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  • Writer's pictureFarah Farhat

Essential Workers Temporarily exempt from Giving Biometrics Overseas

For those who are not familiar with the term (Biometrics) and who must provide it, here is a glance at it.

Biometrics: During the biometrics session, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) collect the biometrics information from the applicant. This includes:

  • Biographic data: Name, date of birth, and other personal details of an applicant as listed on the biographic data page of the applicant’s passport or travel document.

  • 10 fingerprints: Captured electronically using an electronic fingerprint-capture device.

  • Photograph: Digital photograph of the applicant.

Biometrics has a validity of 10 years. Once provided, the applicant can benefit from this validity period.

As to who must provide his biometrics, this includes all foreign nationals between the ages of 14 and 79 who are applying for, claiming or requesting temporary residence (excluding United States nationals), permanent residence or refugee protection.

That being said, and during the COVID-19 related visa service interruptions, the IRCC have temporarily exempted some temporary foreign workers from having to provide biometrics before coming to Canada.

Conditions apply. This exemption applies to essential workers in specific categories, including workers in the agricultural and healthcare fields as well as the occupations supporting these industries, and where these workers are coming from countries where Visa Application Centers (VACs) are temporarily closed.

Yet, the foreign national must be coming on a valid work permit, and the NOC (National Occupation Classification) code for his occupation falls under one of the three following categories: 

  1. Agricultural and agri-food sectors

  2. Health-care sector

  3. Truck drivers

And must still abide by the 14-day quarantine isolation where the employer has an obligation to provide suitable accommodations to allow the worker to self-isolate and comply with this mandatory requirement.  

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