Biometric validity and retention periods

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.

With the implementation of the 1 in 10 policy in the temporary residence stream, biometrics can be re-used for subsequent temporary residence applications. The validity period is the period during which previously enrolled biometrics may be reused for subsequent temporary residence applications or requests.

While applicants must have valid biometrics for the duration of every temporary residence document they hold, the biometric validity for a permanent residence application is only for the duration of the application process.

For permanent residence applicants who use their biometrics to support a temporary residence application while awaiting the results of their permanent residence application process, fingerprints are set to the expiry date of the applicants’ remaining temporary residence control document (work permit, study permit, visitor record, temporary resident permit [TRP], temporary resident visa [TRV]) or set to the longest of the validity dates (in the case of multiple temporary residence documents).

Temporary resident

All biometrics provided for a temporary residence application are valid for 10 years from the date of biometrics enrolment, regardless of the outcome of the application.

The 10-year biometric validity will be applied retrospectively to applicants to the Temporary Resident Biometric Program (TRBP) who provided their biometric information during or after May 2013.

Permanent resident

Biometrics provided in support of a temporary residence application can’t be used for a permanent residence application.

Biometrics provided in support of a permanent residence application are not valid in support of subsequent applications.

Biometrics will no longer be valid once a permanent residence application has been closed, but will be reinstated if an application is re-opened.

Permanent resident to temporary resident

For permanent residence applicants who are refused for any reason and/or applications that are withdrawn, abandoned or incomplete, fingerprints are set to the expiry date of the applicants’ remaining temporary residence control document (work permit, study permit, visitor record, TRP, TRV) or set to the longest of the validity dates (in the case of multiple temporary residence documents).

Biometrics validity vs. immigration validity documents

The validity period of a temporary residence status document cannot extend beyond the remaining validity period of the biometric information.

An applicant can voluntarily re-enrol their biometric information in order to extend their validity period to obtain a longer temporary residence document.

For example, a client who wants to apply for a new 10-year visa and who last enrolled their biometrics 8 years ago, could obtain a visa for 2 years or they would have to re-enrol their biometrics to receive a visa for the full 10 years. They would also be required to pay a new biometric fee if they chose to re-enrol before the 10-year validity period ends.

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