Facts about biometrics

Biometrics collection extension in Canada

If you were unable to give your biometrics within 30 days due to the Government of Canada labour disruption, you now have 60 days to complete this step.

You don’t have to contact IRCC for an extension, and you don’t need a new biometrics instruction letter to make another appointment. Bring your original biometrics instruction letter to your new appointment to show proof of payment.

Outside of Canada biometrics collection

Visa application centres outside of Canada remain open. You can still give your biometrics at these locations.

Who needs to give their fingerprints and photo (biometrics)

Normally, you need to give biometrics if you apply for

  • a visitor visa
  • a work or study permit (excluding US nationals)
  • permanent residence
  • refugee or asylum status
  • an extension of your stay in Canada, known as a visitor record
  • a work or study permit extension

There are some exemptions and there are also some temporary measures for biometrics collection in place for special situations.

Use the Check status tool to find out if your biometrics are still valid.

If you have an alien’s passport you need to give your biometrics, regardless of the country that issued the passport.

Answer a few questions to find out if you need to give biometrics.

End of biometrics exemption for in-Canada temporary residence applicants

As of February 23, 2023, there are changes to who needs to give biometrics when applying for temporary residence.

Learn more about new biometrics requirements for temporary residence applicants in Canada.

Temporary measures for biometrics collections measures

There are temporary measures and exemptions related to biometrics collection measures and exemptions for temporary and permanent residence applicants.

Find out if a temporary measure for biometrics collection measure applies to your situation.

When to give your fingerprints and photo

You can give your biometrics only as part of an application you submit to us.

Read your instruction guide to find out how to apply and when you need to give your biometrics.

  • Example: If you apply for a visitor visa, study or work permit, you’ll need to give your biometrics before we start to process your application.

Find out how to give your biometrics.

How often you need to give your fingerprints and photo

Visitor visa, study and work permit applicants

You need to give your biometrics once every 10 years. You don’t need to give your biometrics again until the 10-year period expires.

If you gave biometrics in the past as part of an application for a visitor visa, work or study permit and they’re still valid, you don’t need to give them again.

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

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