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Essential Workers Temporarily Exempt From Giving Biometrics Overseas

Essential Workers Temporarily Exempt From Giving Biometrics Overseas

With ongoing COVID-19 related visa service interruptions, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) have temporarily exempted some foreign workers from having to provide biometrics before coming to Canada.

This exemption only applies to essential workers in the agricultural and healthcare fields, along with the occupations that support these industries, that are coming from a location where the closest biometrics collection facility is closed. Find out if the biometrics collection facility near you is closed by clicking here

Applicants Included In The New Biometrics Exemptions:

If you are deemed an essential worker and you are coming to Canada on a valid work permit, you will be exempt from the biometrics requirement if the NOC code for your occupation falls under one of the three following categories: 

  1. Agricultural and agri-food sectors
  2. Health-care sector
  3. Truck drivers

Be advised that any person entering Canada must still abide by the 14-day quarantine isolation. Only after that two week period, and you do not present any COVID-19 symptoms, will you be allowed to start working. Your employer must provide suitable accommodations to allow you to self-isolate and comply with this mandatory requirement.  

What Are Biometrics:

If an effort to make travel easier while also protecting Canadians, biometrics are required by most applicants and consist of your fingerprints and your photo to confirm your identity. 

The primary purpose of requiring biometrics is to stop identity theft, prevent criminals from entering Canada, and to make it easier for immigration officials to confirm your identity at a Canadian port of entry. 

They are valid for 10 years and are widely available at Visa Application Centres around the world and also within Canada. You do not require multiple biometrics results if you are applying for different visas. The same biometrics results, as long as they have not expired, can be used to apply for multiple types of Canadian visas. 

Who Needs To Give Biometrics:

Generally, you need to give biometrics if you apply for:

  • A visitor visa
  • A work or study permit (excluding U.S. nationals)
  • Permanent residence
  • Refugee or asylum status
  • An extension of your stay in Canada, known as a visitor record (as of December 3, 2019)
  • A work or study permit extension (as of December 3, 2019)

For anyone with a pending Canadian visa application and you have been asked to provide your biometrics, you will be automatically granted an extension until they can be obtained, regardless of whether the deadline has expired. 

Find out if you need to give biometrics by clicking here.

Adam Pinsky

Adam Pinsky has a keen interest in all things immigration and has been working in the industry for 11 years.

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