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Canada to start biometric screening program

Citizenship and Immigration Canada will be introducing biometric screening into Canada’s Temporary Resident Immigration Program.

Starting in fall 2013, visitor visa, study and work permit applicants from 29 countries and one territory will need to provide their fingerprints and photograph when they apply to come to Canada. Minister Jason Kenney announced the change in December 2012; as well, proposed regulations were published in the Canada Gazette allowing the government to require biometric information from these applicants.

Using biometrics will facilitate legitimate travel and strengthen Canada’s immigration program, as it will provide visa officers with greater certainty in screening applicants and will allow a person’s identity to be more readily confirmed upon arrival.

CIC is also expanding its network of Visa Application Centres, where most applicants will provide their biometric information, in 2013.

Biometrics is the measurement of unique physical characteristics, such as fingerprints and facial features, for the purpose of verifying identity with a high level of certainty. Biometric verification greatly reduces the chance that one individual could pose as, or be mistaken for, another.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada is leading the Temporary Resident Biometrics Project. Beginning in 2013, certain foreign nationals seeking visas to enter Canada will be required to give their fingerprints and have their photograph taken as part of their application.

Posted: Jun 5, 2013

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