How to give your fingerprints and photo (biometrics)

  • If you apply for the first time, you need to give your biometrics (unless you’re exempt)
  • If you gave them before as part of an application for a visitor visa, study or work permit
    • your biometrics are probably still valid
    • if so, you don’t have to give your biometrics again. Find out if your biometrics are still valid and when they expire by using the Check Status Tool.

Steps to give your biometrics

1. Pay the biometrics fee

You must pay the biometrics fee when you submit your application. Otherwise you may experience delays.

Exception: There is no fee to give biometrics for a transit visa.

2. Get the instruction letter

After you pay the biometrics fee, you’ll get a letter confirming that you need to give your biometrics and where you can go. You need to bring this letter when you give your biometrics. You also need to bring your valid passport.

How fast you get the letter depends on how you apply and when you pay for your biometrics fees. Answer a few questions to find out.

If you apply online for a visitor visa, study or work permit

  • If you pay the biometrics fee when you submit your application
    • You’ll get the letter in your account message box within 24 hours of applying.
      • We’ll send you an email to let you know that you have a new message.
  • If you pay the biometrics fee after you submit your application
    • It can take several days before you get the letter.
      • We’ll send you an email to let you know that you have a new message.

We can only start to process your application after you pay for and give your biometrics.

If you apply online for permanent residence

  • If you submit a complete application and pay the biometrics fee at the same time
    • You’ll get the letter in your account message box within several days or several weeks.
      • We’ll send you an email to let you know that you have a new message.
  • If you pay the biometrics fee after you submit your application
    • It can take several weeks before you get the letter.
      • We’ll send you an email to let you know that you have a new message.

If you send your application by mail for a visitor visa, study or work permit

  • If you pay the biometrics fee when you submit your application
    • You’ll get the letter by mail several weeks after we receive your application and payment.
  • If you pay the biometrics fee after you submit your application
    • It can take several weeks before you get the letter by mail.

If you send your application for permanent residence

  • If you submit a complete application and pay the biometrics fee at the same time
    • You’ll get the letter by mail several days or even several weeks after we receive your application and payment.
  • If you pay the biometrics fee after you submit your application
    • It can take several weeks before you get the letter by mail.

If you apply at a Visa application centre (VAC)

If you submit a paper application in person
  • Asia, Asia Pacific or the Americas
    • You need to book an appointment in advance to give your biometrics.
    • You can then give your biometrics at the same time as when you submit and pay for your application at the VAC.
    • You don’t need a letter.
  • Europe, Africa or the Middle East
    • You can book an appointment or walk in.
    • You can give your biometrics at the same time as when you submit and pay for your application at the VAC.
    • You don’t need a letter.
If you submit your application online at a VAC
  • If you pay the biometrics fee when you submit your application
    • You’ll get the letter in your account message box within 24 hours of applying.
      • We’ll send you an email to let you know that you have a new message.
    • Once you get this letter, you can go back to the VAC to give your biometrics (bring your letter).
  • If you pay the biometrics fee after you submit your application
    • It can take several days before you get the letter.
      • We’ll send you an email to let you know that you have a new message.
    • Once you get this letter, you can go back to the VAC to give your biometrics (bring your letter).

3. Go to an official biometrics collection service point

You must give your biometrics in person. Make sure to book an appointment if this service is offered.

Booking your own appointment to go to a VAC or ASC is quick, easy and free.

Find a collection point close to you.

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