Canada exempts foreign workers from giving biometrics overseas

Kareem El-Assal
Published: June 5, 2020

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced today it has put in place a temporary policy measure to exempt temporary foreign workers in certain sectors from having to give their biometrics before arriving to Canada if the biometrics collection site closest to them is closed due to a coronavirus-related disruption.

Temporary foreign workers (TFWs) are exempt if they are set to work as truck drivers, or in the health-care, agriculture, or agri-food sectors in Canada.

IRCC notes that many of these workers have already provided Canada with their biometrics since they have previously worked in the country. Nonetheless, it will continue to maintain the safety and security of the Canadian public by ensuring that biometrics are collected for all TFWs.

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What happens upon arrival to Canada

Upon arrival, TFWs may be asked to provide their biometrics at a Point of Entry (POE) in Canada.

In addition, they will be screened at the POE by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to ensure they are arriving for an essential purpose. Under current guidelines, arriving to Canada to work in the country is deemed essential travel.

Once a TFW has entered Canada, they must self-quarantine by law for a period of 14 days.

More flexibility by IRCC

IRCC has also stated that it is providing an additional extension to individuals who are currently unable to submit their biometrics overseas due to COVID-19 interruptions.

Even if an individual’s biometric instruction letter states they have a 30- or 90-day deadline to submit their biometrics, they do no need to worry about missing the deadline if their closest visa application centre or biometrics collection site remains closed.

Such individuals will not have to give their biometrics until collection sites resume operations.

IRCC has reiterated that it will not close or refuse any application that is currently in progress due to missing documents. IRCC has introduced a variety of special policy measures and increased flexibility during the COVID-19 pandemic to accommodate as many foreign nationals as possible.

About Biometrics

Generally speaking, biometrics are required for foreign nationals who apply for the likes of a visitor visa, a study or work permit (except U.S. nationals), refugee or asylum status, permanent residence, a visitor record, or a study or work permit extension.

Such individuals submit their fingerprints, photo, and pay a fee. Canada collects biometrics to quickly and accurately confirm the identity of foreign travelers in order to facilitate a smoother entry into the country.

Get help with Canadian work permits

Need assistance with the Temporary Work Permit application process? Contact

© 2020 CIC News All Rights Reserved

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