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Biometrics technology is being increasingly used as a tool for identity verification, and its use in Canadian Citizenship is no exception. In recent years, biometric technologies have been incorporated into the Citizenship process by the Government of Canada to provide an additional layer of security and accuracy as it requires the applicants to provide their fingerprints and photos. In this blog post, we will explore the role of biometrics in the Canadian immigration system and how you can submit them. 

What is Biometrics for Visa?

Biometrics for visas simply means providing your electronic fingerprints and digital photo. This biometric data is stored in the database run by the Government very safely. These biometrics play a very crucial role in the immigration system of Canada, as they are used to identify an individual or verify their identification. These biometrics are also very helpful in resolving any issues or confusion that may arise if you share any kind of similarity with another person, such as a name, place of birth, or date of birth. These biometrics can also make the process of applying for a Canadian visa easier for you because the Government may have in their database that you have entered the country before. 

After giving your biometrics, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police will compare your fingerprints with criminals who have committed any crimes or offences, people who have applied for asylum, and to deported individuals. After comparing these biometrics, they will conclude their decision about your application.

Who Needs to Give Biometrics?

In general, you must submit biometrics for Canada if you’re applying for:

  • a visitor’s visa
  • a work or study permit
  • permanent residence
  • refugee or asylum status
  • an extension of your stay in Canada
  • a work or study permit extension

How to Submit Your Biometric Requirements?

As the first step of your Canadian Immigration process, you must pay the biometric fee of $85 CAD while submitting your visa application. After this, you will receive the instruction letter that will confirm your biometric application for Canada and will allow you to give your biometrics at a designated destination for collection.

After receiving this instruction letter, you need to contact the center to schedule an appointment at the collection service site. Make sure to complete this process before you submit your application. 

Here are some things that you must keep in mind while submitting your biometrics:

  • Make sure your hands are not coloured with henna
  • Avoid wearing bright or light colours
  • If you wear headgear, make sure your entire face is visible in the photograph
  • Make sure any bruise, scratch or crack that you have on your fingers are healed. 

Where to Provide Your Biometrics

Inside Canada

If you are already living in the country, you can contact a specific Service Canada site to provide your biometrics.

Outside Canada

Canada has 137 Canadian biometric appointment Visa Application Centres (VACs) in 95 different countries. If you are living outside of Canada, you can give your biometrics at these VACs. You must carry the instruction letter with you when visiting the VACs.

Validity of Biometrics

From the date your biometrics are registered in the system, they are valid for ten years. After ten years, you have to update your biometrics to support your application for a work permit, guest visa, or any other application. 

Privacy of Biometric Information

As per Immigration Refugee Citizenship Canada, all the biometrics collected from the applicants, especially their fingerprints, are electronically encrypted. These biometrics are submitted to the Canadian Immigration Biometrics Identification System of the Canadian Government, which is highly safe and secure. 

Canada exchanges the biometric data with a few countries, including the U.K., Australia, New Zealand and the United States. As per the IRCC, this is done in conformity with Canada’s privacy regulation and the Canada Charter of Rights and Freedoms, as well as the country’s obligation to civil liver liberties and human rights. 

These biometrics have been stored in the database of the Canadian Government for 15 years. If you have been awarded Canadian citizenship or if these 15 years are passed, then they will be removed. 

Exemptions to Providing Biometrics

According to IRCC, you don’t have to give your biometrics if any of the below-mentioned situations apply to you:

  • Children below the age of 14 
  • If your age is above 79 years, unless you are an asylum claimant
  • If you are already a citizen of Canada or a permanent resident in the country
  • If you are a Canadian Government Cabinet Ministers, Accredited Diplomats from other nations, and representatives of the UN travelling to Canada on official business
  • If you are a U.S. visa holder transiting through Canada
  • If you are a Refugee claimant or protected individual and have already provided biometrics and are applying for a study or work permit.
  • If you are a Temporary Resident Application and have already  provided your biometrics along with your application 

If you are applying for Canadian citizenship, it is important to have a knowledgeable lawyer on your side who can ensure that all of your paperwork is correctly filed and that your application is handled correctly. We understand the complexities of the Canadian immigration process and are here to provide you with experienced legal advice. If you are considering applying for Canadian citizenship or have any questions regarding biometrics and other aspects of the process, please contact us today. Our experienced lawyers and staff will be happy to help you.