As of March 15, 2016, certain travellers from Mexico, Brazil,
Bulgaria and Romania will no longer require a temporary resident
visa (TRV) to enter Canada.
To qualify as TRV-exempt travellers, citizens from Mexico,
Brazil, Bulgaria and Romania must have held a TRV in the last 10
years or hold a valid US non-immigration visa. A TRV is an official
document issued by a Canadian visa office that is affixed in the
foreign traveller's passport to show that he or she has met the
requirements for admission to Canada as a visitor. A US
non-immigrant visa is an official document affixed in the foreign
traveller's passport that permits such traveller to travel to
the United States during the validity of the visa on a temporary
basis (i.e., tourism, medical treatment, business, temporary work,
These travellers will need to fill out the electronic travel
authorization (eTA) prior to entering Canada by air. Visitors
coming by land or sea will not need an eTA but must travel with
proper identification, such as a valid passport and permanent
residency card, if applicable.
Citizens from Mexico, Brazil, Bulgaria and Romania who have not
held a Canadian TRV in the last 10 years or do not hold a valid US
non-immigration visa do not qualify as visa-exempt travellers.
Therefore, they must obtain a TRV at a Canadian visa office prior
to entering Canada.
Also starting on March 15, 2016, all citizens from TRV-exempt
countries must have an eTA before entering Canada by air. Citizens
from the United States are exempt from the eTA program and they do
not need to submit an eTA application prior to entering Canada.
Visa-exempt countries include France, Britain, Germany, Spain,
Italy, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Korea. A
complete list of countries can be found here.
The eTA application is available online, through the CIC website. Those unable to apply electronically
due to a physical or mental disability can submit a paper
To learn more about the eTA and its requirements, please see our
legal update on "New requirements for foreign nationals
The author wishes to thank Viviane Albuquerque, student-at-law,
for her help in preparing this legal update.
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