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Biometrics is now required from all those applying for Canada PR

Applying for Canada PR: Policy changes have been made by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) addressing the collection of biometrics from those seeking permanent residency in Canada.

Whether or not biometrics were provided for a temporary residence visa in the past, as of June 14, 2018, will be required for everyone filing for PR.

With this revision to the official policy, IRCC is following the same processes for processing permanent resident applications as it did before the pandemic. 

IRCC implemented a policy in the Global Case Management System (GCMS) during the COVID-19 pandemic that eliminated the need for permanent resident (PR) applicants to resubmit biometrics if they had already done so with a temporary resident application within the previous 10 years.

Return to normalcy after a pandemic

As of September 2020, foreign nationals who had previously submitted biometrics to IRCC within the previous decade were eligible to apply for PR. This action was taken in response to the temporary closure of numerous VACs as a result of pandemic restrictions.

Given that many PR applicants currently had or had previously held temporary residence status in Canada, IRCC understood that mandating biometrics was an impediment to progress.

IRCC has been working towards pre-pandemic service levels since the constraints were loosened. The department’s application backlog has been reduced to manageable levels, allowing it to resume processing applications at full speed.

An IRCC representative wrote, “The reuse of biometrics for a PR application was a temporary measure introduced in a pandemic situation,” in an email to the Immigration Section of the Canadian Bar Association. 

We are returning to our normal approach, which requires applicants to submit biometrics in support of any PR applications made, regardless of the validity of applicants’ previous biometrics, as the epidemic has ended.

Those who seek a work, visitor, or student visa are exempt from the modifications. There is no requirement for temporary residents to resubmit biometrics while seeking for an extension.

What is biometrics? 

When applying for a visa, work permit, or visitor’s visa to Canada, the first step is to submit your fingerprints and a photograph of your face to IRCC. Biometric submissions are now charged at $85 CAD.

Biometrics plays an important role in Canada’s immigration system and national security. It makes applicants simple to spot while also not being too intrusive to them. In most cases, they must be included in an immigration application.

While all nationalities except U.S. citizens are required to have an eTA to enter Canada, visitors from over 60 nations do not need a visa.

In addition, the following types of applicants are exempt from providing biometrics to enter Canada:

  • Canadian citizens, candidates for Canadian citizenship (including those applying for a passport), or permanent residents already in Canada
  • Refugee claimants or protected persons who have already provided biometrics and are applying for a study or work permit
  • Temporary resident applicants who are under the age of 14
  • Applicants who are over the age of 79 (there is no upper age exemption for asylum claimants); 
  • Heads of state and heads of government
  • Cabinet ministers and accredited diplomats of other countries and the United Nations coming to Canada on official business
  • U.S. visa holders transiting through Canada
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