Biometrics collection in Canada

As a temporary measure, we’ve made some changes to biometrics requirements.

  • You may be exempt from having to give your biometrics.
    • Don’t pay the biometrics fee if you’re exempt.
      • If you did pay the fee and you’re exempt, we’ll automatically refund it once we finalize your application.
  • At Service Canada locations
    • you’ll be asked to keep your mask on
    • we won’t take your photo when you give your fingerprints for biometrics

Biometrics exemptions for applicants in Canada

As a temporary measure, you’re exempt from giving biometrics if either of the following situations apply to you.

Applying for temporary residence

You’re exempt from giving biometrics if you’re both

  • in Canada and
  • applying or have an application in progress
    • to extend your stay as a student, worker or visitor
    • to restore your status as a student, worker or visitor
    • for a work or study permit
    • for a visitor visa
    • for a temporary resident permit

This exemption applies even if

  • your application form for a work permit, study permit or visitor visa says it’s for applicants outside Canada
  • our online application system asks you to pay a biometric fee (CAN$85)

This exemption does not apply if you’re outside Canada.

Applying for permanent residence and have given biometrics in the last 10 years

You’re exempt from giving biometrics if you have already both:

  • applied or are applying for permanent residence and
  • given your biometrics to us within the last 10 years

How to book an appointment to give your biometrics

Step 1: Wait until we send you the biometrics instruction letter.

Step 2: Book your appointment using the Service Canada Appointment System.

Step 3: Make sure the Service Canada office is open before you go to your appointment.

If the Service Canada office is closed, you’ll receive an automated email telling you that your appointment has been cancelled. If that happens, you can book another appointment right away for a later date.

Step 4: Bring the right documents to your biometrics appointment.

When you go to your appointment, you must bring both

  • your biometrics instruction letter
  • a valid passport or travel document

Step 5: Follow the health and safety measures.

Someone will greet you when you arrive at the Service Canada office. You must respect physical distancing measures even when wearing a mask. Service will be contact-free.

  • Non-medical face masks are required. You’ll be asked to keep your mask on at all times.
    • Your photo won’t be taken.
    • You won’t need to provide your photo at a later date to support your current application.
  • You’ll still need to give your fingerprints.
  • We’ll use your fingerprints to process your current application.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available.
  • Cleaning supplies will be available for you to clean the biometrics collection equipment before you use it.

Do not visit a Service Canada office if you have

  • symptoms of COVID-19, including a fever, a cough or difficulty breathing
  • had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days
  • been instructed by local public health authorities to self-isolate due to travel or contact history

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