Suspension of Biometrics for In Canada Temporary Applications

Most people need to give biometrics when they apply for any kind of status in Canada. However, COVID-19 has disrupted the process of providing biometrics. If you are inside Canada, you need to give biometrics at a Service Canada location. Unfortunately, Service Canada does not process biometrics at this moment. Therefore, IRCC decided to suspend biometrics for in-Canada temporary applications on July 15, 2020.

What is biometrics, and where to give biometrics?

Biometrics consists of digitally registering your fingerprints and a picture of your face. If you are not familiar with the concept of biometrics, consider visiting the following pages:

Which in-Canada applications are exempt from biometrics?

The suspension of biometrics covers the following applications:

Of course, you need to qualify to apply from inside Canada. Otherwise, IRCC will refuse your application, not because of biometrics, but because you did not qualify in the first place.

Which in-Canada applications are not exempt from biometrics?

Unfortunately, permanent resident applications are not exempt from biometrics. Thus, even if you qualify to apply for a permanent resident application from inside Canada, you still need to do biometrics. The following list shows some examples:

  • Spousal sponsorship applications from inside Canada
  • Canadian Experience Class applications
  • Provincial Nominee Applicants who are already in Canada with a work permit or a study permit
  • Protected people who are applying for permanent residence

Of course, this list is not comprehensive.

What about the biometrics fee?

You may have already submitted your application and paid the biometrics fee. Luckily, IRCC will review your application without the biometrics and will refund the $85 fee. However, if you are going to apply in the future, do not pay the biometrics fee. Even if you pay the biometrics fee and receive the BIL, you do not need to give biometrics. Of course, IRCC will process your application and will eventually refund the biometrics fee.

Will the suspension of biometrics for in-Canada temporary applications last forever?

The simple answer to this question is “no.” The suspension is because of the coronavirus pandemic. Consequently, we expect they will resume requesting biometrics when everything goes back to normal.

Canada Immigration News: Further Resources

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    Posted on July 17, 2020

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    Al Parsai

    Al Parsai is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) in Toronto, Canada. He also teaches the official immigration consulting courses at Ashton College in Vancouver, Canada. Al who holds a Masters degree from Yorkville University is a member of ICCRC and CAPIC organizations. Al, the CEO of Parsai Immigration Services, has represented hundreds of applicants from more than 30 countries to the immigration authorities since January 2011.

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