Canadian immigration officials now require all travelers from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa to provide photos and fingerprints. They provisions are necessary whether travelers come for a visit or want to study or work in the country.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) says the regulations will support the expansion of biometrics collection. The program will include three new components:

Collection of biometrics from all foreign nationals (excluding US nationals) applying for temporary resident visas, work permits, study permits, and permanent residency.

Fingerprint verification at ports of entry include airports and land borders.

Information sharing of biometric data between Migration 5 (formerly FCC – Five Country Conference) partners.

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The IRCC claims biometric screening has proven effective in enhancing protection and security and says the updated system with fingerprint verification will help better manage border traffic flow. The updates will also improve criminal identification and prevent forgery and theft.

The New Process for Travelling to Canada

All applicants interested in travelling to Canada will need to appear in person at a biometrics collection service location to provide fingerprints and take digital photos. Various locations are available for the services around the world.

Travellers to Canada will be required to provide biometrics and pay the accompanying fee every 10 years. The screening will help hasten visa and permit applications and enhance identity management.

Canada Border Services Agency officers will verify fingerprints and photos at ports of entry. Information will be checked against immigration records shared amongst Migration 5 partners, including the US, to help make informed decisions about admissibility.

Total Expansion

The new regulations will expand to all foreign nationals and will be implemented over the next two years.  Regulations will be set in place as of December 31, 2018 to support biometrics collections for applicants from remaining countries in Asia, Asia Pacific, and the Americas.

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