Canada is planning to introduce new biometrics rules on July 31st that will make it mandatory visa applicants from Europe, the Middle East and Africa to provide biometrics details including fingerprints and a photo. Canada’s new biometrics rules aims to facilitate application processing and make entry to Canada simple for low-risk travellers. These rules will be made applicable for applicants from Asia, Asia-Pacific and the Americas too, on December 31, 2018.
Canada’s new biometrics rules are applicable for all those who are applying for Canadian visitor visa, work or study permit, or permanent residence and those seeking asylum in the country. All applicants between the ages of 14 and 79 are supposed to provide their biometrics details.
Those applying for visa or study/work permit will receive a Biometrics Instruction Letter from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The applicants can submit their biometrics at their nearest Visa Application Centres (VACs) authorized by the Government of Canada. They have to present the Biometrics Instruction Letter at the VAC. Currently there are 137 VACs spread across 95 countries. In India, VACs are located in:
In the United Arab Emirates, VACs are located in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Collecting the biometrics details will cost CAD $85 for an individual applicant and CAD $170 for a family applying together.
The biometrics collected will be used to confirm the identity of the traveller once he or she reaches Canada. Eight major Canadian airports will host self-serve Primary Inspection Kiosks. Here the travellers can get their fingerprints verified and photos confirmed. The travellers can also make an on-screen declaration. At other airports and land ports of entry, the fingerprint verification of travellers will be done at the discretion of Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) will check the fingerprints submitted by the candidate against the fingerprint records of criminals, refugee claimants, deportees, and temporary resident applicants. The visa officer handling the application will also check this before taking a final decision on the application.
The biometrics details collected from the applicants will be encrypted and sent to the Canadian Immigration Biometrics Identification System. Once the data is transferred to this database, all the personal information will be deleted from the collection system. Canada shares biometric information with the United States, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom in accordance with the privacy laws and civil liberties and human rights commitments of Canada.
The applicants of visit visa or work/study permit need to give biometrics only once in 10 years. But when a person is reapplying after his application was rejected once, he or she will have to give biometrics details once again. If the visit visa or work / study permit applicants happen to apply for permanent residence in Canada in the future, they will have to give the biometrics details with the application.
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