Foreign Nationals Need to Give Biometrics

December 3, 2019 – The government of Canada has rolled a new biometric program for foreign nationals applying for permanent resident visa including other visa applications.    

Prior to the December 3, only the immigration candidates applying outside of the country had to submit their fingerprints and photo identity.

From now, foreign nationals who intend to apply for a temporary or permanent resident visa, or seeking to extend or renew their visa for work, study or visiting purpose, will now need to provide their photo and fingerprints to the immigration officers.

There are total of 58 new biometric service location set-ups across the country. The list of all 58 service location is uploaded on Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC’s) official website. 

The introduction of the biometrics system will all in all save the time of applicants and visa officers as well. For the immigration officers, it would also be easy to verify and pass the applicant’s identity for further processing. 

Steps to submit Biometrics:

  • Applicant can apply online or by paper along with the fee
  • Applicants who receive biometric instruction letter will then be able to submit their fingerprint and photo by the appointment at the particular service location across Canada.
  • Applicant then can visit official biometric service location and submit in person

Canada has collected biometrics on most foreign nationals applying for temporary or permanent residence since December 31, 2018.

Those who are between age 14 and 79 years old need to give fingerprints and photos for all permanent resident applications in the family class, economic class, and refugee class.

Canadian citizens and existing permanent residents do not need to give their biometrics.

Those who have to give biometrics must book an appointment in advance to provide their fingerprints and have their photo taken.

They will then get a biometric instruction letter (BIL), which will provide a list of biometric collection service points to choose from. It is required to bring the BIL to the service point in person within 30 days in order for the biometrics to be processed.

Applicants, including those in Canada who will be travelling outside the country, can also give their biometrics at a visa application centre (VAC) in any country that they are legally allowed to enter.


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