Canada - New Biometric requirements for Visitors and Permit Holders -8th January, 2019

Canada - New Biometric requirements for Visitors and Permit Holders

Canada has expanded the scope of seeking biometric information from the 31st December 2018. Now more applicants for a visit visa (Canadian Visitors and Permit Holders) or for a study/work permit or applicants of permanent residence need to give it.  It was already applicable to Applicants from Africa, Europe, and the Middle East since July. Presently it is extended to Asians, and people of Asia Pacific and the Americas.

The process

Such people have to give their fingerprints and a photograph while applying for documents and also go in person to provide the biometrics. They can do so at a visa application center before leaving for Canada.

Ahmed Hussen, Immigration Minister said that with the help of biometrics it will be easy for officials of immigration and border services to stop persons who are a safety and security risk to Canada. Additionally it will help these officials to verify the identities of travelers’, and make the application processing easy. Furthermore there is the advantage of simplification in entry of legitimate travelers.

Initiatives of the Government

The Government takes many steps for making the biometrics procedure smooth. There is a worldwide network of VACs with 152 VACs serving the people of 103 countries. It allows the applicants to visit any VAC in a country.

Moreover, the Government of Canada is closely monitoring the impact of biometrics so that the level of service meets the requirements of applicants. Canada has a plan to provide periodic collection services in biometrics at specific locations as per the requirements.

Facilities for all

The repeat visitors to the country will have to give the biometrics once in every 10 years. It will also take all measures to protect Privacy. The Government is working with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for protecting personal information while collecting, sharing and using biometric data. Canada follows a policy based on the best international practices.

By collecting biometrics the integrity of immigration system, will be strengthened. Additionally it will protect the safety and security of countrymen. This exercise also gives an accurate and reliable tool for establishing the identity of a traveler. It also improves the ability to process all applications upon arrival in Canada.

The biometrics exemptions

The biometrics also has a list of exemptions. These are:

  • Canadian citizens,
  • All applicants of Citizenship ,
  • Passport applicants,
  • Present permanent residents,
  • US visa holders, who transit through Canada,
  • All children below 14 years
  • All applicants above  79 years
  • Heads of State and Governments
  • Accredited diplomats and Cabinet ministers of many countries
  • Accredited diplomats of the United Nations, reaching the country on official duties
The Visa-exempt nationals reaching Canada as tourists do not need providing this biometrics.  We bring all relevant details regarding such issues. Please contact us.

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