December 31, 2018
, you’ll need to give your biometrics when you submit a new application for a visitor visa, study or work permit or for permanent residence,” the official website of government of Canada says. Canada started taking biometrics of visa applicants from Europe, Middle East and Africa from July 31, 2018. Applicants from Asia, Asia Pacific and the Americas will need to do so from December 31, 2018.
Children under the age of 14 and senior citizens over the age of 79 (no upper age exemption for asylum claimants) are among those exempt from giving biometrics.
“You only need to give your biometrics once every 10 years. You don’t need to give your biometrics until the 10-year period expires,” the Canadian government website says adding that the cost for an individual applicant will be Canadian dollar (CAD$) 85 or about Rs 4,860 (one CAD$ is Rs 57.2 at current rates) “Families applying together at the same time: maximum total fee of CAD$ 170,” the website says.
On why Canada collects biometrics, it says: “Biometrics collection is recognized globally as a reliable, accurate tool for establishing identity. More than 70 countries around the world are using biometrics in their immigration programs. Biometrics collection allows the Government of Canada to effectively manage identity, facilitate application processing and simplify entry for travellers with legitimate identities. It helps deter, detect and stop the entry of those who pose a risk to the health, safety and security of Canadians.”
And how does Canada use the collected biometrics? “Biometrics will provide immigration officers with additional information to help make decisions on a person’s admissibility and by simplifying the travel of low-risk individuals. The fingerprints are stored by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) on the National Repository and checked against its immigration and criminal records. The biometric check confirms if someone applied to enter Canada before using the same or a different identity, has a previous Canadian criminal record, or has been removed from Canada before.”
“Biometrics-based information sharing with the US, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom will further support the integrity of Canada’s immigration system, in a manner that respects Canada’s privacy laws, civil liberties and human rights commitments, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. At the border, the Canada Border Services Agency will be able to quickly and accurately confirm whether a traveller’s identity is legitimate. This will contribute to more efficient and timely entry for travelers,” the official website of government of Canada says. At eight major Canadian airports, fingerprint verification will be automatically conducted at a primary inspection kiosk.