IRCC requires all visa applicants to give their biometric information at an official biometrics collection service point.
Canada, Immigration, Travel

Complete Guide on the Biometrics for Canada Visa

Last Updated on August 22, 2022 by Visa Journal

Canada attracts a large number of  visitors, workers, students  and immigrants each year. Most of them require some kind of visa processing before they can arrive in Canada. As part of the Canadian visa/immigration processing all such visitors to Canada are required to submit their biometrics as part of the visa application. Biometrics confirm a person’s identity. They reduce the chances of identity forgery. This is a very valid security measure.  Wish to know more about the biometrics required for Canadian visa? Lets look at the details in this article.

Who has to submit biometrics

  • Visitor visa applicants
  • Work permit applicants
  • Study permit applicants
  • Refugee claimants

Exemption from biometrics

Some individuals have exemptions from providing biometrics when apply for Canadian visa or immigration. This includes

  • Children under 14 years of age
  • Heads of states and governments
  • Diplomats
  • Citizens of countries which are exempted from obtaining Canadian visa, while they are on a visit to Canada(e.g USA nationals)
  • Canadian citizens and existing permanent residents

Due to Covid and some other policy measures there are some temporary exemptions as well, which can be found on Government of Canada website.

Validity of biometrics

Biometrics that  are submitted for the purpose of Canadian visa or immigration are valid for ten years. An individual is not required to provide biometrics again within the ten year provide even if they apply for a new application. An example, John applied for a Canadian student visa from Brazil in 2020 and submitted his biometrics. He is applying for a post graduate work permit in 2022. Now he is not required to submit biometrics again.

Biometrics Fee

The current fee for biometric submission is 85 C$.

How to book biometrics appointment 

Most new visa applicants do not know how to book biometrics appointment for Canada visa. Well, follow the steps below:

Pay the standard biometric fee

When applying for a Canadian Visa, you have to pay the biometric fee as part of your application. As most of the Canadian visa applications now are done online so the option of paying for biometrics is clicked at that stage.

For those who apply through paper based applications they will need to pay the biometrics fee at the Canadian Visa Application Centre.

Receive the biometric instruction letterhead (BIL)

Once you pay the fee and submit your online application, you get a biometric instruction letter (BIL). It confirms that you need to give your biometrics. It states where you can go to give these biometrics.  The same letter will include your application  number as well as your Unique Client Identifier (UCI) number.

Book appointment for biometrics submission 

Next step is to book your biometrics appointment. Where do you book this appointment depends on where you are located

In Canada: You need to book appointment at nearest Service Canada location. 

Outside Canada: Book appointment at the nearest Canadian Visa Application Center (CVAC).

In USA: Applicant based in USA can go to either Canadian Visa Application Center (CVAC) or United States Citizenship and Immigration Services(USCIS) location. 

Locate nearest Canadian Visa Application Center 

You have to go in person. Take the following documents along with you on the date of appointment. 

  • The Biometrics instructions letter.
  • Your valid passport.
  • Email confirmation of your biometrics appointment. 

How are biometrics verified at ports of entry?

The verification of your biometrics is necessary. The verification of your biometrics is done  at any Port of Entry to Canada. There are no charges when your biometrics are being verified. These Ports of Entry can be:

·      Major airports.

There is a Primary Inspection Kiosk in every Canadian airport. It verifies your fingerprints against all biometrics collected at the application stages. This verification is to confirm that you are the same person who applied for the visa. It shows that you were successful in giving the biometrics for Canadian visa.

·      Land ports.

There are land border ports with the capacity to verify your biometrics. The Border Surveillance Officials (BSOs) will verify if you are the same person based on your biometrics. They confirm that your identity is the same as the one in the database biometrics.

How long does it take to get your Canadian Visa after biometrics?

After you submit your biometrics and work permit to the IRCC, it takes around 8 weeks to more depending on the type of visa application for processing. Check out the Government of Canada immigration and citizenship website to find out whether you need to give your biometrics.

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