Equipment used for biometrics collection and screening

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

These instructions are for managing or replacing biometrics equipment.

On this page

Canadian Immigration Biometric Identification System (CIBIDS) equipment management

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) headquarters, the local IRCC visa office and/or the visa application centre (VAC) contractor may identify the need for a VAC to be equipped with additional equipment for collecting biometric information.

International Network must approve any decision on additional biometric equipment. In its determination, various factors are considered, including local conditions, trends, volumes and available financing.

Biometric Collection System (BCS) hardware can be shipped from IRCC headquarters Information Technology Asset Management (ITAM) in a diplomatic bag to a Canadian visa office or the VAC.

BCS hardware can be sent to the closest Canadian diplomatic mission (which may or may not contain an IRCC visa office). The VAC can then arrange for the pickup or delivery of the equipment.

If the nearest Canadian diplomatic mission is not in the same country as the VAC, the responsible IRCC visa office may be asked to assist the VAC in clearing BCS hardware through local customs, by intervening with local authorities when necessary.

IRCC ITAM inventory management

ITAM keeps accurate and up-to-date inventory lists of any BCS components that are sent, received, returned or transferred between biometric collection service points.

Replacement of BCS hardware components and management of spare components

All biometric collection service points are provided spare components, which must be securely stored on site.

Malfunctioning components must be reported to the Biometrics Operational Support Unit (BOSU), which will determine whether the component is to be replaced.

The VAC is to return the malfunctioning component to the location specified by ITAM.

The VAC is responsible for the cost of collecting or shipping the components to and from the Canadian mission.

The Canadian mission returns all malfunctioning components directly to IRCC headquarters.

The VAC must coordinate the transfer of all malfunctioning components with BOSU, by email.

Ordering consumables

Consumables, such as label printer paper rolls and silicone membranes, can be ordered by contacting the BOSU.

Video monitoring system – VAC only

The VAC manager is responsible for ensuring that the video monitoring system is powered on and to check it frequently to ensure it is monitoring and recording properly.

The video camera at each biometric work station is activated automatically by CIBIDS.

The VAC manager is responsible for ensuring that each biometric collection session is recorded using the video monitoring system. The recordings from the video monitoring system are considered personal information and must be protected according to the security requirements of the Government of Canada.

Recordings of biometrics collection sessions at VACs are sent directly from the VAC to IRCC headquarters for review by the BOSU to ensure program integrity and VAC staff compliance with procedures.

A local IRCC visa office may request the recordings if an incident is reported or to verify the visual identity of the individual whose biometric information has been captured.

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: