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New Canadian Visa Requirement By July 31

Nationals from countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East will be required to provide biometrics

Dubai: Nationals from countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East will be required to provide biometrics when applying for a visitor or student visa, work permit, and permanent residence to Canada beginning July 31.

Canada is expanding its biometrics programme that requires foreign nationals to give their fingerprints and photos when applying for these visas.

US nationals are excluded from the biometric requirement if applying for a work or study permit.

UAE passport holders travelling to Canada for tourism, business trips or family visits will not be affected as they are visa-exempt and only require a valid electronic travel authorisation (eTA) to visit Canada.

However, UAE passport holders applying for Canadian study or work permits or for Canadian Permanent Residence will be required to provide biometric information.

The move will help accurately establish identities of applicants which is an important part of immigration decisions in Canada. For more than 20 years, biometrics have played a role in supporting immigration screening and decision-making in Canada.

"Each year, Canada welcomes millions of visitors and accepts hundreds of thousands of students, workers and permanent residents. Canadians understand the importance of immigration to our country's economic and social well-being," Ahmad Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, said.

"By expanding our biometrics programme, we facilitate entry into Canada and protect the integrity of our immigration system, by quickly and accurately establishing a traveller's identity. A key feature of biometrics expansion is that temporary residents will only have to provide their biometrics once every 10 years," he added.

The requirement to provide biometrics will be extended to nationals from countries in Asia-Pacific and the Americas starting December 31.

Canada has one of the highest per capita rates of immigration in the world and is an attractive destination for immigrants and visitors. Expanding biometrics will strengthen Canada's immigration programmes through effective screening (biometric collection, verification, and information-sharing with partner countries). It will also enable Canada to facilitate application processing and travel - while maintaining public confidence in its immigration system.

"Biometrics screening helps keep Canadians safe. The collection and verification of biometrics, along with criminal and immigration screening and biometric-based information-sharing, will help prevent identity fraud, identify those who pose a security risk and stop known criminals from entering Canada," Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, said.

Publish: Thursday, July 26, 2018 12:37 AM