Canada has exempted its permanent residence applicants from providing their biometric information if they have submitted their biometrics with another application within the last ten years.
The IRCC (Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada) has already given special concessions to applicants due to the coronavirus pandemic. These include allowing delays in biometric submissions if the applicants cannot submit them within the given time period.
It is unclear when these biometric collection service points both in Canada and abroad will become operational again. This indefinite closure of Visa Application Centres (VACs) and service points has caused inconvenience for many permanent residence applicants. These applicants had already submitted their biometrics in a previous application.
Moreover, according to IRCC, the number of unprocessed permanent residence applications in Canada has been growing continuously due to the biometric requirement. Thus, IRCC plans to waive biometric requirements in some instances for the convenience of these individuals.
Eligible Individuals & Applicable Time Frame
According to IRCC, this policy was introduced on September 10, 2020, and was implemented on September 22, 2020. They have not given an end date for this as it will remain in effect indefinitely. People who are eligible for this policy, irrespective of whether they are living in Canada or overseas, include those who have:
- a new or pending permanent residence application
- submitted their biometrics within the last ten years (this ten-year period starts before the day they applied for their current permanent residence).
Canada has already provided relief to foreign nationals by exempting them from providing biometrics. This has been done to facilitate them in these challenging times of coronavirus pandemic.
Foreign nationals must provide biometrics when they apply for study or work permit, Canadian visitor visa, permanent residence, asylum or refugee status, a visitor record, or are looking to extend their study or work permit.
These applicants are needed to provide their photograph, fingerprints, and pay a fee. Biometrics is used in Canada to verify the identity of foreign nationals upon their arrival in the country.