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  • Andrew Carvajal

Government exempts essential workers from giving biometric data overseas

On June 5, the Canadian government announced further measures to accelerate the issuance of certain work permits overseas, in order to safeguard the continuity of Canada’s food supply and health services. This is part of the measures taken by the government to battle the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The new policy provides that certain workers will be temporarily exempt from having to give their biometric data (photo and fingerprints) before coming to Canada, if the biometrics collection site closest to them is closed. Biometrics collection is required for most foreign nationals who are applying for temporary or permanent residence (including those applying for work permits). Some workers covered by this policy, such as seasonal agricultural workers, will be giving their biometrics upon arrival at Canadian ports of entry.

Foreign nationals covered under this policy involve those working under one of the following categories:

  • Agricultural and agri-food sectors

  • Healthcare sector

  • Truck drivers

Temporary residence applicants who provided biometrics in the past and whose biometric data is still valid are not affected by this policy, since they are not required to provide biometrics again.


Andrew Carvajal is a Toronto lawyer, partner and Head of Economic Immigration at Desloges Law Group. He specializes in immigration law, administrative law and professional discipline litigation.

Twitter: @CarvajalLaw

#COVID19, #workers, #IRCC, #WP


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