It is commonly accepted that identification documents which rely on a person’s name, date of birth, and even photograph, are increasingly inadequate to detect fraud or to accurately confirm a person’s identity. As such, the Government of Canada today announced regulatory changes which specify that certain foreign nationals will have to provide biometric information when applying to enter Canada and when actually entering Canada.
As indicated in the table below, starting in 2013, temporary resident visa applicants, study permit applicants, and work permit applicants from prescribed countries will have to have their biometric information collected overseas before they arrive in Canada. This information will then be checked by the Canada Border Services Agency when the applicants arrive at a Canadian port of entry. As well, the RCMP may analyze whether the person has previously made a refugee claim or been deported from Canada.
The biometric information which will have to be provided include fingerprints and a facial image. Applicants will have to provide this information at Visa Application Centers.
The prescribed countries, and the dates by which foreign nationals holding travel documents from these countries will have to submit biometric information at Visa Application Centers, are:
List of Countries Whose Foreign Nationals Will Be Required to Submit Biometric Information Prior to Coming to Canada
|September 2, 2013
|October 15, 2013
|December 7, 2013
Palestine(document issued by Palestinian Authority)
Children under the age of 14 and adults over the age of 79 will be exempted from the requirement to submit biometric information, as will transit visa applicants destined to and from the United States, members of the Convention refugee abroad class, and refugee claimants inside Canada applying for work or study permits.
Applicants will be required to pay an $85.00 fee for Citizenship and Immigration Canada to collect their biometric information at Visa Application Centers. The maximum fee will be $170 for a family and $255 for groups of three or more performing artists.
Several exemptions to the fee requirement will exist