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Canada's New Biometrics Rule Applicable to Temporary and Permanent Resident Applicants

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Canada's New Biometrics Rule Applicable to Temporary and Permanent Resident Applicants

Jade Calver

Canada’s New Biometrics Rule Will Soon Apply to Temporary and Permanent Resident Applicants from Asia, Asia Pacific, and the Americas

 The Biometrics Program

In the Summer of 2018, the government introduced biometrics requirements for citizens wishing to come to Canada for the purpose of visiting, working, or studying. The biometrics program was initially applied to those individuals arriving from a set list of countries. Changes to the biometrics requirements were enforced gradually throughout the year. The most recent changes, effective as of December 31st, 2018, require applicants from other regions, such as Asia, Asia Pacific, and the Americas to provide their biometrics upon submitting their application. 

According to the Government of Canada, “having biometrics makes it easier for immigration and border services officers to stop individuals who pose a risk to the safety and security of Canadians.” Furthermore, it “helps officials verify travellers’ identities, makes processing applications easier and simplifies entry for legitimate travellers.”  

How to Give Your Biometrics

  1. Pay the biometrics fee.

  2. Get the instruction letter. You will need to bring this letter when you give your biometrics.

  3. Go to an official biometrics collection service point.

 Biometrics Exemptions

Some parties are exempt from the biometrics expansion, meaning they do not have to provide their biometric information to government officials when submitting an application for a work permit, visitor visa, study permit, or permanent residence.

 Some of these exemptions include:

  • Canada citizens, citizenship applicants (including passport applicants), or existing permanent residents;

  • Children under the age of 14 and 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; and

  • Temporary resident applicants who have already provided biometrics in support of a permanent resident application that is still in progress

Collecting biometrics from most foreign travellers coming to Canada makes sense on so many levels: it strengthens the integrity of our immigration system, while helping protect the safety and security of Canadians. Not only does biometrics collection give us a reliable, accurate tool to establish a traveller’s identity, but it also improves our ability to process applications and the entry of people upon arrival in Canada.
— The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Quick Facts:

  • More than 70 countries are using biometrics in their immigration programs

  • Biometrics have been required from applicants in support of temporary resident visa, work permit, or study permit applications from 29-visa required countries and 1 territory since 2013

  • Visa-exempt nationals coming to Canada as tourists do not have to give their biometrics. However, they will need give biometrics if applying for a study permit, or for permanent residency