Slated to take effect in the later part of 2013, the Government of Canada is introducing biometric identity screening for nationals of 29 countries and 1 territory when they apply for a temporary resident visa, study permit or work permit.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) plans to introduce the following changes in 2013:
If you are a national of a country or territory listed below, you will need to appear in person to have your fingerprints and photograph (biometric information) taken when you apply for a temporary resident visa, study permit, or work permit.
CIC will start to collect this information from people on a mandatory basis in September 2013. By December 2013, biometric screening will be mandatory for all temporary resident applicants who are a national of a country or territory listed below. The following are the proposed dates when mandatory collection of biometric information will begin:
September 2, 2013:
October 15, 2013:
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- Saudi Arabia
- South Sudan
December 7, 2013:
- Burma (Myanmar)
- Sri Lanka
- Palestinian Authority
On a practical level, biometric requirements means the following:
If you are a national of a country or territory from which Canada will need biometric information, you will need to appear in person to have your fingerprints and photograph taken when you apply for a temporary resident visa, study permit or work permit starting September 2013.
Most people will have their fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre (VAC). CIC is adding new VACs around the world to give better access to people who need to apply for visas and give biometric information.
VACs are managed by private companies or international organizations. These organizations are contracted by CIC to give certain services to visa applicants.
Client service agents at the VACs can explain, in local languages, how to fill out forms and make sure that applications are complete. This can help avoid having your application delayed or refused due to an incomplete application.