Effective December 31, 2018, India will be included in the list of countries which are required to provide the biometrics of visa applicants while applying for a visa to Canada. The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced that all categories of Canada visa application for Indian, including visitor visa, student visa, work permit and permanent residence are required to provide details of their biometrics. Currently, biometrics of visa applicants are being asked only by the United States, the United Kingdom and the Schengen States.
Earlier this year, Canada requires biometrics of visa applicants from applicants from the Middle East, Europe and Africa at the end of this year, biometrics of visa applicants from Asia, Americas and the Asia Pacificwill also be required.
Exemptions from providing biometrics of visa applicants.
The only exemption from providing biometrics of visa applicants is for children who are14 years old and senior citizens over the age of 79, although asylum seekers are not exempted from the same.
The validity of biometrics of visa applicants.
IRCC explained that the biometrics of visa applicantswill be valid for a period of 10 years and applicants are not required to provide the details of their biometrics before the expiry of the validity period.
Cost of providing biometrics of visa applicants.
The cost of providing biometrics of visa applicants is $85 Canadian dollars, and cost for families applying together is capped at$170 Canadian dollars. The cost for Canada visa application for Indian citizens may vary in Indian currency depending upon the prevailing exchange rates.
Why is Canada collecting the biometrics of visa applicants from Canada visa application for Indian?
Canada, just like many other countries around the world, request and collect the biometrics of visa applicants to accurately establish the true identity of visa applicants, which was proven to be a reliable method.More than 70 countries are using the biometrics of visa applicants the processing of visa and immigration applications. By using the biometrics of visa applicants, the Government of Canadacanensure the effective management, identification and improvement of the application process. This will also simplify the entry of visitors in the country with their biometrics authenticating their identities.
Others uses of biometrics of visa applicants
The biometrics of visa applicants will provide immigration officers with additional information in making an accurate and informed decision pertaining to anindividual’s eligibility for admission in the country.
Also, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) will have access to the biometrics of visa applicants which will be stored in the RCMP’s National Repository. This data can be utilised for cross-checking criminal records with immigration. This will help both the police and the immigration officers to confirm whether a Canada immigration visa applicant has a prior criminal record or has been deported or removed from the country.
This biometrics of visa applapplicants willo be shared with other countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia. This sharing of biometrics of visa applicants will maintain the integrity of the immigration system of Canada in accordance with Canadian laws which include lawsrelated to privacy, civil liberties and human rights.
Also, using the biometrics of visa applicants, the Canadian Border Services Agencies (CBSA) will easily confirm and ascertain the legitimate identity of the travellers. This will enhance efficiency and enable speedy entry of travellers into the country utilising a fingerprint verification which will be conducted at the main inspection kiosk at all major airports in Canada.