Starting from July 31st, 2018, the Government in Canada will make it mandatory to have biometrics including a photo and fingerprints for most of the immigration applications submitted to Canada.
As per the new regulations, all those who will apply for permanent residence, study visa, visitor visa or work permit will be required to provide a photo and fingerprints.
All those who are entering Canada repeatedly, including those who apply for study, visitor visa or work permit will be required to submit their biometrics only once in 10 years.
According to Canada’s Immigration Minister, Ahmed Hussen, by expanding the biometrics program, we facilitate entry into Canada and the integrity of the immigration system is protected, by accurately and quickly establishing the identity of a traveler.
Who will be affected by this rule?
These changes will come into force from this summer starting July 31 for all applicants who are coming from Middle East, Europe and Africa.
All those who are applying to come to Canada from Asia, Asia Pacific and the Americas will have to provide the biometrics starting from December 31st, 2018.
Why Biometrics is Used?
Biometrics measures the unique physical characteristics of an individual, such as facial features and fingerprints. The identity of an individual is verified by the collected information. The chances of false or mistaken identity is reduced with the use of biometrics.
Biometrics helps in preventing:
Identity theft and fraud
Deportees from re-entering Canada without permission
Known criminals from entering Canada and
Failed refugee claimants from re-entering Canada using false identity documents.
Biometric requirement has some exemptions, including:
- Citizenship applicants, Canadian citizens or existing permanent residents
- Applicants above 79 years of age (there is no upper age exemption for asylum claimants)
- Children below the age of 14
- All those who are entering Canada from visa-exempt nations as tourist and hold a valid Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
- Heads of government and head of state
- US visa holders transiting through Canada
- Protected persons or refugee claimants who have already given biometrics and are applying for work permit or a study visa.
- Accredited diplomats and cabinet ministers of United Nations and other countries, coming on official business to Canada.
- Temporary resident applicants who have already given biometrics as they submitted permanent resident application that is in progress still.
Where are Biometric service points?
Service centres for biometrics are currently being established across the country and till that time a temporary exemption is in place for everyone who is applying for study visa or work permit, or for permanent residency inside Canada.