Biometrics and identity management: Overview

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Using these instructions

Identity management


These instructions are intended for use by all employees of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) who are responsible for providing citizenship- and immigration-related services to clients.


The procedures in these instructions provide guidance regarding the establishment of identity records in IRCC systems for the following IRCC lines of business: citizenship, permanent residence, temporary residence and refugee protection. The instructions emphasize the significance of using the most reliable documentary evidence available pertaining to the identity of an individual, rather than using information at the request of the client.

Where possible, the procedures follow the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) guidelines contained in ICAO Document 9303 and the supplement to Document 9303 on Machine Readable Travel Documents (MRTD). The ICAO MRTD program is responsible for establishing standards, specifications and best practices in all MRTD-related areas in order to increase national and international security and promote facilitation benefits.

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