What are Biometrics?
Biometrics are measurements of unique physical characteristics. For Canadian Immigration purposes, biometrics include fingerprints and a photograph of the face.
Who needs Biometrics?
Biometrics are currently required when nationals from certain countries apply to come to Canada as a visitor (tourist), Study or Work Permit holder. This requirement is now in place as of the following dates:
- July 31, 2018: For nationals of countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa
- December 31, 2018: For nationals of countries in Asia, Asia Pacific, and the Americas
As of December 3, 2019, you need to give your fingerprints and photo (biometrics) if you are applying within Canada as a:
- Foreign worker (including extending your work permit)
- International student (including extending your study permit)
- Visa-required visitor (including extending your stay)
- Permanent resident
If you receive a biometrics instruction letter, you can give your biometrics at a designated Service Canada location. This applies even if your application is being processed overseas. Make sure to follow all the steps to give your biometrics, including paying the biometrics fee., when you apply. Find out if you need to give biometrics.
Where to submit Biometrics?
When you submit an application to enter Canada as a visitor (if you are from a non-visa exempt country), a student or worker, you will need to provide your biometrics in person at an official biometrics collection location:
What to expect?
Submit your application for a TRV, Study or Work Permit and pay the application fees, including biometrics fees (if you haven't provided biometrics in the last 10 years). This can be done online or by paper through a Visa Application Centre (VAC).
If you apply online, you will need to wait until you receive the Biometric Instruction Letter (BIL) before you provide your biometrics.
If you apply in person through a VAC, your biometrics may be collected at the time you submit your application.
If your application is approved, you can expect to be asked for biometrics verification upon entry into Canada
If your application is refused, your biometrics will remain valid for up to 10 years.
Are there any exemptions?
Exemptions to this requirement include:
- US nationals
- Visa-exempt nationals with a valid eTA who wish to come to Canada as tourists/visitors
- Applicants who are under the age of 14 or over the age of 79 (note: there is no upper age limit for asylum claimants)
- US visa holders transiting through Canada
- Anyone who has provided biometrics in the last 10 years
How much does it cost?
Cost of providing biometrics when submitting an application:
- CAD $85 for individual applicants
- CAD $170 maximum total fee for a family applying together at the same time