Anyone planning a visit to Canada would have to go through the biometrics process while applying for a Canadian visa. This applies to people who are going to visit Canada for a holiday or for studies or even for employment. You may also have to provide your biometrics while living in Canada to extend your student or permanent resident visa. Your visa application would not move ahead without completing this procedure. If you are planning to migrate to Canada or perhaps going on a holiday to this North American country, here is all you need to know about the process of appointment for Canada biometrics.
Who Needs to Undergo the Canada Biometrics Procedure?
Before you book an appointment for Canada biometrics procedure, you need to know whether you actually need it. Everyone who does not belong to the following categories has to undergo the biometrics process:
- Citizens of Canada
- Current permanent residents of Canada
- Citizens of visa-exempt nationalities
- People above the age of 79 years and kids under the age of 14 years
- Heads of states and central government
- USA visa holders
What is Biometrics Session for Canadian Visa?
The physical presence of the applicant is mandatory for the biometrics procedure. It is conducted at a Visa Application Center (VAC) near you. During the process, the officer would take your fingerprints and photograph. Biometrics are taken to know whether you have a criminal record or if you have had any Canadian immigration infractions beforehand. Once approved, the biometrics are valid for 10 years. The biometrics procedure may be repeated when you arrive at an airport in Canada to confirm your identity.
How to Book an Appointment for Canada Biometrics
It is important to ensure that you go to a VAC that is authorized by the Canadian immigration authority. There are two ways of booking an appointment for Canada biometrics, which would depend on the way you submit your visa application: online and offline
Online Visa Submission: This applies to those want to submit their Canada visa application online. Once you submit your application form and pay the biometrics fee, you would receive a letter in your account message box within 24 hours. You would have to carry the printout of this letter along with your passport while arriving at the VAC to complete your biometrics procedure.
Offline Visa Submission: This applies to those who want to submit their visa application directly at the VAC. In this case, you have to first take an appointment to provide your biometrics. You can submit your application form and pay the biometrics fee on the same day. In this situation, you would not need to submit any letter.
Important Tips for Biometrics Appointment
If your biometrics appointment for Canadian visa is coming up, here are some tips that you need to keep in mind:
- Biometrics procedure would not be started unless you pay the biometrics fee.
- Headgear should not be worn while going for biometrics session, unless it is for religious purposes. Avoid caps, hats, sunglasses, etc. It is important that your entire face is seen in the photograph.
- Ensure that your hands are completely clean. Avoid henna or any other tattoo on your hands or fingers during your biometrics session.
- If you have any cuts, cracks or injuries on your fingers, it is better to schedule an appointment once they are healed.
- The photograph is usually taken against a white background. Hence, avoid wearing white or light coloured clothing. Instead, go for dark or colourful clothes.
- Do remember that if you are unable to provide high quality fingerprints during your visit, you would have to book another appointment for a future date.
The process of scheduling a biometrics appointment for Canada visa is quite simple. If you face any issues, it would be a good idea to take the help of a travel agent who has the expertise and experience of handling visa procedures and issues.