Biometrics Expansion Program at IRCC
The Government of Canada has expanded the collection of biometric information (fingerprints and digital photographs) to include all temporary resident visa, work permit, study permit, and temporary resident permit applicants (excluding U.S. nationals), and all Permanent Resident applicants.
Applicants from Europe, Africa and the Middle East became subject to the biometric enrolment requirements effective . Applicants from Asia, Asia Pacific and the Americas became subject to the same requirements starting .
As part of the permit issuance process, Border Services Officers (BSOs) will biometrically enrol travellers who are eligible to make an application at a Port of Entry (POE) for a:
- Work permit,
- Study permit, or
- Temporary resident permit
Who is exempt?
- Children under the age of 14;
- Applicants over the age of 79;
- Diplomats and officials travelling on official business;
- U.S. visa holders transiting through Canada;
- Refugee claimants or protected persons who have already provided biometrics and are applying for a study or work permit; and
- Temporary resident applicants who have a valid biometric enrolment on file.
U.S. National Work, Study or Temporary Resident Permit Applicants
U.S. nationals are exempted from biometrics collection when applying for a work permit, study permit, or temporary resident permit.
What about Canadian citizens or citizenship applicants?
Biometrics will not be collected from Canadian citizens or citizenship applicants.
How does biometrics screening and verification work?
The screening and verification process will depend on your point of entry into Canada.
- Major airports:
At the ten major Canadian airports, travellers will undergo identity verification at a Primary Inspection Kiosk by having their fingerprints verified against those collected at the application stage to ensure that the person seeking entry is the same person who was granted a visa or permit to travel to Canada.
Fingerprint verification using a primary inspection kiosk is currently available at the following ports of entry: Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, Calgary International Airport, Edmonton International Airport, Halifax Stanfield International Airport, Ottawa International Airport, Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport, Winnipeg Richardson International Airport, and Vancouver International Airport.
- Non-major airports or land ports:
At nine non-major airports and 37 land ports of entry, BSOs will have the capability to verify fingerprints when travellers are referred to immigration secondary for inspection.
A fee of $85 CAD is payable per person for biometric enrolment. Families applying together will only pay a maximum biometric fee of up to $170 CAD.
There is no fee for biometric verification.
Where to find biometrics screening
The CBSA will provide biometrics enrolment services at the following Ports of Entry for travellers who are eligible to make an application while seeking entry to Canada:
|Alberta||Calgary International Airport|
|Edmonton International Airport|
|British Columbia||Kelowna International Airport|
|Vancouver International Airport|
|Victoria International Airport|
|Manitoba||Winnipeg Richardson International Airport|
|New Brunswick||Greater Moncton Romeo Leblanc International Airport|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||St. John's International Airport|
|Nova Scotia||Halifax Stanfield International Airport|
|Ontario||Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport|
|John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport|
|London International Airport|
|Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport|
|Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport - Terminal 1|
|Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport - Terminal 3|
|Quebec||Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport|
|Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport|
|Saskatchewan||Regina International Airport|
|Saskatoon John G. Diefenbaker International Airport|
|Yukon||Erik Nielsen Whitehorse International Airport|
|Province||Port of Entry|
|British Columbia||Abbottsford - Huntingdon|
|St. Stephen Ferry Point Bridge|
|St. Stephen 3rd Bridge|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||Fortune|
|Nova Scotia||Yarmouth Ferry Terminal|
|Fort Erie Peace Bridge|
|Niagara Falls Rainbow Bridge|
|Queenston Lewiston Bridge|
|Sarnia Blue Water Bridge|
|Sault Ste. Marie|
|St-Bernard-de-Lacolle Highway 15|
|Stanstead (Highway 55)|
Frequently asked questions
How do applicants enrol their biometrics?
Applicants must appear in person at a biometrics collection service location to provide their fingerprints and to have a digital photograph taken. An application is not considered complete until the biometric requirement has been fulfilled. Incomplete applications may be refused.
You may apply at these locations: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/campaigns/biometrics/where-to-give-biometrics.html
How will the Government of Canada use the collected biometrics?
Biometrics collection will help the Government of Canada to quickly establish and confirm a person's identity.
Canada Border Services Agency officers will verify the fingerprints and photos of individuals who have enrolled their biometrics at Canadian ports of entry.
The fingerprints will be stored by the RCMP and checked against its immigration and criminal fingerprint records.
Why is the Government of Canada verifying fingerprints?
The Government of Canada is verifying fingerprints using Primary Inspection Kiosks to ensure that the person seeking entry is the same person who was granted a visa, permit or permanent residence.
This will help prevent individuals from using a stolen, borrowed, or altered visa or permit to enter Canada.
Will biometric verification affect border wait times?
Automated systematic fingerprint verification at Canada’s major airports will facilitate entry into Canada by allowing the CBSA to manage increasing traveller volumes while maintaining border wait time standards.
How long will the Government of Canada retain biometric information?
Retention periods for biometrics differ for each immigration line of business and are dependent on the outcome of the application.
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