Biometrics to be Required for Visa Applicants from Countries
Nationals of thirty jurisdictions will be required to provide fingerprints and a digital photograph when applying for a Canadian visitor visa, study permit, or work permit beginning in 2013. Biometrics will be also confirmed when these travelers seek to enter Canada.
The new requirement will apply to applicants holding passports issued by the following jurisdictions: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Bangladesh, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Vietnam, and Yemen.
Applicants under the age of 14 or over the age of 79 will be exempt from the new requirement.
Canadian citizens and permanent residents will not have to submit biometrics when entering the country.
The Globe and Mail, 01/04/2013
“Almost all applicants seeking a visa to enter Canada will have their identity checked against American immigration databases to see whether they have been previously blacklisted, under a bilateral treaty signed…last month.
“And in a separate measure, Canada will be fingerprinting visa applicants from about 30 countries…by the end of this year.
“The measures are part of a sweeping effort to keep out the unwanted and dangerous, while simultaneously easing movement across the common border.
“…Cross-checking visa applicants’ identities against U.S. immigration databases will begin immediately. The U.S. will do the same with Canadian immigration databases.
“Once fingerprints are being taken later this year, they will automatically and electronically be checked against U.S. immigration databases as well as Canadian police records…
“…The treaty allows visa officers of both countries to electronically check the other country’s immigration database only.”
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