Students intending to fulfill their dreams of studying in Canada should know that the country now requires the biometric information of the applicants for all of its visas. The program was recently rolled out for the second phase for countries in the Americas, Asia Pacific, and Asia.
The first phase covered countries in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, and was done in July ending last year.
The new biometric requirement is applicable to all Canadian visa applicants, be it visitor visa, permanent residency, work or study visa, as well as for candidates of the Express Entry Program and asylum seekers.
Applicants from countries with visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to Canada are not exempt from this requirement. There were speculations going around that these countries were not part of the program, but this is not so. So all applicants are expected to submit their photos and fingerprints as part of their biometric requirement.
Students visas applications will now be done in person
With this new biometric rule, students will have to apply for their visas in person. This makes accessibility quite challenging and has even become a subject of controversy.
By applying in person, all student applicants will have to travel to the countries where there are application centers for their biometric data collection. For countries, where the application centers are mostly located in the cities, there is a challenge for applicants, who live in other areas, to travel down to the cities.
In an interview with The PIE News
, the International Business Development and Partnerships Manager of Sheridan College, Gabriela Facchini, said that Canada's new immigration regulations
will affect the number of students they get from rural and remote cities and communities. She went further to express her fears over the possibility of students living in such areas to choose the path of convenience by changing their study destinations to other countries where the issue of biometrics is not required.
The Canadian government, on the other hand, has plans to widen its worldwide network of visa application centers to 157 more centers in 105 countries in November this year.
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