Canada Expands Its Biometrics Screening Program -31st July, 2018

Facilitating travel to Canada while keeping Canadians safe

The Canadian Government has a commitment to the safety and security of its people and also towards the integrity of the immigration system. Starting from July 31, 2018, all citizens of European, African and the Middle Eastern countries, must provide biometrics, if they apply for a visitor visa, or a work/study permit, or PR.

Moreover, establishing an accurate identity is vital for immigration decisions and helps in keeping the Canadians safe. For 20 years, biometrics has played an important role to support immigration screening and decision-making.

Canada presently collects biometrics from refugee claimants and also from refugee resettlement applicants, individuals who have a removal order from Canada and persons from 30 foreign nationalities who apply for a temporary resident visa, or a work/study permit.

Systematic verification of fingerprints permits border service officers to get the confirmation regarding the identity of a traveler. It also helps managing the traffic flow in a better manner at the border. This in turn makes the process of international travel convenient and secure for travelers who have a genuine identity.

The Canadian Government has adopted several measures to give biometrics easier for travelers. The rules require that temporary residents have to provide their biometrics only once in every 10 years. Canada also plans to increase the presence of its Visa Application Centers in the next 2 years. Canada has a large VAC network in comparison to other countries.

After November 2019, Canada proposes to have a network of 157 VACs in 105 countries. A few Canadian embassies located in Europe will offer interim biometrics collection points for applicants who apply online or by mail and receive a Biometrics Instruction Letter.

Today several countries use biometrics in border management and immigration. Apart from Canada the UK, Australia, India Japan, USA, South Africa, 26 Schengen states in Europe and New Zealand also implement biometric programs.

With the expansion of biometrics program, Canada will serve visitors, students, workers and permanent residents.

Furthermore, Biometrics is reliable and has accuracy to confirm the identity of legal travelers. The travelers can avail this service by border service officers at 57 ports of entry across Canada. This will also help to identify the persons who are a security risk and also stop criminals from entering Canada.

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