With effect from December 31, 2018, Canada's newly-introduced biometric — being the fingerprint and photo — requirement, will be extended to countries in the Americas, Asia, and the Asia Pacific. This project started in late July when Canada introduced the biometric program to citizens of European, African and Middle Eastern countries. The introduction of the program to these new set of countries is coming as a second phase of the project. The government of Canada uses the data collected to identify applicants of any of the Canadian visas ranging from the visitor visa, the study or work visa, permanent residence as well as express entry candidates. Asylum seekers are also included. By the introduction of biometric checks, all applicants who fall between the ages of 14 and 79, must give their biometric info. This rule, however, does not apply to asylum seekers as there is no set upper age limit for the refugee program. Citizens of countries on Canada's visa-exempt list, who are visiting the country as tourists and who have a valid Electronic Travel Authorization — ETA for short — will not be required to run the biometrics check.
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