Canada has long had one of the highest per capita rates of immigration in the world and is an attractive destination for immigrants and visitors.
Accurately establishing identity is an important part of immigration decisions and helps keep Canadians safe. For more than 20 years, biometrics (fingerprints and a photograph) have played a role in supporting immigration screening and decision-making in Canada.
In 2018, Canada intends to expand its biometrics program to all foreign nationals applying for a visitor visa, a study or work permit (excluding U.S. nationals), and to all those applying for permanent residence.
The Government of Canada encourages all Canadians to consider the importance of expanding biometrics in the context of helping facilitate the entry of travellers with legitimate identities, preventing identity fraud, and keeping Canada safe.
Canada currently collects biometrics from in-Canada refugee claimants and overseas refugee resettlement applicants, individuals ordered removed from Canada and individuals from 30 foreign nationalities applying for a temporary resident visa, work permit, or study permit.
Expanding biometrics will strengthen Canada"s immigration programs through effective screening (biometric collection, verification, and information-sharing with partner countries). It will also enable Canada to facilitate application processing and travel – while maintaining public confidence in our immigration system.
The expansion of Canada"s biometrics program, which includes the implementation of new requirements for immigration applicants, an expanded biometrics collection service network and automated fingerprint verification at ports of entry, will be rolled out over 2 years (2018 –2019).
The pre-publication and consultation period, from April 7 to May 6, 2018, is designed to give the public an opportunity to provide feedback on the text of the proposed Regulations once they are published in the Canada Gazette, Part I.
For more information, please consult canada.ca/biometrics.