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 U.S. nationals), permanent residence or refugee protection.
On this page
- What biometrics are collected
- Who must provide biometrics
- Persons approaching 14 years old
- Persons approaching 80 years old
- Countries whose nationals are required to provide biometrics
What biometrics are collected
The following information is collected from the applicant at a biometrics collection service point of their choice on behalf of IRCC:
- 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.
- photograph: A digital photograph of the applicant.
Biometric information strengthens identity management by anchoring a client’s identity at the time of application and enhances security by checking the client’s identity against Canadian criminal and immigration records.
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
- an extension of authorization to remain in Canada as a temporary resident
- a temporary resident permit
- 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
Note: Applicants 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
Applicants who were 13 years of age when their application, claim or request was submitted to a visa application centre (VAC) but turned 14 years old when the application was received by IRCC are required to provide their biometric information. As per section 12.2(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR), the requirement to provide biometrics is based on the age of an applicant on the date on which the application, claim or request is made.
A biometric instruction letter (BIL) must be issued to the applicant requesting that they provide their biometrics in support of their claim, application or request.
Persons approaching 80 years old
Applicants who are 80 years of age or older need to provide their biometric information if they were 79 years old or younger at the time their application was made. As per section R12.2(2), the requirement to provide biometrics is based on the age of an applicant on the date on which the application, claim or request is made.
The Canadian Immigration Biometric Identification System (CIBIDS) has been configured to allow VACs, Service Canada locations, and IRCC domestic and international offices to collect biometrics from applicants up to the age of 100.
Temporary residence applications
Applicants who have paid the biometric fee will automatically be issued a BIL by the Global Case Management System (GCMS) if they are 79 years of age or younger when their application is received.
Permanent residence applications
For most lines of business, the BIL must be issued manually by an officer. GCMS will allow for the issuance of a BIL to applicants who are 79 years of age or younger when the application is received but are now over the age of 80.
In the case where a client is biometrically required but, due to exceptional circumstances, is unable to provide biometrics, a designated officer may make the determination to exempt them. A list of exemptions can be found at Biometrics Exemptions.
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 their biometrics for only temporary residence applications.
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Palestinian National Authority
- Saudi Arabia
- South Sudan
- Sri Lanka
Countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East whose nationals are required to provide biometrics as of July 31, 2018
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Burkina Faso
- Cape Verde
- Central African Republic
- Czech Republic
- Equatorial Guinea
- Ivory Coast
- North Macedonia (Republic of)
- Republic of the Congo
- San Marino
- São Tomé and Príncipe
- Sierra Leone
- South Africa
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- Vatican City
Countries in Asia, Asia Pacific and the Americas whose nationals are required to provide biometrics, as of December 31, 2018
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- Federated States of Micronesia
- Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of)
- Korea (Republic of)
- Marshall Islands
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Solomon Islands
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United States of America (you must provide your biometrics only if you apply for permanent residence in Canada)
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