11 Jul EXPANSION OF BIOMETRICS REQUIREMENTS- IRCC notice
Please be advised of the following changes affecting Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada processes:
EXPANSION OF BIOMETRICS REQUIREMENTS
Currently, the Canadian government requires that citizens of 30 countries provide biometrics – fingerprints and a photo – for identification and admissibility purposes in connection with an application for entry to Canada.
Starting July 31, 2018, citizens of a country located in Europe, the Middle East and Africa applying for a visitor visa, study or work permit or permanent residence from outside Canada will be required to provide biometrics.
These same biometrics requirements are scheduled to become applicable to citizens of a country located in Asia, Asia Pacific and the Americas on December 31, 2018.
Applicants in Canada applying for a visa, study or work permit, or permanent residence will be temporarily exempted from the biometrics requirement until the in-Canada service is established in February 2019.
Who is affected: Anyone seeking a Canadian visa, study or work permit, or permanent residence except the following:
• Canadian citizens and existing permanent residents
• Visa-exempt nationals coming to Canada as visitors for business or tourism purposes who hold a valid Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) i.e. those who are visa-exempt
• Children under the age of 14
• Applicants over the age of 79
• Holders of US entry visas transiting through Canada
• Temporary resident applicants who have already provided biometrics in support of a permanent resident application that is still in progress
• Until the in-Canada service is established, applicants for visitor visas, work permits, study permits or permanent residence who are residing in Canada
• US citizens applying for work or study permits – for US citizens, the requirement for biometrics applies only to permanent residence applications.
Validity: Biometrics will be required once every 10 years in support of temporary residence applications. New biometrics will be required for Permanent Residence applications, regardless of whether biometrics were submitted in the past for another temporary or permanent residence application.
Where: For applicants who are eligible to apply for a work or study permit at the port of entry, biometrics collection will be available at 79 ports of entry (list to be published) at the time of application to enter Canada. It is estimated that once biometrics have been taken, screening will take approximately two (2) hours. Biometrics must be reviewed by the RCMP before the work or study permit application can be adjudicated. The time that it takes for a work or study permit to be processed varies based on volume at the time of application. Applicants should plan travel accordingly, and be prepared for possible delays.
For online applications submitted to Canadian visa offices abroad, IRCC will issue a biometrics request letter shortly after application submission, generally within 24 hours, and the applicant will generally have 30 days to visit a local Visa Application Centre (“VAC”) in person to process the biometrics. Biometrics must be completed before processing of the application can continue. Delays in providing biometrics will impact the overall processing time. For paper applications submitted via a local VAC, biometrics can be completed at the VAC at the time of application submission.
• Individual applicants: CAD$85
• Families applying together at the same time: Maximum total fee of CAD$170
• Groups of 3 or more performing artists and their staff who apply for work permits at the same time: Maximum total fee of CAD$255