On December 3, the Canadian Government had announced that international students would be required to issue their Biometrics to obtain their Embassy visa. Even students will have to go through the same biometric process if they wish to extend their visas.
But now, this policy has been changed. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) have temporarily scrapped the biometrics requirement for temporary resident applicants who are already in Canada.
Read More: Canada Announces Major Visa Changes to Support International Students
This means that applicants in Canada, who wish to apply, extend or restore their study permits, work permits or visitor visas can do so without fulfilling the requirement for Biometrics. This also applies to candidates wishing to apply for a temporary resident license.
The biometric collection consists of taking fingerprints and a photograph of all visitor visa applicants, a work permit, a study permit, permanent residence, refugee or asylum status, extending their stay in Canada or extending their study or work permit.
This change will take effect for all new and ongoing applications even if the application form is outside of Canada for applicants. This is also true even though the system claims the biometrics fee is required. The candidate still doesn’t need to pay the fee in this case.
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This change, however, does not apply to candidates not currently in Canada. Those candidates have yet to provide their Biometrics. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, IRCC has taken extraordinary measures to ensure everyone’s health and safety.
Before this, applicants had to submit their biometric information to a local office in Service Canada. However, because of the pandemic, IRCC first decided not to refuse applications if an applicant is unable to provide his / her Biometrics until they can do so.
Read More: Canada Visa Application Centers
The new change sees IRCC scrapping the biometric requirement altogether, likely to give people in Canada who have implied status peace of mind. Implied status means a candidate can legally remain in Canada for as long as he/she is waiting for an IRCC decision.
Canadian residents who will take advantage of this waived requirement may also benefit from a recovering economy and labour market. Canada has extended the wage subsidy program to assist eligible employee wage-earning companies.
The waived biometrics requirement, the extended wage subsidy program, along with an economy that has created more than 1.2 million jobs over the past two months, all represent a positive turn of events due to COVID-19 after a difficult couple months.
If you’re applying for a visa from within Canada, then make sure you don’t pay your CAN$85 biometric fee, even if you’re prompted to. If you are in Canada, you’re not currently required to provide your Biometrics, also if you’ve received a letter of instruction on Biometrics.