The Canadian government has introduced new visa requirements for the nationals of European, African and Middle Eastern countries, who wish to enter Canada. The new requirements, which are expected to come into force by July 31, include the submission or biometrics when applying for a visitor or student visa, work permit and residence to Canada.

The collection of biometrics, which permits the Government of Canada to effectively manage identity, facilitate application processing and to make the entrance of travelers with legitimate identities easier and quicker, include the  submission of fingerprints and a digital image of the applicant.

The practice, which is recognized globally as a reliable and accurate tool for establishing identity, helps to identify and prevent from entering the country, those who may pose a risk to the health, safety and security of Canadians.

Ahmad Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship claims that each year Canada welcomes millions of visitors and accepts a few hundreds of thousands of students, workers and permanent residents.

“By expanding our biometrics programme, we facilitate entry into Canada and protect the integrity of our immigration system, by quickly and accurately establishing a traveler’s identity. A key feature of biometrics expansion is that temporary residents will only have to provide their biometrics once every 10 years,” Minister Hussen explained among others.

New Canadian Visa Application Centers to Open Across the World

As a part of this process, new Visa Application Centers will open across Europe, Africa and the Middle East, in order to accommodate the increased demands of the nationals of countries in these parts of the world, during summer and fall.

The new visa application centers will start opening at mid-September 2018, and finally in early December will open the last two planned visa application centers.

According to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Ahmed Hussen, by November 2019, there will be at least 157 Centers in 105 countries,

On the other hand, the fees on the biometrics submission will depend on the way the applicant submits them. The individual applicants will have to pay an amount of CAD $85, while families applying together at the same time, will need to pay a maximum total fee of CAD $170. Meanwhile, groups of three or more performing artists and their staff that apply for work permits at the same time will have to pay a maximum total fee of CAD $255.

Categories Exempt from New Canadian Visa Requirement

Aside of the US nationals, who are excluded from the new requirement when applying for work or study permits, and the UAE passport holders traveling to Canada for tourism, business trips or family visits, some other categories, will be excluded as well.

These categories are as following:

  • kids under the age of 14
  • elders over the age of 79
  • heads of state and heads of government
  • ministers of cabinet and other accredited diplomats of other countries and the United Nations, coming to Canada on official business
  • visa-exempt nationals coming to Canada for tourist purposes, holding a valid Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
  • refugee claimants or protected persons who have already provided biometrics and are applying for a Canadian study or work permit
  • temporary resident applicants who have already provided biometrics in support of a permanent resident application that is still in progress
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