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Canada is expanding its biometrics program

Canada is expanding its biometrics program which requires foreign nationals who are applying for a Canadian visitor visa, a work or study permit, or permanent residence to give IRCC their fingerprints and a photo.

This information helps verify that you are the person you say you are. This change began with applicants from Europe, the Middle East and Africa who need to submit their fingerprints and photo as of July 31, 2018.

Why is Canada expanding its biometrics program?

Your biometric information makes it easier for border service officers to confirm your identity when you enter Canada. Providing  this information also makes it more difficult for someone else to forge or steal your identity. Also, having this information makes it easier to identify known criminals, prevent them from coming to Canada and better protect the safety and security of Canadians.

How do you provide your biometrics?

After you apply online or by mail for a Canadian visitor visa, a work or study permit, or permanent residence, you receive a letter from IRCC. This letter tells you that you have to go in person to an official biometrics collection service location, such as a visa application centre (VAC) or one of the 135 application support centers in the United States (U.S.). There, an officer takes a photo of you and scans your fingerprints. Once this is done, your application is processed. Applicants for visitor visas, work permits and study permits need to submit their biometric information only once every 10 years.

Asylum claimants and some applicants for study and work permits can also apply in person at a VAC or port of entry (POE). In these cases, you do not need to have a biometric instruction letter. In 2019, you will also be able to give biometrics at Service Canada centres.

What happens when you arrive in Canada?

When you arrive in Canada, your biometrics are used to confirm your identity. At eight major Canadian airports, you must go to a primary inspection kiosk, where your fingerprints are checked automatically. At other airports and land POEs, border services officers will check your fingerprints if you are sent for a secondary inspection to verify your identity. 

Posted: Dec 4, 2018

December 2018



Centennial College



Immigration Peel Canada



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