A Step-By-Step Guide to Canadian Tourist Visa Biometrics - The Process and Frequently Asked Questions
2018 was an *uh-may-zing* year for Canada’s tourism industry! With its record-breaking 21.13 million overseas visitors, it marked the fifth consecutive year of growth for international tourist arrivals and there’s no showing of slowing down! So if you’re planning on visiting The Great White North soon, you can find our step-by-step guide to securing a tourist/visitor’s visa here or a Super Visa here!
One thing to note is that in 2018, Canada made it mandatory for visa applicants to submit biometrics to be granted a visa. This is in the hopes streamlining the visa application process given the increase in the volume of tourist visiting Canada. Many of you might ask how this new requirement fit in the visa application process, so here’s a Q&A of the things you need to know about the new Biometric Enrolment requirement for Canadian Visa application.
Q. Do I need to enroll my biometrics when I apply for Canadian Visa?
Yes, you are required to enroll your biometrics if you are any of the following:
a visitor visa,
a work or study permit (excluding U.S. nationals),
permanent residence, or
refugee or asylum status.
Q. What is the purpose behind this requirement?
According to the Canadian Immigration website, Canadian visa officers use biometrics to confirm your identity. Biometrics also helps to:
make it more difficult for someone to forge, steal or use your identity,
resolve problems or errors that may happen if your name, date of birth and/or place of birth are similar to those of someone else, and
confirm your identity the next time you apply, so it is easier for you to re-enter Canada.
Q. What is the first thing that I need to do to enroll my biometrics?
You must apply for visa because you can only give your biometrics as part of an application with any visa application centres (VACs).
Q. Can I go to any VACs and enroll my biometrics?
No. They now require applicants to set an appointment online before going to a VAC. You may set your appointment here.
Q. Who is the Canada Visa Application Centre (CVAC) contractor in Philippines?
VS Global is a private company authorized by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to operate the Canada Visa Application Centre in Manila and Cebu, Philippines.
Q. If I get my photo taken for biometrics, do I still need to submit a paper photograph as part of my application?
No. The Canadian Immigration will make use of your digital photo instead.
Q. I cover my head or face for religious or cultural reasons. What will happen when I go to have my photo taken for biometrics?
When you have your photograph taken, your whole face must be clearly visible. You may request to have your photo taken by an operator of the same gender and you may ask for a privacy curtain.
Q. What will happen to my fingerprints and photo after they are collected for biometrics?
According to the Canadian Immigration website, After you give your biometrics, your fingerprints and photo will be encrypted and sent electronically to a secure Government of Canada database. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) will check your fingerprints against the fingerprint records of:
temporary resident applicants.
Any matches to existing RCMP records will be analyzed by the visa officer, who will use the information to make a final decision on your application.
When you arrive in Canada, a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) border services officer will use your biometrics to verify that you are the same person the visa was given to.
Q. Will there be fees in enrolling my biometrics?
Once you get a schedule online, you will be asked to pay the enrolment fee.
Q. What are the methods of payment allowed?
You can pay using your credit card/debit card online.
Q. What happens after payment?
According to Canadian Immigration, “you’ll get a letter confirming that you need to give your biometrics and where you can go.”
TIP: You need to bring the confirmation letter when you give your biometrics. You also need to bring your valid passport.
Q. Do I need to enroll my biometrics every time I wish to visit Canada?
No. Your biometric will have a lifespan of 10 years, hence, you only need to do this once every 10 years!
Q. After I enroll my biometrics, does that mean my application is approved?
No, the enrolment of biometrics is just one of the steps that needs to be done before you are granted a Canadian visa.
Q. Can I Schedule an Emergency Appointment?
Applicants requesting emergency appointments for the purpose of biometric collection may do so provided suitable proof of the emergency is presented at the time of the appointment.
TIP: If you have a valid visitor visa, you won't need to give your biometrics until the next time you apply
There you have it! I hope these Q&As are helpful to you in terms of understanding how to enroll your biometrics for Canadian visa application.
To schedule a biometric enrolment appointment at the Canada Visa Application Centre (CVAC) in the Philippines, you may contact +632 5282505, their office is located at Canada Visa Application Centre VFS Services Phils. Pvt. Inc., 29th Floor The World Center Bldg., 330 Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City, Philippines.
OTHER OPTION: DO YOU RECOMMEND USING THE SERVICES OF A TOUR/VISA AGENCY?
I always suggest that you apply and do everything DIRECTLY so you can save money but if not then below is my option for you.
Yes, I highly recommend availing the services of iVisa, if you feel more comfortable having your application submitted by a professional organisation. They have been providing expedited processing and guidance services for any e-visa applications since 2013 so they have a lot of experience. Here are some advantages of getting your visa from them:
They have 24/7 support in many languages.
Application forms are all available on one page;
You can get your Tourist eVisa, Medical eVisa, and Business eVisa within 24 hours if you apply for the Rush Service;
They provide a full refund under their approval guarantee in case your visa gets rejected!
Go to the iVisa website to discover how they can help you with your visa application.