express entry visa canada

Two new VACs open in the U.S. offering biometrics

Express Entry Immigration

Canada has a rich history of looking to immigration to boost its economy. However, there is no shortcut for Americans looking to immigrate to Canada. American citizens can get permanent residence in Canada within six months through Express Entry Visa Canada. However, candidates will need to be under 35, having a university degree, and at least two or more years of professional experience to qualify for Canadian PR.

To get started, applicants who are looking to immigrate to Canada from the USA will need to submit an Express Entry profile to IRCC. IRCC is the official department of government that handles immigration applications. The immigration department will assess the candidates to determine their eligibility.

Two New VACs Opened in the U.S.

Canada has opened two new VACs in the United States. However, Americans now have two recent locations for submitting their biometrics. Biometrics are necessary for Canadian immigration application.

Canada’s government has confirmed the opening of two new VACs in Seattle, Washington, and San Francisco, California.

According to a press release, these two new VACs will only offer biometrics collection services at the moment. However, people can use VACs in Los Angeles and New York to access all other VAC services. Now, applicants can submit their biometrics at any of these four locations.

Moreover, candidates can also submit their biometrics to the 131 Application Support Centers. These support centers are available within the U.S., and you can check the list online. However, candidates will also need to have their introduction letter for submitting their biometrics.

The San Francisco and Seattle locations will remain open for a year. The government introduces these VACs to provide convenience for people affected by coronavirus-related service closures. Canada closed its VACs amid the COVID-19 crisis to prevent the spread of the virus.

Applicants for Express Entry Visa Canada and Canadian immigration will need to submit their biometrics. However, these biometrics will be helpful for new or ongoing applications.

Who Needs to Submit Biometrics?

Foreign nationals must provide their biometrics, or photo and fingerprints to apply for a Canadian visa. Candidates will need to submit their biometrics if they are applying for:

  • Visitor Visa Candidates
  • Candidates Applying for Study or Work Permit, unless they are from the U.S.
  • Applying for Permanent Residence.
  • Applying for Asylum or Refugee Status.
  • Extensions for Work or Study Permit.
  • Extension on Visitor Records and Legal Status.

Canada offers some exemptions for the U.S. visa holders that are transiting through Canada. Such as, they don’t need to provide biometrics. Other exceptions can be for children under age 14, applicants who are above 79 years and not applying for asylum, diplomats, heads of government, visa-exempt foreign nations coming to visit, people who already provided their biometrics, and Canadians.

Exemptions from Biometrics

Currently, Canada is also exempting candidates in Canada that are applying for temporary residence from biometrics. However, this exemption is valid for a limited time. This policy was put in place due to the COVID-19.

This policy is also applicable to people who are looking to extend their stay in Canada. It includes candidates who are living in Canada as a worker, students, or a visitor. However, it also has people who are applying to restore their status. People who are applying for their visa or permit in Canada are also on this list.

People need to give biometrics every ten years. Candidates who provided their biometrics as part of any application for a Canadian permit or visa within that time frame. They will not need to provide their biometrics for a new application.

According to a new policy regarding the COVID-19 measure, PR applicants will not need to give their biometrics again. This policy applies to people who already submitted their biometrics within the past ten years.

However, some candidates never submitted their biometrics, or it has been more than ten years. Such candidates should provide their biometrics to the closes biometrics collection site offering these services.

Read More: Advocates calling on Canada to resolve citizenship application backlog

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