Canada has decided to expand its biometrics scheme in order to strengthen the immigration program through effective screening. The country will also apply some changes to the immigration policies in order to facilitate application processing for foreigners that wish to enter the country, while attempting not to lose the confidence of public.

Starting from July 31, nationals from countries of Europe, Africa and Middle East, will have to provide their biometrics, digital photo and fingerprints, when applying for the following visas:

  • visitor visa
  • work permit
  • study permit
  • permanent residence in Canada

In addition, new Visa Application Centers will open across the countries located in the above-mentioned, in order to accommodate the increased demands of their nationals, during summer and fall.

According to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, the Honorable Ahmed Hussen, with the new moves Canada is attempting to facilitate the increased demand for biometrics by increasing the presence of the VACs across the world within the next years.

“Each year, Canada welcomes millions of visitors and accepts hundreds of thousands of students, workers and permanent residents. Visitors applying abroad use Canada’s Visa Application Centers to provide their biometrics and submit their applications. To facilitate the increased demand for biometrics, Canada is increasing its Visa Application Centre presence in the next 2 years. By November 2019, there will be at least 157 Centers in 105 countries,” he is quoted to have said.

By mid-September 2018 a Visa Application Center will open in each of the following capital cities:

  • Kigali, Rwanda
  • Stockholm, Sweden
  • Tel-Aviv, Israel

Whereas, in early November four Visa Application Centers will open in the following cities:

  • Athens, Greece
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Lyon, France
  • Vienna, Austria

And, finally in early December will take place the opening of the last two VACs in:

  • Antananarivo, Madagascar
  • Cape Town, South Africa

The new VACs, which are privately-owned third-party service providers, will offer support to the applicants for Canada visa before, during and after their application is assessed by an officer of the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

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