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What is Biometric for Canada Visa- A helpful guide

Updated on 02 February, 2024

Gauri Agrawal

Gauri Agrawal

Sr. Content Writer

What is Biometric for Canada Visa

Embarking on an educational journey to explore Canada's opportunities is a dream for many aspiring students. Canada has an irresistible allure with its breathtaking landscapes, thriving cities, and vibrant multiculturalism. However, before setting foot on Canadian soil, one must navigate the intricate web of visa requirements, ensuring the journey is seamless and hassle-free. 

In recent years, the Canadian government has introduced an innovative and secure system known as biometrics to enhance the immigration process. Biometric data, consisting of unique physical attributes such as fingerprints and facial features, provides an extra layer of identity verification, improving the accuracy and efficiency of visa processing. From understanding the significance of biometric data to demystifying the application process, this article aims to equip you with the knowledge you need to know about biometrics for a Canada visa. 

Requirements for Biometric Enrollment 

People who have to provide their photographs and fingerprints: 

You will have to provide your biometrics if you are applying for the following: 

  1. Visitor Visa
  2. Study/work permit (U.S. nationals are excluded)
  3. Permanent residency
  4. Asylum/refugee status
  5. Extension of Canadian stay or visitor record
  6. Study permit/work extension 

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Anyone who is present in Canada and applying for temporary residence status will be exempted from providing biometrics. Some exemptions include the following: 

  1. Already in Canada
  2. Applying or have applied for the following- 
  3. Extension of stay for workers, students, and visitors. 
  4. Study/work permits. 
  5. Restoration of status as workers/students/visitors. 
  6. Visitor visas.
  7. Temporary residence permit. 

Those who have furnished biometric details anytime in the last decade for study, work, or visitor visa permits (if they are valid) do not need to furnish the same once again. The Check Status option may be used to find out the validity of the same. Those with alien passports will have to give biometrics irrespective of the passport-issuing country. 

Here are some other points to keep in mind: 

  • When to provide photographs and fingerprints- To be provided as part of the application (visitor visa, study/work permit, etc.) 
  • Frequency of providing biometrics- Once in ten years. 

Way to Enroll/Provide Biometrics 

  1. First-time applicants need to furnish biometrics. 
  2. Those who have given them before should check their validity with the tool mentioned above. 
  3. Pay the fee while submitting the application. Those applying for transit visas do not have to pay any fees for biometrics. 
  4. Get the confirmation letter on providing biometrics. Carry it with you on the scheduled date. 
  5. Visit the official site of collection. Make an appointment swiftly after receiving the letter. 
  6. Let temporary wounds, injuries, cracks, and cuts on your hands heal completely before visiting to give your biometrics. 
  7. Do not apply henna or other things on your hand for this appointment. 
  8. Avoid headgear and light-colored clothing if possible. Headgear is only allowed for religious reasons. 

Post-Biometrics Requirements for a Canada Visitor Visa. 

Once you have provided these details, you may have to wait for eight weeks to get the visa, provided everything is approved by the authorities. 


The biometric fees for Canada student visas or other applications are the following: 

  1. CAD $85 for individuals. 
  2. CAD$170 for families applying simultaneously. 
  3. CAD $255 for groups of three or more members who are performing artists and also their staff members. They should be applying simultaneously for their work permits. 

These details will help you out with the biometrics process for your Canadian visa.

Validity of Biometrics 

The biometrics are valid for up to 10 years. Students need to give their biometrics again until the 10-year period expires.

If you gave biometrics in the past as part of an application for a visitor visa, work, or study permit, and they’re still valid, you don’t need to give them again.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a biometric test for a Canada visa?

You will have to provide your biometrics, i.e., your photograph and fingerprints, as part of your Canadian visa application. The staff members at the Visa Application Center (VAC) will ask for proof of payment of the fees for biometrics before taking a photograph and fingerprint. The fee will also include the costs pertaining to handling your application. 

How long does it take for a Canada visa to be approved after biometrics?

After you submit your biometrics, it should take approximately eight weeks to get your visa. This timeline may vary, and you should be patient. If your biometric details are not approved for some reason, you may be called to provide them again at a later date. 

Does biometrics mean approval for your application for a Canada visa?

If you are asked to provide your biometric details, it does not equate to the automatic approval of your application. It is only one of the steps or tasks in the application process for a Canadian visa. Your biometric details will be used for processing and evaluating your visa application. 

Can a visa be refused after biometrics?

Visas may or may not be refused after submitting your biometric details. Your visa/permit application may expire or be rejected. However, your biometrics will remain valid for a period of ten years. You will not have to provide them again while submitting another application in the future. 

Why is biometrics important for visa?

Biometrics, which involves the unique physical or behavioral characteristics of individuals, such as fingerprints, facial recognition, and iris scans, is essential for visa processes for several reasons:

  1. Enhanced Security
  2. Preventing Multiple Identities
  3. Streamlining Immigration Processes
  4. Immigration Enforcement
  5. Counterterrorism Measures

Overall, biometrics significantly enhance visa processes' accuracy, efficiency, and security, helping governments ensure that the individuals entering their countries are appropriately identified and screened.

After biometrics what is next for Canada work permit?

Once your biometrics screening is over, the USCIS officer will stamp your appointment notice, confirming that you submitted biometrics for your background check. Ensure you keep this document safe and have it ready to show if needed.

What is Canada study visa processing time after biometrics?

The Student Direct Stream applications are processed within 20 calendar days after biometrics screenings are done. 

Gauri Agrawal

Sr. Content Writer

Gauri Agrawal is a passionate, professional and proactive content marketer who wants to grow in the field of content creation. She carries a rich experience of working in the Digital News sector with renowned names like Times Now Digital, and News X as a Copy Editor.

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