Biometrics Are Here For Some Temporary Residents
CIC has now introduced biometrics into the immigration system. Biometrics are high tech methods to identify individuals. They measure characteristics such as fingerprints and facial features which are placed into a computer for easy and accurate identification.
Why are biometrics being imposed?
CIC has been concerned that one individual would apply, and another would enter the country based on the former person’s application. One person would pose for another. Or one person would be mistaken for another.
CIC also cites the growing issue of identity theft around the globe, and expects that the biometrics program will help ensure that individuals using stolen identities won’t be able to enter Canada.
With biometrics, the chances of that happening are close to zero.
What will I have to provide to CIC?
Certain individuals seeking temporary residence will be required to visit a visa office or a Visa Application Centre (a contractor to the government) and get their fingerprints and photographs taken. The fingerprints and photographs will be scanned into a computer and placed in the government database and be placed in the case management system.
They will be used for security checks, and to identify individuals as they cross the border into Canada.
Who has to provide biometrics?
Any citizen of the listed countries below will have to provide biometric data to CIC when applying for a visitor visa, study permit or work permit, as of the listed date:
|Afghanistan||December 11, 2013|
|Albania||October 23, 2013|
|Algeria||October 23, 2013|
|Bangladesh||December 11, 2013|
|Burma (Myanmar)||December 11, 2013|
|Cambodia||December 11, 2013|
|Colombia||September 4, 2013|
|Democratic Republic of Congo||October 23, 2013|
|Egypt||December 11, 2013|
|Eritrea||October 23, 2013|
|Haiti||September 4, 2013|
|Iran||December 11, 2013|
|Iraq||December 11, 2013|
|Jamaica||September 4, 2013|
|Jordan||December 11, 2013|
|Laos||December 11, 2013|
|Lebanon||December 11, 2013|
|Libya||October 23, 2013|
|Nigeria||October 23, 2013|
|Pakistan||December 11, 2013|
|Palestinian Authority||December 11, 2013|
|Saudi Arabia||October 23, 2013|
|Somalia||October 23, 2013|
|South Sudan||October 23, 2013|
|Sri Lanka||December 11, 2013|
|Sudan||October 23, 2013|
|Syria||December 11, 2013|
|Tunisia||October 23, 2013|
|Vietnam||December 11, 2013|
|Yemen||December 11, 2013|
Are there any exceptions?
Yes there are. Individuals under 14 years of age, or 80 and older do not need to provide biometric data. Diplomats and other government officials are also exempt in certain circumstances.
As well, those transiting through Canada for less than 48 hours to the United States are exempt if they hold a valid US visa.
Finally, those already in Canada who are eligible to apply for a temporary resident visa, study permit or work permit are also exempt.
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