Canada to Start Taking Biometric Information of Indian Visa Applicants
Indians applying for Canadian visa will have to submit their biometrics from Dec. 31, 2018.
Canada has made it mandatory for people of India and other Asian countries to submit their biometrics for identification purposes from Dec. 31, 2018.
The new rule will be meant for those applying for a Canadian visitor visa, work or study permit, permanent residence or asylum in the country, according to the Canadian government.
“In 2018, Canada will expand its biometrics program. Expanding biometrics will strengthen Canada’s immigration programs through effective screening and will also facilitate application processing and travel – while maintaining public confidence in our immigration system,” a Canadian government statement said.
Until now, only the United States, United Kingdom, and Schengen countries asked Indian visa applicants to submit biometrics.
Canada made biometric information mandatory for visa applicants from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa on July 31, 2018. The rule comes into effect for visa applicants from Asia, Asia-Pacific, and the Americas from Dec. 31, 2018. All visa applicants need to submit their fingerprints and photo to a designated visa application center or some missions and embassies.
According to the Canadian government, biometrics collection will facilitate faster application processing and simplify entry into Canada for low-risk travelers. All applicants between the ages of 14 and 79 years must provide biometric information. The exemption has been provided to children under 14 and adults over 79 years old and asylum seekers, for whom there is no age limit.
According to the Canadian government website, once a visa applicant gives his/her biometric, there’s no need to submit the same for the next 10 years. “You only need to give your biometrics once every 10 years. You don’t need to give your biometrics until the 10-year period expires,” the website said, adding that individual applicants will be charged C$ 85 while families applying together at the same time will be charged a maximum of C$170.
Biometrics is recognized globally as a reliable, accurate tool for establishing identity, it added. More than 70 countries around the world are using biometrics in their immigration programs. Biometrics collection allows the Canadian government to effectively manage identity, facilitate application processing and simplify entry for travelers with legitimate identities. It helps deter, detect, and stop the entry of those who pose a risk to the health, safety, and security of Canadians.
“Biometrics will provide immigration officers with additional information to help make decisions on a person’s admissibility and by simplifying the travel of low-risk individuals,” the government statement said.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) will store the fingerprints data in the National Repository and will use it to check immigration and criminal records. The biometric check confirms if someone who applied to enter Canada before using the same or a different identity has a previous Canadian criminal record or has been removed from Canada before.
“Biometrics-based information sharing with the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom will further support the integrity of Canada’s immigration system, in a manner that respects Canada’s privacy laws, civil liberties and human rights commitments, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” the government said.