Disruptions in biometric enrolment operations

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Connectivity problems at a visa application centre

When there is an interruption in connectivity between the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) processing hub and the visa application centre (VAC), encrypted biometric information continues to be stored on the Canadian Immigration Biometric Identification System (CIBIDS) computer.

The stored biometric information is sent automatically, once the connection to the processing hub has been restored.

Officers at the VAC location may not be aware of the disruption in connectivity, unless they are advised by the Biometrics Operational Support Unit (BOSU), which may note a drop in collected biometric information received from the VAC.

Disruption of biometrics collection at a VAC

For a disruption of a day or less, a VAC manager immediately informs the responsible IRCC visa office, copying the BOSU and the International Network’s VAC team.

A disruption or outage caused by an information technology issue will be resolved by the BOSU and the CIBIDS support team in the Global Case Management System (GCMS). It may be necessary to arrange temporary alternative client service with the responsible IRCC visa office.

The VAC may be instructed by the International Network to do one of the following:

  • Instruct clients to wait a few hours or days and return to the VAC, once the equipment is operational, to submit their application and enrol their biometrics
  • Instruct clients to apply at a different VAC
  • Instruct clients to enrol at the IRCC visa office instead of the VAC

In exceptional cases or periods of extended outage, the migration program manager has the discretion to waive the biometrics requirement, selecting the most appropriate exemption in GCMS.

Disruption of biometrics collection at IRCC inland location

When there is an interruption in connectivity with the processing hub, the encrypted biometric information continues to be stored on the CIBIDS computer.

The stored information is sent automatically, once the connection to the processing hub has been restored.

The IRCC inland location may not be aware of the disruption in connectivity but might note a drop in collected biometric information received from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and information-sharing partners.

The IRCC inland manager should inform the BOSU when a disruption occurs, copying the Asylum Protection Division and Operational Readiness, in the Immigration Program Guidance Branch.

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