As of December 3rd, biometric requirements for Canada Study Visa have been expanded. This means that international students interested in applying for Canada Study Visa may need to submit biometrics with their application.
The visa application process can be intimidating, so we’ve compiled information about Canada’s biometric process.
Visa officers in Canada use such biometrics to confirm your identity. This makes it more difficult for an individual to forge her identity - and in turn, makes it easier to resolve errors. Once you give your biometrics, your credentials will be stored in a secure facility in a Government of Canada database.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) will then do a background check of your fingerprints against the fingerprint records of criminals, refugee claimants, deportees, and temporary resident applicants. Any matches to such existing records will be analyzed by the visa officer to make a decision on your Canada Study Visa application.
Who Needs to Give Biometrics?
You might be required to provide biometrics if you are applying for:
a visitor visa.
a work or study permit.
refugee or asylum status.
an extension of your stay in Canada, known as a visitor record
work or study permit extension.
There are a few applicants that are exempted from these requirements. Such applicants include citizenship applicants, existing permanent residents, children under the age of 14, and applicants over the age of 79, among others.
The Government of Canada has a simple tool to help you determine if you need to give biometrics as part of your Canadian visa application. To see if your biometrics are still valid, you can use the Government of Canada’s Check Status tool.
If you currently hold a valid Canada Study Visa, you won’t need to give your biometrics until the next time you apply.
If you gave biometrics in the last 10 years for a visitor visa, work permit, or study permit and they’re still valid, you don’t have to give them again, if you are reapplying for these visas. Even if your previous application was refused/rejected, your biometrics are still valid for future applications within 10 years.
How to Give Biometrics for Canada Study Visa?
The first step when giving your biometrics is to pay the biometrics fee ($85 CAD per applicant) when you submit your visa application. This ensures that you get your instruction letter as early as possible, which then allows you to give your biometrics at an official collection point.
Once you’ve received your instruction letter, you will next need to make an appointment and give your biometrics at a collection service point. Your Canada Study Visa application will not be processed until you submit your biometrics.
What to do after giving biometrics for Canada Study Visa?
After you give your biometrics, your credentials will be stored in a secure facility in a Government of Canada database. The IRCC will then process your Canada Study Visa application.
Tips to remember when giving biometrics
Here are some tips to follow when giving biometrics for Canada Study Visa.
When you’re having your photograph taken, make sure your whole face is clearly visible.
Avoid wearing light or white clothing.
Avoid having henna on your hands for your appointment.
Make sure any injuries, cuts, or cracks on your fingers have healed before giving your fingerprints.
Tips for Reducing Application Delays
Here’s how to avoid application delays:
Apply online or in-person at a Visa Application Centre (VAC). Don’t mail in your application.
Pay the application and biometrics fees at the same time you submit your application.
Give your biometrics at the same time you apply at a VAC, or as soon as possible after getting your Biometric Instruction Letter.
Consider transit time if your closest VAC requires travel.
If you have a permanent injury or medical condition on your face or hands, bring any documentation you have about your condition to your VAC appointment.
Biometrics Processing Time For Canada Study Visa
How quickly you get your instruction letter depends on how you apply and when you pay your biometrics fee. You can find more insights based on how you will apply on the official Government of Canada website.
For visitor visas, study visas, or work permit applicants - the time it takes you to give your biometrics isn’t included in the application processing time. Visa officials will not process your application until they have received your fingerprints and photo.
It takes around 8 weeks to get a visa after submitting your biometrics along with the Canada Study Visa application to the IRCC.