• Biometric Screening Program to be Expanded
  • August 18, 2015
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • According to an announcement by the Canadian Prime Minister, foreign nationals from non-visa exempt countries between the ages 14 and 80 will be required to submit biometric information within 30 days of applying to visit, study or work in Canada. This measure is meant to enhance the Canada Border Services Agency’s methods of verifying the identity of travelers and to improve national security. The expansion is expected to take effect by 2018.

    The government also intends to allow Canadian authorities to cancel, refuse or revoke passports as a preventative measure against high-risk travelers.

    How to Submit Biometrics

    Once the expanded program is implemented, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will send letters instructing applicants to visit a local Visa Application Center where they will be photographed and have their fingerprints taken. The service currently costs CAD $85 per person, and a maximum of CAD $170 for families applying together.

    What This Means for Foreign Nationals

    At this time, visa application processing remains unchanged. Once the expanded program takes effect, it will take longer for foreign nationals subject to the biometric requirement to have their visa or work permit applications processed and visas issued. Applicants who do not complete the biometric requirement may have their applications rejected.