COVID-19 update: New public policy on biometrics collection exemption for temporary residence applicants from within Canada in effect until further notice
Ottawa, July 15, 2020 – Due to public health concerns related to COVID‑19, Service Canada closed its centres on March 27, 2020. Although Service Canada is starting to gradually reopen its offices to the public, biometrics collection services will resume at a later date.
Recognizing the impact this ongoing service disruption has on applicants in Canada, IRCC has put in place until further notice a public policy to exempt temporary residence applicants applying from within Canada from having to give their biometrics. This means we will be able to fully process and make decisions on applications.
With the public policy in place, IRCC is now able to help many temporary residence applicants in Canada to move forward with their plans, for example, to study, work or extend their stay as a visitor in the country.
We will continue to screen applicants through other means to ensure the safety and security of all Canadians.
The department is also looking at potential options to help permanent residence applicants in Canada.
Who is covered under the public policy
You’re covered under this public policy if you’re in Canada and are applying for one of the following:
- an extension of a work permit
- a new work permit
- an extension of a study permit
- a new study permit
- a visitor visa
- a visitor record to allow you to stay in Canada as a temporary resident
- restoration (extension) of temporary resident status
- a temporary resident permit
What to do if you’re in Canada and applying for temporary residence
- Do not pay the biometric fee (CAN$85), even if the system asks you to pay it when you submit your application. Under this public policy, you’re currently exempt from the requirement to give your biometrics.
- If you pay the biometric fee because you’ve been prompted to do so, and you receive a biometric instruction letter, you do not have to give your biometrics if you’re in Canada and applying for temporary residence. When we finalize your application, we’ll send you a refund for the biometric fee. You do not need to do anything to initiate the refund.
What do to if you’re in Canada, and you have a pending temporary residence application for which you’ve paid the biometric fee
- Under this public policy, you’re exempt from the requirement to give your biometrics.
- You do not need to do anything. We will process your application and send you a refund for the biometric fee (CAN$85).
For the latest information on biometrics, please keep checking our COVID-19 biometrics Web page and Canada.ca/biometrics.
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