When you apply to Canada under any program like Express Entry Visa Canada, Canadian Student Visa, Canada Family Visa, Provincial Nominee Program, or Canada Start-Up Visa, it is essential to submit your biometrics to the government for processing your application. The government of Canada stopped the collection of biometrics and other immigration services due to COVID-19.
However, Immigration applicants have been struggling to submit their biometrics to process their applications further during COVID-19. Applicants outside Canada are unable to submit their biometrics as regional VACs are closed. However, Canada is gradually opening the VACs in different countries.
Meanwhile, applicants living inside Canada are not able to book their biometric appointments independently with Service Canada. However, Services Canada is now contacting certain PR applicants from inside Canada to schedule in-person biometrics appointments.
According to IRCC, applicants are being contacted in the order of dates when their applications were submitted. However, at this time, applicants are unable to book their appointments. Services Canada will contact the applicants to schedule the appointments.
Additionally, Canada recently introduced two new measures during COVID-19, which directly impact biometrics policies:
1. Biometric Exemption for Temporary Resident Applicants
Canada recently announced that certain temporary resident applicants that are living inside Canada would get the exemption. This exemption will help to submit their biometrics. However, this is a temporary measure introduced due to COVID-19.
Applicants that are living within Canada will get an exemption:
- To Extending Stay for Canadian Student Visa, Worker or Visitor.
- For Restoring Status as a Student, Visitor, or Worker.
- Applying for a Work or Study Permit.
- For a Visitor Visa
- To Get Temporary Resident Permit
Moreover, this temporary measure doesn’t apply if you are living outside Canada. Those who are applying for PR from within Canada will still need to provide biometrics.
2. Exemption for Permanent Resident Applicants Already Submitted Biometrics for a Different Immigration Application
IRCC has introduced a new particular measure for PR applicants that have already complete their biometrics for a different application within the past 10 years. The government is offering exemption for such applicants from providing new biometrics with their PR application.
Apply for Express Entry Visa Canada for immigration to Canada from UAE.
Service Canada Offering Online Scheduling From Monday
According to the new announcement by the officials, Service Canada will start scheduling appointments service. Service Canada will start to schedule biometrics appointments service from Monday, November 30, 2020.
This service will be helpful for IRCC clients to book their biometrics appointments online. However, this service will be more efficient.
Service Canada stopped scheduling biometrics applications due to COVID-19. However, they started calling IRCC clients to schedule biometrics appointments from mid-September.
Moreover, according to the new announcement, Service Canada will start offering online appointment booking. Therefore, clients who have not yet been contacted can use online scheduling to book their biometrics appointment.
IRCC announced in its news release that clients can now book their appointment at the Service Canada office nearest to them. However, walk-in service is still not available, so only applicants with appointments will submit their biometrics at Service Canada locations.
Applicants who are applying for Canadian PR will need to book an appointment. PR applicants must submit their biometrics for application processing.
However, IRCC also notes that biometrics exemption will continue to affect temporary residence applicants in Canada and permanent residence applicants who submitted their biometrics in the last 10 years.
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