Many foreign nationals coming to Canada will soon be required to provide biometric information (photograph and fingerprints) to the Government of Canada as part of their application for a Temporary Resident (visitor) Visa, Work Permit, Study Permit or Permanent Residence.
Beginning July 31, 2018, applicants from Europe, the Middle East and Africa will be required to provide biometrics. As of December 31, 2018, the requirement will be expanded to applicants from Asia, Asia Pacific, and the Americas. Applicants will be required to provide their biometrics once every 10 years. Exempt from the new requirement are Canadian citizens, permanent residents, children under the age of 14, applicants over the age of 79, and visa-exempt nationals entering Canada as tourists who are eTA holders. Those applying for a TRV, Study Permit, Work Permit, or Permanent Residence from within Canada will also be exempt until sometime in 2019.
Biometrics will be used to verify that the person entering Canada is the same person whose immigration status has been approved. In terms of the logistics, Applicants will be required to attend an official biometrics collection service location in person. Applicants, who submit an application from outside Canada will attend at an Application Support Centres, often called an (ASC) across in the United States or Visa Application Centres (VAC) abroad. Applicants who submit an application at a Port of Entry (land border or airport) will have their biometrics taken at the Port of Entry. A fee of $85 per person or $170 per family will apply. At major Canadian airports, traveller fingerprints will then be checked automatically at a primary inspection kiosk. At smaller airports and all land Ports of Entry, traveller fingerprints may be checked if the traveller is referred to a secondary inspection where a Canada Border Service Agency officer will use a fingerprint verification device to verify the traveller's fingerprints.
This update has been compiled with the latest available information for the general information of Border Law clients and other interested parties. This Update is not comprehensive and should not be relied upon without appropriate legal advice.