Mistaken identity and false search results

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

Issues can arise with mistaken identities and false search results during biometrics collection.

Mistaken identity

If biometric information, information in the Global Case Management System (GCMS) or documents provided by the applicant do not match, a review must be conducted to determine if this is a case of mistaken identity or fraud.

If the review concludes that it is a case of mistaken identity, the responsible visa office or Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) inland office must do all of the following:

  • Identify the applicant and the person with the erroneous identity
  • Request that the Biometrics Operational Support Unit (BOSU) purge the erroneous biometric information
  • Collect new biometric information from the applicant at no charge
  • Revoke all visas that were mistakenly issued

False search results

If the biometrics officer comes across a plausible false search result, the officer must do both of the following:

  • Refer the result to the BOSU
  • Coordinate with their designated GCMS manager to contact the GCMS team that will check for any technical or system issues

If the false search result is caused by a technical or systems error

The BOSU should advise the responsible visa office or IRCC inland office, and the applicant should be asked to provide a new set of fingerprints at no charge.

If the false search result is not caused by a technical or systems error

If the BOSU does not identify any technical error that might have resulted in the error, the BOSU will contact the Immigration Program Guidance Branch (IPG) to coordinate further investigation. This may involve the BOSU doing any or all of the following:

  • reviewing the video monitoring system recording of the collection session
  • requesting the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to conduct a manual analysis of the fingerprint match
  • undertaking other internal investigations according to their existing procedures

IPG may also advise the processing office to ask the applicant to repeat the biometrics collection in order to provide another set of prints for comparison purposes, if this has not already been done.

There is no charge for this second biometrics collection.

Once the investigation by the BOSU and IPG is finished, the results are sent to the responsible visa office or IRCC inland office to respond to the applicant.

The visa office or IRCC inland office is encouraged to do any or all of the following:

  • Examine the error and the GCMS records
  • Decide to summon the applicant to provide specifics to determine if the error is unintentional or if the applicant intentionally provided misleading information

The responsible visa office or IRCC inland office will respond directly to the applicant with the results of the review and advise the BOSU of the response.

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