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IRCC released further info on the Biometrics

Biometrics for Canada: As of December 3, 2019, you need to give your fingerprints and photo (biometrics) if you’re applying within Canada as a

  • foreign worker (including extending your work permit)
  • international student (including extending your study permit)
  • visa-required visitor (including extending your stay)
  • permanent resident

Who needs to give their fingerprints and photo (biometrics)


As of December 3, 2019, you need to give your fingerprints and photo (biometrics) if you’re applying within Canada as a

  • foreign worker (including extending your work permit)
  • international student (including extending your study permit)
  • visa-required visitor (including extending your stay)
  • permanent resident

You can give your biometrics at a designated Service Canada location. Make sure you follow all the steps to give your biometrics, including paying the biometrics fee, when you apply.

Steps to give your biometrics

1. Pay the biometrics fee

You must pay the biometrics fee when you submit your application. Otherwise you may experience delays.

Exception: There is no fee to give biometrics for a transit visa.

2. Get the instruction letter

After you pay the biometrics fee, you’ll get a letter confirming that you need to give your biometrics and where you can go. You need to bring this letter when you give your biometrics. You also need to bring your valid passport.

How fast you get the letter depends on how you apply and when you pay for your biometrics fees. Answer a few questions to find out.

3. Go to an official biometrics collection service point

You must give your biometrics in person.

Tips to get the best photos and fingerprints during your biometrics appointment

  • Keep your hands henna-free for your appointment.
  • Let temporary injuries, cuts, cracks on your fingers heal before giving your biometrics.
  • Avoid wearing light color clothing or head gear. Wear bright colours instead.
    • Head gear is allowed for religious purposes only. However, when you have your photo taken, your whole face must be clearly visible.

Note: If we can’t get high quality fingerprints during your appointment, you may need to give your biometrics again at a later date.

You need to make an appointment to give your biometrics.


The below information is primarily applicable for applicants from India, Nepal and Bhutan.

Question 1: Is biometric enrollment mandatory for all applicants?

Answer: Yes. Biometric enrollment is mandatory for every applicant. The only exceptions to this are children below 14yrs of age and adults above 79yrs of age and US citizens.

Question 2: What is the biometric fee?

Answer: The cost for enrolling biometrics is $85CAD per person or $170CAD for a family enrolling at the same time. Groups of three or more performing artists and their staff who apply for a work permit at the same time will pay a maximum group fee of $255CAD.

Question 3: Do we need to take an appointment for biometric enrollment through the IRCC website?

Answer: No. The biometric appointment can only be booked through the VFS website here

Question 4: Is the process of biometrics enrollment by visiting the VAC different for different types of visas?

Answer: No. The process of biometrics enrollment and the biometric fee is the same for any type of visa.

Question 5: Can one enrol their biometrics before submitting the application?

Answer: No. Biometrics can only be enrolled once you have submitted your application, paid your application and biometric fees and taken an appointment for biometric enrollment.

Question 6: Is biometrics required for applicants submitting their application before 31st December, 2018?

Answer: No. Biometrics enrollment is not required for any temporary resident visa applicants from India, Nepal and Bhutan if they apply before Dec 31, 2018.

Question 7: If the applicant has enrolled their biometrics in India and traveled abroad before they received the passport submission request letter, can they submit their passport at a VAC near them even if it is outside India?

Answer: Once applicant has enrolled their biometrics they can submit their passport at any Visa Application Centre (VAC) near them no matter where they are in the world. Please however note that passport is required to be submitted within 30 days from the day the applicant receives their passport submission request letter.

Question 8: How many family members can apply under the biometric fee of CAD 170$?

Answer: There is no upper limit to the number of members in a family who can apply under the common biometric fee. However in order to be considered under the family biometric fee there needs to be a minimum of 3 members. This usually includes the primary applicant, spouse or common-law partner and one child.

Question 9: If a person holds a valid Canadian visa do they need to enroll their biometrics now?

Answer: A person with a valid Canadian visa does not need to enroll their biometrics until their visa expires and/or they want to apply for a new one, with the only exception being PR applicants.

Question 10: If the visa validity is less than 10 years can a person reapply without enrolling for their biometrics once the current visa expires?

Answer: No. Anyone applying for a new visa or for renewal of their visa will be required to enroll their biometrics, the only exception to this are US citizens, children below 14yrs of age and adults above 79 yrs of age.

Question 11: Is there any option available for fast track or emergency biometric enrollment?

Answer: Yes. Our Visa Application Centers will provide priority services through Premium Lounge Service facility available under the new VAC contract. This facility is only available on payment of an additional fee.

Question 12: If I have already enrolled my biometrics previously for my Permanent Residency application, do I need to enroll it again even if I am applying under a different category of visa now?

Answer: No. If you have enrolled your biometrics previously you are not required to enroll them again in the ten year period. In order to check whether your previously enrolled biometrics is still valid visit this link

Question 13: Is biometrics required if I am applying for an eTA?

Answer: No. Biometrics is not required if you are applying for an eTA.

Question 14: If my visa gets rejected, do I need to enroll biometrics again and pay the biometric fees?

Answer: No. If your visa has been rejected you do not need to enroll your biometrics again if and when you reapply. In order to find out if your biometric information is still valid visit this link

Question 15: Once I have booked my biometric appointment is it possible to change it?

Answer. Yes. Once you have booked your biometric appointment you can change it if you are unable to keep it and you do not need to pay any additional fees. However, biometrics must be enrolled within 30 days from the date when you submit your receive your Biometric Instruction Letter (BIL). Please also note that you can then book your next appointment only on the next available date and more importantly the processing of your application will not start until the time your biometrics is enrolled.

Question 16: After paying the biometric fee how soon can I book an appointment?

Answer: An appointment can be booked immediately after you have paid your biometric fee.

Question 17: Apart from my credit card is there any other option to pay the biometric fee?

Answer: Applicants can also use their Debit Cards to pay the biometric fee.

Question 18: If I submit a paper application do I still need to enroll for my biometrics?

Answer: Yes. Biometrics enrollment is required irrespective of whether applicant submits an online or paper application. In fact it is much more convenient when you submit an online application as you do not need to visit a VAC a number of times.

Question 19: Can biometrics be enrolled on the same day if I submit a paper application?

Answer: No. It will not be possible to enroll your biometrics on the same day of your paper application submission at any VAC. You will need to book a separate appointment for your biometric enrollment.

Question 20: Will processing times have any impact due to the biometric enrollment?

Answer: Biometrics enrollment will not in any way impact the processing times.

Question 21: If I am applying for a transit visa will I still need to enroll biometrics?

Answer: Yes. You are required to enroll your biometrics for transit visa, however, those applicants holding a valid U.S. non-immigrant visa and applying for a TRV to transit to Canada for less than 48 hours directly to or from the U.S. are exempt from the biometrics requirement.