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Canada Exempts Temporary Foreign Workers From Giving Biometrics Overseas

Canada’s Immigration Ministry has announced today it has put in place temporary policy measures to exempt foreign workers in certain sectors from giving biometrics before coming to Canada if the biometrics collection site closest to them is shut down due to a COVID-19 related disruption.

Temporary foreign worker (TFW) are excluded if they are set to work as truck drivers, or in the health-care, agriculture, or agri-food sector in Canada.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) notes that many of these workers have already provided Canada with their biometrics since they have earlier worked in the country. Nevertheless, it will continue to maintain the safety and security of the Canadian people by ensuring that biometrics are collected for all workers.

What happens upon arrival in Canada

Upon arrival, workers may be asked to provide their biometrics at a Point of Entry (POE) in Canada.

In addition, they will be screened at the Port of Entry by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to ensure they are arriving for essential purposes. Under current guidelines, arriving in Canada to work in the country is considered essential travel.

Once a foreign worker has entered Canada, they must self-quarantine by law for a period of fourteen (14) days.

More flexibility by IRCC

IRCC has announced that it is providing an additional extension to people who are currently unable to submit their biometrics overseas due to coronavirus interruptions.

Even if an individual’s biometric instruction letter states they have a thirty (30)- or Ninety (90)-day deadline to submit their biometrics, they do no need to worry about missing the deadline if their nearest visa application centre or biometric collection site remains closed.

Such persons are exempted from giving biometrics until collection sites resume operations.

IRCC has stated that it will not refuse any application that is currently in progress due to missing or incomplete documents. IRCC has introduced a series of special policy measures and increased flexibility during the coronavirus pandemic to receive as many foreign nationals as possible.

About Biometrics

Biometrics are usually required for foreign nationals who apply for the likes of a visitor visa, a work or study permit (except U.S. citizens), asylum or refugee status, permanent residence, a visitor record, or a work or study permit extension.

Such individuals lodge their fingerprints, photo, and pay a fee. Canada collects biometrics to accurately and quickly confirm the identity of foreign nationals in order to facilitate a smoother entry into the country.