The federal government of Canada has just recently announced that its Visa Application Centres (VACs) in India will resume services today, on November 20, 2020.
In a new tweet, Ottawa stated it will schedule limited biometrics appointments in Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad.
It will prioritize family class and international student applicants.
Resuming biometrics is the last remaining major huddle for those in India who are exempted from Canada’s coronavirus travel restrictions.
While international students have been exempted from Canada’s travel restrictions since October 20, Indian students who have not lodged biometrics before could not travel to Canada. The same can be said for family class and skilled worker immigrants who are also exempted from the travel restrictions.
Now that visa application centres in India are resuming services, those who are exempt from travel restrictions to Canada will be able to lodge their biometrics so they can finalize their immigration application processes in support of their eventual arrival to Canada.
Canada further included on Twitter that it will not accept walk-in clients at visa application centers. Rather, appointments must be booked in advance and you can only visit your visa application centres if you are attending your own scheduled appointment.
If the Canadian immigration ministry has sent out a unique Biometric Instructions Letter (BIL) to you, you will receive more guide to your email ID on file about how to schedule your biometric appointment.
The federal government concluded by saying more appointments will become more available each week as it phases in services.
India is by far Canada’s major source of immigrants and international students.
In 2019, Canada welcomed over 85,000 new permanent immigrants from India, which was one-quarter of the over 341,000 newcomers admitted by Canada.
Last year, Canada received 220,000 international students from India which is more than one-third of the over 640,000 international students hosted in Canada in 2019.
Biometrics are usually required for foreign citizens that are looking to get a visitor visa, work permit, study permit, permanent residence, a visitor visa, refugee or asylum status, or are seeking an extension to their work or study permit.
They need to submit their fingerprints and photograph and also pay the application fee. The purpose of biometrics is to enable Canada to confirm the identity of foreign travelers when they enter the country.