Biometrics exemption for individuals applying for temporary residence within Canada
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced that despite the opening of some Service Canada offices with limited services, biometrics collection inside the country remains unavailable.
To remedy this and be able to move along the processing of in-Canada applications for temporary residence, the government has implemented certain exemptions from providing biometric data. Applicants who will benefit from this exemption are those applying from within Canada for:
An extension of their stay as a student, worker or visitor
Restoration of their status as a student, worker or visitor
A new work or study permit
A new visitor visa
A new Temporary Resident Permit
This policy applies to all new applications as well as applications already in progress. It also applies whether the application filed is considered an "outside Canada" application or if the online application system requests the $85 payment of the biometric fee.
This temporary policy does not apply to applicants who are residing outside of Canada.
In-Canada applicants have been further advised that they do not have to pay the biometric fee when they submit an application, even if the system instructs them to do so. If the fee has been paid, it will be automatically refunded once the application is finalized. Furthermore, applicants who have received an automatic biometric collection letter instructing them to provide biometrics can ignore the letter.
Read more about this in IRCC's online guidelines found here.
Andrew Carvajal is a Toronto lawyer, partner and Head of Economic Immigration at Desloges Law Group. He specializes in corporate immigration, temporary permits and all types of permanent residence applications for professionals and entrepreneurs.