Canada has resumed the collection of biometric data from applicants for temporary residence from within the country.
Collections were suspended three years ago due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The government of Canada is resuming the collection of biometrics for individuals in Canada who are applying for temporary residence,” notes Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on its website.
“Individuals who apply for temporary residence on or after Feb. 23, 2023, need to provide their biometrics.”
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Biometrics are being requested again for those wanting:
There are exemptions to the need to provide biometrics and these include:
- Canadian citizens, citizenship applicants (including passport applicants), or existing permanent residents;
- visa-exempt nationals coming to Canada to visit only;
- children under the age of 14;
- applicants over the age of 79 (there is no upper age exemption for asylum claimants);
- heads of state and heads of government;
- applicants who qualify for or hold a diplomatic or official visa;
- American visa holders transiting through Canada;
- refugee claimants or protected persons who have already provided biometrics and are applying for a study or work permit, and;
- temporary resident applicants who have already provided biometrics in support of a permanent resident application that is still in progress.
On July 15, 2020, the IRCC put in place the temporary policy, now reversed, of exempting those who were applying for temporary residence in Canada from within the country from providing biometrics when Canada closed biometric collection locations across Canada due to public health restrictions due to Covid-19.
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“Temporary residence applicants can give their biometrics at one of over 70 Service Canada Centre collection sites across Canada,” notes the IRCC. “Applicants must book an appointment before visiting a biometrics collection site.”
In the first year of the pandemic, overall immigration to Canada plummeted from 341,175 new permanent residents in 2019, the last full year before the arrival of the coronavirus, to only 184,595 newcomers.
The following year, overall immigration roared back to life with what was then a new record of 406,040 new permanent residents in 2021.
Ottawa is hoping to bring in 1.45 million immigrants within three years.
In its 2023-2025 Immigration Levels Plan, Ottawa has set the target for 2023 at 465,000 new permanent residents. The country is to welcome 485,000 new permanent residents in 2024 and another 500,000 in 2025.
Century Initiative Wants Canadian Population To Hit 100 Million By Turn Of Century
That’s a total of 1.45 million immigrants to Canada over the coming three years.
Immigration to Canada is now in line with the recommendations of the Century Initiative, a non-profit organization which wants the country to more than double its population to 100 million by the year 2100. In its 2019 report, For A Bigger, Bolder Canada: Long-term Thinking, the organization encouraged the government to increase immigration levels.
The current population of Canada is estimated to be a shade over 38.6 million. The Century Initiative touts population growth as vital for the country’s economic growth and prosperity.
“Growing our population to 100 million by 2100 would reduce the burden on government revenues to fund healthcare, old age security, and other services. It would also mean more skilled workers, innovation, and dynamism in the Canadian economy,” notes the organization on its website.