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Canada exempts essential workers from giving biometrics overseas

Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has implemented a temporary public policy exempting essential workers from giving biometrics overseas.

Temporary foreign workers are playing a key role in helping to safeguard the continuity of Canada’s food supply and health security as well as trade and commerce. Due to the ongoing service disruptions related to COVID-19, the Government has put in place a public policy to temporarily exempt foreign workers in certain sectors (e.g. agriculture, agri-food, truck drivers and health-care)  from having to give their biometrics before coming to Canada if the biometrics collection site closest to them is closed.

Most of the workers in essential occupations who are coming to Canada have already given their biometrics, as they have previously worked in Canada. Some exempt workers, such as seasonal agricultural workers, will now be giving their biometrics on arrival at Canadian ports of entry (POEs). Nonetheless, it will continue to maintain the safety and security of the Canadian public by ensuring that biometrics are collected for all TFWs.

What happens when the worker arrives in Canada?

The worker may be asked to give their biometrics at a Point of Entry (POE) in Canada. The worker will also be assessed by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to ensure that they are coming for an essential purpose, for example, they have a letter of introduction for a work permit, and have a valid job offer and can work once they enter Canada.

Once a worker has entered Canada, they must self-quarantine by law for a period of 14 days.

Options for workers who are not covered under the public policy, their application is in progress and still cannot give biometrics

If the visa application centres (VACs) or other biometrics collection sites are still closed, and extension to give biometrics is ending, the applicant will not have to give their biometrics until the biometrics collection sites reopen. This applies, even if the biometric instruction letter (BIL) says that deadline is 30 or 90 days. IRCC has reiterated that no application in progress will be closed or refused because of documents that are missing due to COVID-19.

Need help staying in Canada!

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to challenging times in Canada and around the world. Many people are under distress and anxiety. We understand! Can-X is here to help you figure it out, so you can have peace of mind. You could be an international student, worker, or visitor looking to extend your stay in Canada. You may be seeking a pathway to permanent immigration. Or you may be looking to reunite with a loved one. Whatever the reason, contact us to discuss your immigration needs, and we’ll provide our insights and help as much as we can during these difficult times.

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