What biometrics are collected and who must provide biometrics

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

Biometrics collection is mandatory for all foreign nationals between the ages of 14 and 79 who are applying for, claiming or requesting temporary residence (excluding United States [U.S.] nationals), permanent residence or refugee protection.

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What biometrics are collected

The following information is collected by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) from the applicant, at the session where biometrics are enrolled:

  • Biographic data: Name, date of birth, and other personal details of an applicant as listed on the biographic data page of the applicant’s passport or travel document.
  • 10 fingerprints: Fingerprints of the applicant, captured electronically during the biometrics collection session, using an electronic fingerprint-capture device. Learn more about processing poor quality fingerprints.
  • Photograph: A digital photograph of the applicant. See examples of photographs: What you need to give.

Who must provide biometrics

The following people between the ages of 14 and 79 must provide their biometrics:

  • temporary residence applicants who are applying for:
    • a temporary resident visa (TRV)
    • an extension of authorization to remain in Canada as a temporary resident
    • a temporary resident permit (TRP)
    • a restoration of temporary resident status
    • a work permit or renewal of a work permit
    • a study permit or renewal of a study permit
  • permanent residence applicants who are applying for:
    • a permanent resident visa
    • a request to remain in Canada as a permanent resident
    • a new permanent resident card for the first time in cases where they were exempt from biometrics enrolment because they were under the age of 14 years at the time of their application
  • refugee protection claimants who are applying for:
    • an in-Canada asylum claim (no upper age limit)
    • an overseas refugee resettlement claim

People who are eligible to apply for an electronic travel authorization are not required to provide their biometrics if they are travelling to Canada as a tourist.

Persons approaching 14 years old

For biometrics purposes, the age of the applicant is based on the date the application is received by IRCC.

There may be cases when an applicant is 13 years old when the application is submitted to a visa application centre (VAC). If the person is 14 years old when the application is received by the IRCC office, a biometric instruction letter (BIL) must be issued to the client, and biometrics are required in support of the claim, application or request.

Persons approaching 80 years old

For biometrics purposes, the age of the applicant is based on the date the application is received by IRCC.

There may be cases of applicants who are 79 years old when the application is submitted but turn 80 years old before biometrics collection. These clients are required to provide their biometrics. IRCC offices, Service Canada locations and U.S. application support centers can collect biometrics from all applicants who present a valid BIL, regardless of their age. However, at a VAC the Canadian Immigration Biometric Identification System (CIBIDS) will not allow the biometric information to be collected once the applicant turns 80.

In such cases, VACs must do the following:

  • advise the applicant that the IRCC office will contact them to arrange an appointment to submit their biometrics
  • advise the responsible IRCC office of this situation, following the protocols set up by the VAC

Countries whose nationals are required to provide biometrics

Applicants from the countries and application types listed below must provide their biometric information in support of their temporary residence or permanent residence application. There are exemptions, which can be found at Biometrics exemptions.

Countries from the Temporary Resident Biometrics Program from 2013 to July 31, 2018

As of July 31, 2018, nationals of the countries listed below are required to provide biometrics for both temporary residence and permanent residence applications. Before this date, residents of these countries were required to provide biometrics for only temporary residence applications.

  • Afghanistan
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Bangladesh
  • Cambodia
  • Colombia
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Egypt
  • Eritrea
  • Haiti
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Jamaica
  • Jordan
  • Laos
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Myanmar
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Palestinian National Authority
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Tunisia
  • Vietnam
  • Yemen

Countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East whose nationals are required to provide biometrics as of July 31, 2018

  • Andorra
  • Angola
  • Armenia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahrain
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Benin
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • Bulgaria
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Cape Verde
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Comoros
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Djibouti
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Estonia
  • Ethiopia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Greece
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Haiti
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Ivory Coast
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kosovo
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Latvia
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Malta
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Netherlands
  • Niger
  • North Macedonia (Republic of)
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Republic of the Congo
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Rwanda
  • San Marino
  • São Tomé and Príncipe
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Swaziland
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Togo
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uganda
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vatican City
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Countries in Asia, Asia Pacific and the Americas whose nationals are required to provide biometrics, as of December 31, 2018

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Bhutan
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Chile
  • China
  • Costa Rica
  • Cuba
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Timor-Leste
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Fiji
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Guyana
  • Honduras
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Kiribati
  • Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of)
  • Korea (Republic of)
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mexico
  • Mongolia
  • Nauru
  • Nepal
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Palau
  • Panama
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Samoa
  • Singapore
  • Solomon Islands
  • Suriname
  • Thailand
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tuvalu
  • United States of America (you must provide your biometrics only if you apply for permanent residence in Canada)
  • Uruguay
  • Vanuatu
  • Venezuela
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