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IRCC Important Updates: Biometrics Expansion

Starting in the summer of 2018, when you apply for a visitor visa, study or work permit (except U.S. nationals), or permanent residence you will need to give your fingerprints and a photo. To facilitate repeat travel to Canada, applicants for a visitor visa, study or work permit will only need to give their biometrics once every 10 years.

The use of biometrics in Canada’s immigration program will help visa officers establish the identity of applicants with greater confidence at the beginning of the visa application process. This additional screening tool will help support the decision making of visa officers with regard to who should be granted a visa to come to Canada.

Biometrics measurements will help prevent:

  • identity fraud and theft;
  • known criminals from entering Canada;
  • deportees from re-entering Canada without permission; and
  • failed refugee claimants from re-entering Canada using false identity documents.

The global rise of identity fraud and theft and the use of sophisticated means to evade detection present challenges for Canada’s immigration program with regard to verifying and managing applicants’ identification. The proper identification of applicants is crucial to the decision-making process of IRCC officers abroad and CBSA officers at Canadian ports of entry. Decisions taken by IRCC and the CBSA form the first line of defence against individuals who pose a criminal or security threat to Canadians and against economic immigrants who seek to take advantage of Canada’s high standard of living.

Biometrics will facilitate the screening of legitimate applicants by confirming their identity promptly.

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.

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.

For more information on biometrics and the soon to come changes, can be found here: httpss://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/campaigns/biometrics/facts.html

Source: IRCC website

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