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 who have not provided biometrics in the past 10 years, apply to come to Canada as a visitor (tourist), Study or Work Permit holder or when they apply to extend their temporary resident status in Canada. 

Some exemptions apply. 

Find out if your biometrics are still valid and when they expire by using the IRCC Check status tool.


As of February 23, 2023, if you have not provided your biometrics to IRCC in the past 10 years, you will need to give your fingerprints and photo (biometrics) if you are applying within Canada:

  • to extend your stay as a student, worker or visitor
  • to restore your status as a student, worker or visitor
  • for a work or study permit
  • for a visitor visa
  • for a temporary resident permit

Find out if you need to give biometrics.

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 ten years). 

When you apply online, after submitting your application, you will need to wait until you receive the Biometric Instruction Letter (BIL) before providing your biometrics.

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.


Applying Outside Canada:

When you apply to enter Canada as a visitor (if you are from a non-visa exempt country), a student or worker from outside Canada you will need to provide your biometrics in person at an official biometrics collection location:

Applying Inside Canada:

When you submit a temporary resident application within Canada (to extend/restore your student, worker, visitor status or apply for a TRV) you will need to give your biometrics at one of the Service Canada Centre locations. 

After receiving your biometrics request letter, yo u must book an appointment before visiting the biometrics collection site .

What are the 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 ten years

How much does it cost?

Cost of providing biometrics when applying:

  • CAD 85 for individual applicants
  • CAD 170 maximum total fee for a family applying together at the same time