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Biometrics collection services for temporary and permanent resident applicants available in Canada

From December 03, 2019 foreign nationals applying from within Canada for temporary or permanent residence, or to extend or renew their visitor visa or work or study permit, will need to provide their biometrics at any of the 58 designated Service Canada locations across the country. Foreign nationals will need to give their biometrics (fingerprints and photo) when applying from within Canada for permanent residence, or as a

  • foreign worker (including extending a work permit)
  • international student (including extending a study permit)
  • visa-required visitor (including extending their stay)

Canada has collected biometrics (fingerprints and photos) on most foreign nationals applying for temporary or permanent residence since December 31, 2018.

People can apply online or by paper as they have always done. Applicants who receive a biometrics instruction letter will be able to give their fingerprints and photo at designated Service Canada locations across the country by appointment. The appointment must be made in advance through an easy online booking tool at canada.ca/biometrics.

Applicants, including those in Canada who will be travelling outside the country, can also give their biometrics at a visa application centre (VAC) in any country that they are legally allowed to enter. Canada has one of the most extensive networks of VACs worldwide, with 160 locations in 108 countries.

Quick facts

  • This is the final phase of Canada’s biometrics expansion program. As a result of this expansion, foreign nationals coming to, or applying from within the country will provide their fingerprints and photo.
  • There are some exemptions to the biometrics requirement, including applicants under 14 or over 79 years of age; U.S. nationals coming to visit, work or study temporarily in Canada; and lawful permanent residents of the U.S. coming to visit only.
  • Find out if you need to give biometrics.

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