Biometrics can now be done in Canada

December 2019

The much-anticipated launch of in-Canada biometrics collection started on December 3rd.

First, an explanation as to what ‘biometrics’ are, and what they are used for.   ‘Biometrics’ refer to photographs and fingerprints. They are collected from applicants wishing to come to Canada as temporary or permanent residents. They are used to confirm identity, to check for criminality, to look for a record of previous entries to Canada, and to see if the individual has previously made a refugee claim or has adverse immigration history in a country Canada shares information with. We previously wrote about biometrics; you can read more here.

In order to give your biometrics, you must first have a biometrics collection letter. If you wish to have your biometrics taken in Canada, you can make an appointment at a Service Canada location. Check this link for locations where you can give your biometrics, both in and outside of Canada.

Now that biometrics can be given in Canada, those previously exempt must now give them. This will affect many individuals looking to extend their work or study permits. US citizens continue to be exempt for temporary resident applications but must give biometrics for applications for permanent residency. Visitors who do not require a visa to come to Canada do not need to give biometrics but will if they wish to study or work in Canada. Check this link to see if biometrics are required

Biometrics can be given in Canada even if the application is being processed at a visa office outside of Canada. This is great news for those applying for permanent residency who are in Canada with temporary status. Previously these individuals had to leave Canada to have their biometrics done. Similarly, those whose applications are being processed within Canada can give their biometrics outside of Canada. This provides more flexibility for frequent travellers.