New temporary public policy allowing permanent residence applicants to rely on biometrics previously submitted within the last 10 years

Ottawa, September 22, 2020 – Due to public health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of biometrics collection sites in and outside Canada, including some visa application centres (VACs), United States application support centers (ASCs) and designated Service Canada Centres, remain closed or have reopened with only limited services, which do not always include biometrics collection.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recognizes the impact this ongoing service disruption is having on applicants in and outside Canada. Therefore, until further notice, foreign nationals who have previously given their biometrics in support of an immigration application within the last 10 years are exempt from the requirement to give their biometrics in support of their pending or new application for permanent residence. While this temporary public policy is in place, the biometrics these applicants have previously given will be reused for screening purposes to ensure the safety and security of all Canadians as these applications move forward in processing.

Who is exempt under this public policy

Applicants are exempt under this public policy from the requirement to give their biometrics if they have both of the following:

Biometric fee

Applicants should not pay the biometric fee (CAN$85) for a new application for permanent residence, even if the system asks them to pay it when they submit their application.

If an applicant has a pending permanent residence application for which they have already paid the biometric fee, and they are exempt under this public policy from the requirement to give their biometrics, IRCC will process their application and send them a refund for the biometric fee (CAN$85). Applicants do not need to do anything to initiate this refund.

For the latest information on biometrics, please keep checking Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Biometrics and Where to give your fingerprints and photo (biometrics).

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