On July 31, 2018, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will begin to expand its biometrics program to include most visa applicants. Previously, only applicants from certain countries believed to pose a higher risk of immigration fraud were required to provide biometrics.
By the end of the month, biometrics will be required from all applicants from Europe, Africa and the Middle East and by the end of 2018, applicants from Asia, Asia Pacific and the Americas will be required to provide biometrics. The expansion of biometrics from 30 to 150 countries is intended to facilitate the entry of legitimate applicants to Canada and to reduce identity theft and immigration fraud. Please read on to learn more about biometrics and Canadian immigration.
What are biometrics?
Biometrics are your identification photo and fingerprints, which are deemed to be effective data for proving your identity. Fingerprints can be checked against past immigration or criminal records. Also, Canada will engage in biometrics-based information sharing other countries, such as the United States, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom in order to support the integrity of Canada's immigration system.
Do I need to provide biometrics?
Effective July 31, 2018, all applicants from Europe, Africa and the Middle East who apply for a visitor visa, study or work permit, or for permanent residence will have provide biometrics. Biometrics will be valid for 10 years.
Is there a fee for providing biometrics?
Yes. The fees for biometrics are as following:
- Individual applicants: $85 CAD
- Families applying together at the same time: maximum fee of $170 CAD
- Groups of 3 or more performing artists and their staff who apply for work permits at the same time: maximum fee of $255 CAD
Where can I provide biometrics?
If you are outside of Canada, you can provide your biometrics at an Application Support Center (in the United States) or a Visa Application Centre (across the world). Asylum claimants and work or study permit applicants who are eligible to apply at a Canadian port of entry will also be able to give biometrics upon entering Canada. In-Canada applicants are exempt from providing biometrics until the in-Canada service is established in 2019.
Do you have questions about biometrics? Please contact me to discuss further.