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No biometrics needed for temporary residence applicants in Canada

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The biometrics requirement has been temporarily scrapped by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for temporary resident applicants who are already in Canada.

This means that candidates in Canada who wish to apply for, extend or restore their study permits, work permits or visitor visas, may do so without completing the biometrics requirement. This is also true for candidates who wish to apply for a temporary resident permit.

Collecting biometrics consists of taking fingerprints and a photo of all applicants for a visitor visa, 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 go into effect for all new and ongoing applications even if the application form is for applicants outside Canada. This is also true even if the system says that the biometrics fee is required. In this case, the candidate still does not need to pay the fee.

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However, this change does not apply for candidates who are not currently in Canada. Those candidates are still required to provide their biometrics.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, IRCC have been taking special measures to ensure the health and safety of all.

Applicants previously had to submit their biometric information at a local Service Canada office. However, due to the pandemic, IRCC first decided that applications will not be refused should an applicant be unable to provide his/her biometrics, until they are able to do so.

The new change sees IRCC scrapping the biometric requirement altogether, likely to give peace of mind to people in Canada who have implied status.

Implied status means that a candidate can legally stay in Canada for as long as he/she is waiting on a decision from IRCC to be made. 

Residents in Canada who will take advantage of this waived requirement may also take advantage of a recovering economy and job market.

Canada has extended the wage subsidy program that helps eligible businesses with employee wages. 

The waived biometrics requirement, the extended wage subsidy program, along with an economy that has created over 1.2 million jobs over the last two months, all represent a positive turn of events after a difficult few months due to COVID-19.

What to do if you’re applying for a visa from within Canada?

Make sure you do not pay your biometric fee of CAN$85, even if you are prompted to do so. 

If you are in Canada, you are currently not required to give your biometrics, even if you have received a biometrics instruction letter.

What to do if you’re waiting for a final decision but have already paid for the biometric fee?

If you have already paid for the biometrics, you will receive a refund of CAN$85 after your application is processed.

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