2 August 2018

CANADA: Biometrics program

Effective 31 July 2018, foreign nationals from Europe, the Middle East and Africa applying for visitor visas, work/study permits or permanent residence will need to provide their fingerprints and a photo. 

Applicants will only be required to provide biometrics once every 10 years. 

Foreign nationals submitting their online application abroad for visas or permits listed above will be required to submit biometrics, in person, at a Visa Application Centre within 30 days from the submission day. Applicants eligible to apply for work or study permits at the Canadian border will be able to submit biometrics at 79 ports of entry.

Exemptions from the biometrics requirement apply to:

  • Children under the age of 14
  • Seniors over the age of 79
  • Visa-exempt tourists who hold a valid Electronic Travel Authorization
  • U.S. visa holders transiting through Canada
  • High-level government officials travelling on official business

On 31 December 2018, the requirement will also be extended to applicants from Asia, Asia/Pacific and the Americas. 

How does this affect the client?

Employers and their employees should take note of the new biometrics requirement and be prepared for this additional step in the process when applying for visas or permits.



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