Canada immigration: Know who are exempt from biometrics requirements

Certain groups of immigrants have been exempted from the biometrics requirements by the Canadian government, provided they have submitted their biometrics in another application in the last 10 years. Earlier, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) had also introduced certain relaxations, such as allowing delays in fulfilling the biometric requirements, in the wake of coronavirus pandemic. However, it is still unknown when many of the biometric collection points, both in and out of Canada would start operations as normal.

The closure of service points and Visa Application Centres (VACs) has severely affected many permanent residence applicants as they cannot submit their biometric details, which is a part of the application process. However, many of these applicants have submitted their biometrics as part of a previous application. Further, the immigration applications which could not be processed because of the biometric requirement were also piling up. So, as an effort to prevent more disruptions to the application process of these candidates, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada(IRCC) exempted them from biometric requirements.

Who are exempt from biometrics requirements

IRCC announced these exemptions on September 10 and they came into operation on September 22. As per the announcement, the following candidates are exempt from biometric requirements, irrespective of whether they are currently in Canada or not:

  • Candidates with a pending or new application for permanent residence
  • Those who have submitted their biometrics within the past 10 years before they submitted their current permanent resident application.

However, those who have never given biometrics and those who have submitted biometrics before the past 10 years will have to submit the biometrics as and when their nearest biometric collection sites restart their operations.

Biometrics requirements for applicants

Usually, applicants for Canadian visitor visa, work or study permit, permanent residence, a visitor record or to extend their work or study permit need to submit biometrics details. These include finger prints and photograph, and pay a certain fee. Biometric details are used by Canada to confirm the identity of foreign nationals entering to the country.

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