Tuesday 26 March, 2019

Canadian visa applicants to pay separate fee for biometrics

Starting December 31, 2018, travellers will have to provide biometrics (fingerprints and a photo) as a part of their Canadian visa application process. 

According to the Canadian High Commission, in addition to the regular visa application fee, a biometric fee of $85 CAD per person will apply. However, families applying together for a visitor visa will only pay a maximum biometric fee of up to $170 CAD. The biometric fee will also cover the cost of application handling at a VAC. 

Persons who need to give their biometrics include those who are applying for a visitor visa; work or study permit; permanent residence and refugee or asylum status. To facilitate repeat travel to Canada, applicants will only need to give their biometrics once every 10 years. Their biometrics may be verified at the port of entry to confirm their identity each time they enter.

Trinbagonians and members of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) seeking visas, work or study permits for Canada will have to go to the nearest of at least 11 VACs or to any of the 135 U.S. Application Support Centre to provide their biometrics if they apply on or after December 31, 2018. 

Whether applying online or at a Visa Application Centre (VAC), applicants will be asked to see proof that they have paid the biometric fee before taking your fingerprints and photograph.  

Applicants applying online or by mail may give their biometrics at any biometrics collection point provided they have a biometrics instruction letter. Applicants applying at a VAC in person for a visa or permit do not need a biometrics instruction letter. They will provide their biometrics at the same time as they submit their application. 

Since summer 2018, the Candian High Commision has been expanding its push to have visa applicants provide biometrics as a part of the application process. The new measures are part of the Canadian government's worldwide policy changes. 

The Canadian government previously stated that the purpose of the biometric check is to confirm if someone 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.

Read here for more facts about who needs biometrics. 

For more information visit the Canadian High Commission to Trinidad and Tobago online at https://bit.ly/2RABzZ2 or visit them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hccanada.tt/

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