2019-12-03 – Canada has expanded its biometrics collection program to include immigration candidates making applications from within the country.
From December 3, 2019, foreign nationals from within Canada applying for temporary or permanent residence, or to extend or renew a visitor visa, work permit or study permit will have to provide fingerprints and a photograph.
They can do so at one of 58 designated Service Canada locations.
“Fingerprints and photo collection are recognized as one of the most reliable ways to identify people and are used by more than 70 countries worldwide,” said new Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino.
“We will enhance the efficiency and integrity of the immigration system in Canada.”
Canada has collected biometrics on most foreign nationals applying for temporary or permanent residence since December 31, 2018.
An Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada statement said: “Having biometrics helps immigration officers verify people’s identity, which makes processing applications easier and simplifies entry for legitimate travellers.
“It also makes it easier for officers to stop individuals who pose a risk to the safety and security of Canadians.”
Candidates still submit their applications in the usual way, either online or by paper.
Those required to give biometrics to receive an instruction letter. They must then make an appointment at one of the Service Canada locations.
The following candidates are exempt from the biometrics requirement:
- Those under 14 or over 79 years of age.
- US nationals coming to visit, work or study temporarily in Canada.
- Lawful permanent residents of the US coming to visit only.
Candidates can give their biometrics at a Visa Application Centre (VAC) in any country they are legally allowed to enter. Canada has 160 VAC locations in 108 countries.