Canada Announces Extra Fee And Fingerprinting for Visa Applicants

Biometric data, meaning the collection of an individual’s fingerprints and photograph, will now be required for citizens of certain countries who wish to obtain visitor visas for Canada beginning in the new year. These visas include work permits and study permits, as well as regular visitor visas. 

The government only recently announced the new requirements, but they were a part of the Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act that passed in June. The reason some countries were added to the list is that those countries have a high volume of removal orders, visa refusals, refugee claims or people arriving with improper travel documentation or those who may be traveling under fraudulent names.

According to the Toronto Star, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney said that, “Biometrics will strengthen and modernize Canada’s immigration system. Out doors are open to legitimate travelers, and, through the use of biometrics, we will also be able to protect the safety and security of Canadians.”

Countries whose citizens have to submit biometric data

Canada has selected 29 countries and one territory whose citizens will have to submit their biometric data when they apply for a visa in Canada, whether it is a visa to work, study or just visit. These countries were chosen because they tend to have a higher number of refugee claimants, people who have been under a removal order or people who may be traveling under fraudulent names or without the right paperwork. The countries are:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Vietnam and Yemen.


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