June 7, 2018
Summer of 2018: Government of Canada to Expand Biometrics Requirements for Temporary and Permanent Resident Applicants
The Government of Canada currently collects biometrics from nationals of over 30 countries. ‘Biometrics’ include fingerprints and a photograph of the face and are collected to reduce the chance that an individual can pose as or be mistaken for someone else. They are collected from nationals of these 30+ countries when applying for a temporary resident visa, work permit or study permit.
Over the course of the next two years, beginning in the summer of 2018, the Government of Canada is expected to announce regulations which extend biometrics requirements to all permanent resident applicants and temporary resident visa, study and work permit applicants.
There are some narrow exceptions to this requirement, including but not limited to:
- Nationals of the United States;
- Applicants for Canadian citizenship;
- Visa-exempt nationals coming to Canada as tourists who hold a valid electronic travel authorization (eTA);
- Children under the age of 14 and applicants over 79 (with some exceptions);
- U.S. visa holders transiting through Canada; and
- Temporary resident applicants who have already provided biometrics in support of a permanent resident application that is still in progress.
Depending on where the foreign national applies, biometrics will be able to be provided in Canada at select collection centres and ports of entry, Visa Application Centres overseas, and Application Support Centres in the United States.
The Government also intends to introduce measures to verify biometrics upon arrival at major airports in Canada and to facilitate biometric-based information sharing with “Migration 5” partners (United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia).
It is anticipated that the changes will be rolled out in two phases: first for nationals of Europe, the Middle East and Africa (beginning July 31, 2018); and second for nationals of Asia, Asia Pacific and the Americas (beginning December 31, 2018).
If you have any questions about this topic or any other questions relating to workplace law, please do not hesitate to contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer directly for more assistance.