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. Canada Extends its Biometric Rule to More Countries 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.

The biometrics check helps:

Strongly reduce the possibility of anyone forging, stealing or using someone else's identity Correct errors such as an applicant’s name, date of birth, country of origin, etc and any consequent problems that may have come with it Create a smoother and faster re-entry process into Canada for all whose biometrics are already in Canada's database.

Where can people provide their biometric info?

Biometrics can be done at any Visa Application Center approved by the Canadian government. Applicants doing it for the first time pay 85 CAD for individuals and 170 CAD for families. Application for the biometrics VAC can be done by mail or online. The individual — or family as the case may be — must pay for the biometrics before they can do it. The government of Canada plans to have by November 2019, 149 VAC points in 99 countries. Stay connected to Visa Time to get updates about visa news from Asia, Africa, US, Americas, Australia, Europe, and the Middle East! We will also assist you with the visa process for the chosen country.

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