid for five years or until the passport expires, whichever comes first. All visa-exempt foreign nationals – except for U.S. citizens – need an eTA to fly to or transit through Canada.

Additional information will be provided to Mexican citizens in advance of the visa lift, including details on when Mexicans travellers can begin applying for their eTA.

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