eTA (electronic traveling authorization) became a mandatory travel requirement in November, 2016; now, Immigration Canada is rolling out another travel demand for foreign nationals – biometric requirements.
As of July 31st, 2018, people from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa seeking temporary or permanent status in Canada will be required to provide biometrics (fingerprints and photograph). This new rule will extend to apply to people from Asia, Asia Pacific, and the Americas as early as December 31st, 2018.
Biometrics are measurements of the unique physiologic identity each person possesses (most frequently fingerprints or facial features) to facilitate the verification of identity. Instead of documents such as passport or driver’s licence, biometrics are considered a more secure and “authentic” way to verify a person’s identity.
After submitting your resident status application, you will be asked to submit your biometrics at the closest visa post or visa application centre within 30 days. Until your biometrics have been submitted, your application will not be processed. If you plan to submit your application at the port of entry, then you will be asked to provide your biometrics, also, at the port of entry or within the country you are travelling from/to Canada [from].
Your first sample of biometrics are valid for 10 years – so you do not need to get new ones every time you submit an application.
There are some exceptions available, such as Canadian citizens or permanent resident holders, US citizens (unless applying for permanent resident status in Canada), and those who have previously provided biometrics.
Please take this opportunity to check if you are required to provide your biometrics on your trips this season. Contact our office by phone (519-744-3570) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have further questions or need more legal consultation regarding your travel preparation.