Mexico Visa Exemption

Classification: Unclassified

Branch/Agency: SPB/CBSA

Proposed Response:

If pressed (on risks and thresholds):


On December 1, 2016, the Government of Canada lifted the visa requirement for Mexican nationals travelling to Canada. As of that date Mexican citizens, like other visa-exempt foreign nationals, have not required a visa to fly to or transit through Canada. They do, however, require a valid Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) when travelling to Canada by air.

When the visa requirement was lifted, funding in the amount of $212 million over five years and    $47 million ongoing was sought across all partners to manage the immigration-related risks. Ongoing pressures due to irregular migration associated with the Mexico visa exemption contributed to the Government’s decision to allocate additional funding for Canada’s asylum system in Budget 2019.

Trends and risks associated with the visa exemption for Mexican nationals are expected to continue. Likewise, funding pressures on the CBSA are expected to grow as the Agency manages the risks associated with these migration trends.

The CBSA will continue to work with partners to monitor and to respond to those risks to ensure the integrity of Canada’s immigration system and the safety and security of Canadians. 

Of note, at the time of the visa exemption, the Government set a threshold for asylum claims which would trigger a reconsideration of the visa exemption [Redacted]. However, this number should not be made public.


Prepared by: Yuan-Kuen Wang, Senior Policy Analyst, Strategic Policy Branch, 613-957-9314

Approved by: Kathy Thompson, Vice President, Strategic Policy Branch, [REDACTED]

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