Your gateway to Canada


Immigration Newsweek



By Atty. Henry Moyal


The pandemic has caused havoc for applicants who have applied to come to Canada and for those who are in Canada waiting for their applications to be processed.

The difficulty such applicants face is not so much the delayed processing but Biometrics collection. Under new rules, all applicants must have their photos and fingerprints taken at an approved Service Canada location in Canada or VAC office outside of Canada when applying for any type of visa. Many applicants have paid the $85 Biometrics fee and received a letter demanding them to provide Biometrics within 30 days. The problem is that all Service Canada / VAC offices have been closed since March 2020. So how is a person suppose to do their Biometrics? Canada Immigration has clearly stated that the deadline imposed on Biometric letters are automatically extended but there is no indication as to when offices will be open to accept appointments for Biometrics.

This week however, Canada Immigration announced two key changes to those requiring to provide Biometrics.



  • Biometric Exemption for Permanent Residence Applicants with previous biometrics on file

PR applicants are now exempt from the Biometrics collection requirement whether they are  inside or outside Canada if they have both:

·         a pending or new application for permanent residence, and

·         previously provided their biometrics for any type of previous visa within the last 10 years


2)      Permanent Residence Applicants in Canada with no previous Biometrics on file


If you are in Canada, have applied for permanent residence and received a biometric instruction letter (BIL) Service Canada officers will call you at the telephone number you provided in your application to schedule your biometrics appointment. There is no additional fee to pay, and you don’t need a new BIL. Service Canada will start calling those who have been waiting the longest to give their biometrics, based on date application was submitted and location of residence.

You will need your IRCC application file number to schedule an appointment and no additional fee is required. Service Canada will not ask for any financial information.

It is important to note that for the time being applicants under this program should not contact Service Canada directly and should wait until they are contacted.


Attorney Henry Moyal is a certified and licensed immigration lawyer in Toronto, Ontario.
The above article is general advice only and is not intended to act as a legal document.
Send questions to Attorney Moyal by email or call 416 733 3193