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Foreign nationals now need to submit biometrics to apply for permanent residence within Canada

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Foreign nationals now need to submit biometrics to apply for permanent residence within Canada

Service centres across Canada are now open to take biometrics for foreign nationals applying to stay in the country.

Prior to December 3, only immigration candidates applying from outside of Canada had to submit their fingerprints and photo.

Unless they are exempt, biometrics are now required for those who are applying from within Canada for:

  • a work permit (including extensions)
  • a study permit (including extensions)
  • a visitor visa (including extensions)
  • permanent residence

Biometrics must also be submitted if the application is for extending a permit or visa in Canada and the applicant does not have biometrics that are still valid. To check the status of their biometrics, they can do so here.

A list of service centres in Canada is available on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s website

Who needs to give biometrics?

The Candian government website provides an online tool where users fill out a questionnaire to determine if they need to give their biometrics for an application. 

Those between age 14 and 79 years old need to give fingerprints and photos for all permanent resident applications in the family class, economic class, and refugee class.

This applies even to those who gave their biometrics in the past in order to support a visitor visa, study or work permit application, or a different permanent resident application.

Canadian citizens and existing permanent residents do not need to give their biometrics.

Transaction of operations

Those who have to give biometrics must first pay for and submit an application and biometric fees.

They will then get a biometric instruction letter (BIL), which will provide a list of biometric collection service points to choose from.

It is required to bring the BIL to the service point in person within 30 days in order for the biometrics to be processed. 

Find out if you are eligible for any Canadian immigration programs

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