The Canadian Prime Minister announced on June 4, 2015 that Canada plans to expand its biometrics program to all foreign nationals (excluding U.S. citizens) who apply for work permit, study permit, visitor visa, or permanent residency in Canada. Under the biometrics program, applicants must provide digital photographs and fingerprints before their application can be approved. This expansion applies to applicants who are between the ages of 14-80. Applicants must complete biometrics within 30 days of submitting their applications as well as pay a government biometrics fee. Applicants will have to visit a local Visa Application Center where they can provide their biometrics for processing.

The Canadian government states that the current biometrics screening has facilitated the process of confirming individual identities for immigration and border officials, which proves it to be reliable and cost-effective. With this program in place, Canada has identified and denied entry to criminals, refugee claimants who have been previously denied, and individuals who were previously deported. The expansion of the biometrics program is expected to come into effect by 2018-2019 when supporting laws are finalized.

Please note that this is general information only and not intended as advice on a specific matter. Please feel free to contact Fakhoury Global Immigration directly with questions exclusive to your situation. This news alert may have been prepared using information from Peregrine Immigration Management, which is licensed to Fakhoury Global Immigration.