Get Ready for Expanded Biometric Requirements

On July 31st, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will be expanding the collection of biometrics to all applicants between the ages of 14-79. Start dates for the requirement vary depending on the applicant's nationality.

Some of the most relevant details include: 

Who Will be Affected and When

Biometric data must be submitted by everyone applying for:

  • a visitor visa,
  • a work or study permit,
  • permanent residence, or
  • refugee or asylum status.

Some exemptions:

  • persons applying from within Canada will be initially exempt until early 2019, when collection centres will be opened in the country;
  • Americans applying for a work or study permit; and
  • visa-exempt nationals coming to Canada as visitors with a valid Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).

The requirements are being rolled out in stages: applicants from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa must provide biometrics starting at the end of this month; July 31, 2018. Applicants from Asia, Asia Pacific, and the Americas will be required to provide biometrics starting on December 31, 2018.

How to Obtain and Submit Biometric Data

Most applicants will give fingerprints and have photos taken at any Visa Application Centre (VAC). Only refugee claimants and certain eligible work or study permit applicants may submit the data upon arrival at a port of entry.

Biometric data will stay valid for 10 years, and will not be required for each temporary resident application. However, permanent residence applicants must submit new biometrics even if they submitted data as part of a visa or permit application within the previous 10 years.

The process costs $85 per applicant, with a maximum total fee of $170 for families.

Process Upon Arrival In Canada

If you arrive at one of Canada's major airports, you will be required to provide your fingerprints at a kiosk. If you arrive at a smaller airport or land port of entry, an immigration officer may verify your fingerprints if you are selected for secondary inspection.

If you would like to learn more about how these changes may affect you, please contact us at (416) 548-9101, or at inquiries@lmlawgroup.com