Who is being fingerprinted?
According to an article written by Narcity, the Canadian government is now fingerprinting almost everyone who crosses the border. Canada expanded its biometrics program on July 31st, 2018. "The new expansion means that almost everyone who crosses the border into Canada will not only need a passport but will also have to provide fingerprints to prove their identity."
Everyone who applies for a visitor visa, a work or study permit (excluding U.S. nationals), permanent residence, or refugee or asylum status must submit their biometrics. Some individuals are, however, exempt from fingerprinting at the border. Some exemptions include children under the age of 14 and adults over the age of 79. For a full list of exemptions, read below.
Who is exempt?
- Canadian citizens, citizenship applicants (including passport applicants), or existing permanent residents
- V isa-exempt nationals coming to Canada as tourists who hold a valid Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
- children under the age of 14
- applicants over the age of 79 (there is no upper age exemption for asylum claimants)
- heads of state and heads of government
- cabinet ministers and accredited diplomats of other countries and the United Nations, coming to Canada on official business
- U.S. visa holders transiting through Canada
- refugee claimants or protected persons who have already provided biometrics and are applying for a study or work permit
- temporary resident applicants who have already provided biometrics in support of a permanent resident application that is still in progress
- Temporary exemption: If you are applying for a visa, study or work permit, or permanent residence in Canada – you are exempt until the in-Canada service is established.
How does it work?
Visitors arriving in Canada must submit their fingerprints and photographs at a biometric services collection point. It costs $85 CAD to have your biometrics done. Find out if you need to submit biometrics here.
Still not sure what biometrics are?
Biometrics measure physical characteristics, which include fingerprints and facial features. This information is used to verify an individual’s identity for the purpose of preventing identity theft and fraud. Biometrics also prevent known criminals from entering Canada, deportees from re-entering Canada without permission, and failed refugee claimants from re-entering Canada using false identity documents. As such, biometrics help maintain the safety and security of Canadian citizens. Biometrics are safely and securely stored by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) on the National Repository.
For more information on fingerprinting and biometric collection, read here.