Biometrics collection services for temporary and permanent resident applicants available in Canada
Ottawa, December 3, 2019 – As of today, biometrics collection services are available at 58 designated Service Canada locations across Canada.
Foreign nationals will need to give their biometrics (fingerprints and photo) when applying from within Canada for permanent residence, or as a
- foreign worker (including extending a work permit)
- international student (including extending a study permit)
- visa-required visitor (including extending their stay)
This means applicants in Canada will now save time and money by being able to stay in Canada to give their biometrics.
Canada has been collecting biometrics from most foreign nationals applying from outside the country for a visitor visa, a study or work permit, or for permanent residence since December 31, 2018. There are some exemptions to the biometrics requirement. Service Canada is providing the biometrics collection services on behalf of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
IRCC and Service Canada will closely monitor the impact of the biometrics requirement on applicants in Canada to ensure that the designated Service Canada locations meet the needs of applicants.
What if I already provided biometrics?
If you’ve already provided biometrics for a previous visitor visa, or study or work permit application, your biometrics are valid for 10 years. You don’t need to give your biometrics for any future visitor visa, or work or study permit application until the 10-year period expires. However, if you’re applying for permanent residence, you’ll need to give your biometrics each time you apply until you’re approved.
Giving your biometrics at a designated Service Canada location
If you’re in Canada and receive a biometrics instruction letter, you can give your biometrics as of December 3, 2019, at any designated Service Canada location from this list. Not every Service Canada location collects biometrics.
To receive a biometrics instruction letter, you must pay the biometrics fee (CAD $85) when submitting your application online or by mail.
If you apply online and pay the biometrics fee when you submit your application, you can get the biometrics instruction letter within 24 hours of applying.
Once you receive your biometrics instruction letter, you have up to 30 days from the date indicated in the letter to give your fingerprints and photo.
Unlike Canada’s visa application centres (VACs), Service Canada locations do not accept immigration applications or payments for the biometrics fee.
You’ll need to book a biometrics appointment
You’ll need to book a biometrics appointment with the Service Canada location in advance.
Service Canada will begin accepting online appointment requests starting December 3, 2019, through an easy online tool found at canada.ca/biometrics.
What to bring
You should arrive 15 minutes ahead of your appointment time.
To give your biometrics, you’ll need to bring your
- biometrics instruction letter
- email from Service Canada confirming your biometrics appointment time
- valid travel document (such as your passport) that you used in support of your application
Other biometrics collection services options
If you’re planning to travel outside of Canada, you can go to a VAC in any country that you are legally allowed to enter, including your home country. To find the closest VAC, visit canada.ca/biometrics.
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