Biometrics For A Canada Visa: Is it required? Not necessarily!

Read on to learn whether you’ll need to provide biometrics before your trip to Canada or if you're eligible to apply online for an eTA!

Canada Visa Biometrics

You may have heard about the Canadian government?s new policy of requiring travelers to provide something called ?biometrics? when entering the country. This can sound a bit complicated if you?re not familiar with the subject. So in this post, we break down the biometrics process, and who is (and is not!) required to submit their biometrics.

While many types of travelers that go to Canada are required to submit biometric information, there are different rules for travelers from approved countries who are traveling to Canada on an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). 

Read on to learn whether you?ll need to provide biometrics before your trip. Or if you can apply online for eTA to Canada using our website. eTA applicants can complete the process at home in just a couple of minutes online! If you're eligible for eTA, you'll be able to avoid the appointment and you will get your visa via e-mail!

What is ?biometrics??

In 2018, the Canadian government adopted the practice of collecting biometrics from certain travelers that visit Canada. But what is biometrics? And who is required to give biometric information?

The word ?biometrics,? in a general sense, still means a series of measurements about a person, which are unique to that person. When it comes to the Canadian government, however, ?biometrics? simply means:

  • Fingerprints
  • A photo was taken according to official specifications

If you?re one of the travelers thats visiting Canada and is required to provide your biometrics to the Canadian government, you can?t just do it from home. You must go to an official biometrics collection service point and participate in a standardized procedure.

However, the biometrics requirement is only for certain types of travelers. Please remember that not all Canada travelers must submit biometrics in order to receive an eTA. Read on to discover whether you fit the criteria for avoiding the biometric requirement.

But wait. My passport is already ?biometric?. Is that different?

Yes, a biometric passport is something else entirely. The term ?biometric,? when applied to passports, simply means that the passport carries a chip with information about the passport holder. Biometric passports are also called e-passports, ePassports, and digital passports.

The ?biometrics? that the Canadian government is looking for is different. Travelers that wish to visit Canada and who are required to give their biometric data must show up in person to an official biometric data collection service point and go through an official process of supplying their fingerprints and personal information.

How do travelers provide their biometrics?

Travelers to Canada responsible for providing the biometric data must go through an official process. Please note! Fingerprints and photo biometrics must be given in person.

There are 5 steps to giving biometrics:

  1. Identify whether you?re a traveler who is required to provide biometrics (more on that below)
  2. Pay your biometrics fee. This fee must be submitted with your visa application
  3. Receive your instruction letter. The letter will confirm whether you need to submit biometrics, and also inform you of the closest official biometrics collection service point within your area
  4. Next, you need to make an appointment to give your biometrics (give your fingerprints and a photograph) with the Visa Application Centre (VAC) near you
  5. Arrive at any of the Visa Application centres near you at the appointed time and participate in the official appointment

But wait, you may not have to provide your biometric data at all. The next two sections discuss who is and is not, responsible for supplying biometrics to the Canadian government.

Who has to give biometrics?

Please remember that there are several categories of travelers that visit Canada that may need to provide biometrics to the Canadian government. These travelers are typically traveling to Canada for more than just short visits.

Canada typically seeks the biometric data from visitors who are seeking:

  • a study or work permit
  • work or study permit extensions
  • visitor visas
  • visitor visa extensions
  • permanent residence
  • refugee or asylum status

Remember that you need to schedule a biometrics appointment in any of the Visa Application place.

Please note that travelers to Canada who have already given their biometrics within the last 10 years probably do not need to give their biometrics again. And, if you are already eligible for an eTA, you most likely do not need to provide your biometrics. The next section covers travelers that wish to see Canada and who are exempt from the biometrics requirement.

Who doesn?t have to give biometrics?

Please note! Many Canada travelers may not be required to give their biometric data if they come from pre-approved countries are traveling on an eTA. In other words, all visa-exempt nationals holding an eTA are exempt from the biometrics requirement.

Apply online for eTA using our website to get the best visa services out there. e-Visa to Canada arrives at the applicants e-mail addressess in a PDF form. eTA holders may visit Canada numerous times during the 5-year validity period.

Applicants can stay in Canada each time for up to 6 months.

Am I exempt from the biometrics requirement?

Check our Evisa Express page,, for a list of countries whose citizens are eligible for an eTA. If your country of citizenship is on that list, you don?t have to provide your biometric data at all.

Please note that there are other exceptions of travelers who can avoid the appointment:

  • travelers who have already given their biometrics within the last 10 years to the Canadian government
  • permanent residents of Canada

I?m exempt! What?s the next step?

If your trip to Canada is coming up, the next step is to apply online for your eTA with Evisa Express. With your valid passport and trip itinerary on hand, our application form is quick and easy to complete.

Our average processing time for applications is only 16 hours, and our success rate is 98%. Plus, our support team is available 24/7 for all inquiries involving each application and approved eTAs. Please get in contact with us in case of any questions or doubts.

Final Words

Find out if you're eligible and get your eTA permit using our website to receive your Canadian visa within a few hours via e-mail!

All applicants may choose from several online payment methods available on our website to complete the online application process. Avoid a stressful appointment and get your visa to Canada without leaving your home.

Our visa services grant the highest quality visa handling experience out there! eTA to Canada stays effective for 5 years from issuing. 

Evisa Express: You take care of your trip; we take care of your visa.

Dawid Stawiarski
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