VACs in India reopen offering biometrics for families and students

Shelby Thevenot
Published: November 25, 2020

Canadian visa service centres have now reopened across India.

The newly reopened Visa Application Centres (VACs) will allow study permit and family sponsorship applicants to submit biometrics.

Four more centres are being opened in addition to those that were reopened on November 20. VACs are now open to clients in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jalandhar, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, and Pune.

Given the significant demand for service in India, those who are coming to study at one of the Designated Learning Institutions are being prioritized, along with those who are applying for permanent residence as a spouse, common-law partner, or dependent child.

Find out if you’re eligible for Canadian immigration

In order to book an appointment, clients must go the VAC website and complete an online web form in advance. They must then wait for the VAC to confirm the appointment by email.

For now, the immigration department says that Indian clients cannot submit paper applications at the VAC nor enrol their biometrics for an application other than for a study permit or through the family class. There is a two-way courier service available for those who want to submit their passport.

Students who want to come to Canada for school must have a valid study permit or a letter of introduction that shows they were approved for a study permit. They also must be going to a Designated Learning Institution with a coronavirus-readiness plan that has been approved by the regional government.

Biometrics are usually required for foreign nationals that are applying for documents that will allow them to come to Canada, such as a visitor visa, study permit, work permit, permanent residence, a visitor record, or refugee or asylum status. Study and work permit holders may also need to give biometrics if they want to extend their legal status and stay in Canada.

Biometrics include the foreign national's fingerprints and photograph. There is also a fee associated with giving biometrics.  Their purpose is to allow Canadian officials to confirm a foreign traveller's identify when they enter the country.

India is the main source country of Canadian immigrants. Last year, one quarter of new immigrants came from India, which represents a total of 85,000 people.

Find out if you’re eligible for Canadian immigration

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