Biometrics Added to Canadian Visa Application Process

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Wednesday 19th December, 2018-Antiguans and Barbudans and other citizens within the OECS who intend to apply for a Canadian Visa will have to give biometrics (finger prints and photo) as part of the application process starting December 31, 2018.

The High Commission of Canada to Trinidad and Tobago advises that in addition to the regular visa application fee, a biometric fee of $85 CAD per person will apply. However, families applying together for a visitor visa will only pay a maximum biometric fee of up to $170 CAD.

Whether the application is online or at a Visa Application Centre (VAC), VAC staff will ask to see proof that applicant/s has paid the biometric fee before taking fingerprints and photograph.

The biometric fee will also cover the cost of application handling at a VAC. The VAC will make sure the application is complete, send it to the visa office and advise persons once it has been returned.

According to the Canadian High Commission, when entering Canada, a border services officer will compare the arriving passenger to the photograph in the passport or travel document and to the photograph taken when the biometrics was provided. Persons may also be asked to provide fingerprints again to confirm their identity.

The High Commission is assuring that  fingerprints, photograph and personal information will be encrypted and stored in a secure Government of Canada database, and will be handled in line with Canada’s privacy laws.

The fingerprints and photo are required from persons seeking a visitor’s visa, a work or study permit, permanent residence or those seeking refugee or asylum status.

Visa applicants will have to go to the nearest of at least 11 VACs or to any of the 135 U.S. Application Support Centre to provide their biometrics if they apply on or after December 31, 2018.