Canadian Immigration News

FAQs About the Biometric Information Process for Canada

4 minute read
"Whether you are coming to Canada to immigrate, visit, work or study, you will be required to submit your biometric information. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) require biometric information to verify your identity and simplify the entry process for legitimate travelers."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Oct 22, 2021
finger touching a transparent screen my visa source
Begin your immigration journey now
Click and fill out a free online assessment to see how we can help you. It takes less than 1 minute to fill out.
Free Assessment
Call and speak to our team, so that they can book a time with a licensed immigration professional who will answer all your questions.
Call Us Now
Author info:

Whether you are coming to Canada to immigrate, visit, work or study, you will be required to submit your biometric information. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) require biometric information to verify your identity and simplify the entry process for legitimate travelers. 

Biometric information includes your digital fingerprints, photograph, and personal details to be listed on the biographic page of your passport or travel document. In recent months, the process of submitting your biometric information has changed due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Since the pandemic forced people to stay at home, the Visa Application Centres (VAC) around the world were operating on partial capacity. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About the Biometric Information for Canada

What changes have been made to the biometric information collection policies during the Covid-19 pandemic?

The pandemic made it very difficult for immigration applicants to complete the biometric collection process. Overseas applicants are waiting for their nearest VACs to resume operations while applicants inside Canada were unable to book in-person biometric services during 2020 until the services were reopened in late November. The IRCC introduced the following measures for biometric collection:

  • Temporary residents in Canada will be exempt from submitting biometric information provided they were applying to extend their Study Permit, or Work Permit, or Visitor Visa to restore or maintain their current status as a temporary resident
  • Permanent residence applicants who have already submitted their biometric information in the last 10 years for a different application will be exempted from providing biometric information again

How to submit biometric information from inside Canada?

Canada allowed temporary residence and permanent residence applicants to submit their biometric information in Canada from December 2019. To submit your biometric information from inside Canada, first, you will need to pay the biometric fee with your visa application. 

You will receive a biometric instruction letter once this fee has been paid. This letter will instruct you when and where to go to submit your biometric information. Carry this letter along with your valid passport to the appointment. The government has also set up primary inspection kiosks at major airports to automatically collect biometric information of travelers.

How to submit biometric information from outside Canada?

Canada has Visa Application Centres (VAC) all over the world and Application Support Centres (ASCs) in the United States to allow all international travelers to Canada to submit their visa application and biometric information.

How to submit biometric information for the International Experience Class (IEC) program?

Once you have applied for the IEC program, you will receive a request to submit your biometric information. If you are overseas, you can submit this information at your nearest VACs or ASCs. If you are in Canada, you can make an appointment at a designated Service Canada Centre. From the date of receiving the biometric request, you will have 30 days to complete the process and upload the receipt.

What is the biometric validity period?

Once you have submitted your biometric information, the IRCC will backdate this information for 10 years. This is done to avoid asking for biometric information for every visa extension or renewal. However, immigrant applicants are still required to submit the biometric information and pay the collection fee along with their immigrant visa application regardless of whether they have submitted this information earlier for a previous visa application.

Who is exempt from biometric information collection?

The following individuals are exempt from submitting their biometric information:

  • Canadian citizens or citizenship applicants 
  • Existing permanent residents
  • Children under 14 years of age
  • Applicants over the age of 79
  • International travelers coming to Canada from visa-exempt countries with an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
  • Heads of states and governments
  • US Visa holders transiting through Canada
  • Refugee claimants or asylum seekers who have already submitted their biometric information and are applying for a Study or Work Permit. 
  • Temporary residents who have already submitted their biometrics for their permanent residence application

Why is biometric information collected?

Canada is one of over 70 countries in the world that collect biometric data for immigration to their country. This information is collected to verify the identity of the applicants and ensure that the person is allowed to enter the country does not pose any health or security risks. Biometrics information is collected from the following individuals:

  • Refugee claimants inside Canada and overseas,
  • Individuals applying for Authorization to Return to Canada 
  • Individuals from one of the 30 countries that require a temporary resident visa (TRV) to travel to Canada

Does the biometric process cost anything?

Individuals applying alone will be required to pay a fee of $85 while those applying with family members will be required to pay a total fee of $170. If it is a group of 3 or more performing artists and their staff applying for temporary work permits, then the biometric fee will be capped at $255. 

Questions About Immigration? My Visa Source Has Answers.
My Visa Source stays updated on all immigration news and announcements across Canada and the United States, including sudden changes in government law. Our legal solutions help individuals, families, businesses and investors from North America and around the globe.
Get The Personalized Help That You Need and Deserve!
Securing personalized legal help is quick and simple. Begin with our one-minute online immigration assessment form or call us toll-free at 1-888-509-1987. Book a personal consultation to speak with an award-winning immigration lawyer either in person, over the telephone, or through a video conference. We're open 6am-9pm PST & EST, 7 days a week and are ready for in person, phone, and video consultations.
Canadian Flag
Latest Articles from Immigration Magazine