Biometric exemption for in-Canada temporary residence applicants

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

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person Service Canada Centres were closed on March 18, 2020. This has effectively stopped biometrics collection in Canada.

Foreign nationals who are physically in the country without biometrics already associated to their temporary resident application are currently unable to comply with the biometrics collection requirement.

In order to allow foreign nationals in Canada the ability to obtain a visitor visa, temporary resident status, or work or study authorization, a public policy exempts foreign nationals in Canada from the biometrics requirement, if they have a pending or new application for temporary residence.

This public policy came into effect on July 15, 2020, and remains ongoing until it is revoked by the Minister.

The public policy applies only to foreign nationals physically in Canada with a pending or new application for

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