Canada: Resident applicants from Asia, Asia Pacific and Americas will need to give their biometrics

Canada’s rules are changing

Canada is expanding its biometrics collection program. Starting December 31, 2018, nationals from countries in Asia, Asia Pacific and the Americas will need to give their fingerprints and a photo (biometrics) when applying for a Canadian visitor visa, study or work permit, or for permanent residence.

This same requirement has applied to nationals from countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa since July 31, 2018, and to temporary resident applicants from 29 countries and 1 territory since 2013.

Collecting biometrics provides many benefits: it helps stop those who pose a risk to the safety and security of Canadians from entering the country, while also helping officials better manage applicants’ identities, facilitating application processing and simplifying entry for travellers with legitimate identities.

Share the information: People expecting family and friends from overseas should be aware of the changes so they can make sure their visitors are prepared. Help us spread the word by sharing this information with your readers.

Quick tips for those expecting family or friends from overseas

  • Biometrics adds a new step in the application process. Applicants will need to factor in the time to give their fingerprints and photo before travelling to Canada.
  • Applicants should pay the biometrics collection fee when they submit their application. Otherwise they may experience delays. For Individual applicants, the fee is CAD $85, and for families applying together at the same time, it is CAD $170.
  • Applicants who use the services of an immigration consultant or a travel agent to complete their application will still need to go in person to give their biometrics.
  • Applicants can give their biometrics at:

o   any Visa Application Centre (VAC), provided they can legally enter the country the VAC is located in.

o   a U.S. Application Support Center (ASCs) or VAC, provided they are already legally in the U.S. There are 135 ASCs in the U.S. and U.S. territories and 2 VACs (New York City and Los Angeles).

  • Applicants must make an appointment to give their biometrics at a VAC in Asia, Asia Pacific and the Americas.

To note, Canada is doing everything it can to make the process as smooth as possible. For example:

  • Those applying for a visitor visa, study or work permit only have to give biometrics once every 10 years, which greatly facilitates those who make repeat visits to Canada.
  • We are also expanding our worldwide network of VACs, and increasing capacity at existing VACs, to make services more accessible to a wider audience. By December 31, 2018, there will be 152 VACs in 103 countries.

Visit Canada.ca/biometrics for more information, including who needs to give biometrics; where to go to give biometrics; and the steps to give biometrics.