Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) are jointly responsible for the delivery of Canada’s immigration program by managing the movement of foreign nationals across Canada’s borders in order to maintain a balance between the desire to welcome newcomers to Canada and the obligation to protect the health, safety, and security of Canadian society. Among the responsibilities of these departments are the prevention of irregular migration, the prevention of entry into Canada of inadmissible persons as defined by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), and the detention and removal of inadmissible persons from Canada.
Accurately establishing identity is crucial to immigration decisions. For more than 20 years, biometrics (fingerprints and a photograph) have played a role in supporting immigration screening and decision-making in Canada.
Expanding biometrics will strengthen Canada’s immigration programs through effective screening (biometric collection, verification, and information-sharing with partner countries). It will also enable Canada to facilitate application processing and travel – while maintaining public confidence in our immigration system.
In -, the CBSA will:
- Enroll certain foreign nationals applying for a work permit or study permit or temporary resident permit (excluding U.S. nationals) to enter Canada through the capture and screening of ten-digit fingerprint biometrics at fifty-seven Ports of Entry (POEs);
- Authenticate foreign nationals enrolled overseas by IRCC through a photo comparison and/or fingerprint verification upon arrival at POEs.
Depending on where they apply, applicants will be able to provide their biometrics in Canada at select Service Canada locations and select ports of entry, overseas at Visa Application Centres and in the U.S. at U.S. Application Support Centers.
Biometrics Expansion does not include collecting biometrics from Canadian citizens, citizenship applicants (including passport applicants), or existing permanent residents.
Right of Access
Individuals are informed of the authority for collection, purpose, uses and disclosure of their personal information in a Privacy Notice Statement on their application form.
Individuals may formally request access to their personal information, or access to corporate records related to the Biometric Expansion Program by filing a request with the Access to Information and Privacy Division. More information about this can be found on the Access to Information and Privacy page.
If you have concerns about the collection, use, disclosure or retention of your personal information, you may issue a complaint to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada who is mandated to investigate. Complaints should be made in writing, and include your name, contact information, and a brief description of your concerns. Details of the complaint process can be found on the Privacy Commissioner’s Website.
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