Visa Application Centres are re-opening in India
The Canadian government has just announced that its Visa Application Centres (VACs) in India will resume services tomorrow, on November 20, 2020.
In a new tweet, the government stated it will schedule limited biometrics appointments in Delhi, Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Bengaluru.
Resuming biometrics is the last remaining major obstacle for those in India who are exempt from Canada's coronavirus travel restrictions.
While international students have been exempt from Canada's travel restrictions as of October 20, Indian students who have not submitted biometrics before could not travel to Canada. The same could be said for family class and skilled worker immigrants who are also exempt from the travel restrictions.
Now that VACs in India are resuming services, those who are exempt from Canada's travel restrictions will be able to submit their biometrics so they can complete their immigration application processes in support of their eventual arrival to Canada.
The government further included on Twitter that it will not accept walk-in clients at VACs. Rather, appointments must be booked in advance and you can only visit your VAC if you are attending your own scheduled appointment.
If Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has issued a unique Biometric Instructions Letter (BIL) to you, you will receive more instructions to your email ID on file about how to schedule your biometric appointment.
The government concluded by saying more appointments will gradually become available each week as it phases in services.
India is by far Canada's leading source of immigrants and international students.
In 2019, Canada welcomed over 85,000 immigrants from India, which was one-quarter of the over 341,000 new permanent residents admitted by Canada.
Last year, Canada hosted 220,000 international students which is more than one-third of the over 640,000 international students in Canada in 2019.
Biometrics are usually required for foreign nationals that are looking to obtain a visitor visa, study permit, work permit, permanent residence, a visitor record, refugee or asylum status, or are seeking an extension to their study or work permit.
They need to submit their fingerprints and photograph and also pay a fee. The purpose of biometrics is to enable Canada to confirm the identify of foreign travellers when they enter the country.
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