Press Room

Government of Canada Announces New Biometric Requirements for Visitors

June 4, 2015 – Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced today an expanding of Canada’s biometric program to all visitors and permit seekers from non-visa exempt countries. Citizens from non-visa exempt countries applying to come to Canada either as a visitor or on study or work permits will now be required to provide digital photographs and fingerprints. This is meant to improve the ability of border officers to verify the identity of visa holders on arrival in Canada.

Who is affected?

All foreign nationals from non-visa exempt countries between the ages 14 and 80 (inclusive) who are applying for entry to Canada or for permits from outside Canada will be required to give biometrics within 30 days of submitting their application.

How does this work?

After applying for a visitor visa or work permit to Canada, applicants will receive a biometric instruction letter from Citizenship and Immigration Canada, instructing them to visit a local Visa Application Center. In addition to providing biometric information, applicants will now be required to pay a biometric fee of $85 per person, to a maximum of $170 for families applying together.

If you would like more information about the biometric program, or for assistance in preparing an application, please contact Green and Spiegel.

For a list of non-visa exempt countries please click here.