Biometrics part of Canada’s screening process for Syrian refugees

December 9, 2015 - 

The Canadian government is collecting biometric information from refugees headed to Canada under the government-assisted refugee aspect of the Syrian resettlement program, according to a report by CTV News.

Initially referred to Canada by the United Nations refugee agency, the refugee cases are then sent to a military facility located in Amman, Jordan for processing.

Under the extensive screening process, families are required to fill out forms with assistance provided by the International Organization for Migration and the Danish Refugee Council, have their photograph taken, submit their biometrics data, participate in an interview and undergo a medical examination.

The biometric data will then be checked against a global database of suspected terrorists and criminals as a security precaution.

Upon completion of this process, refugee applicants are “checked out” of the facility and informed that they will be contacted for follow ups or notified of approval, at which point their flights will be arranged.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has established temporary ports of entry at both Toronto Pearson International Airport and Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, where refugees will undergo a three- to four-hour screening process, according to a report by CTV.

The CBSA said that it will also use fingerprint readers to confirm the identities of all asylum-seekers upon arrival.

Previously reported, biometrics data collection including iris authentication and DNA testing may soon be added to the already comprehensive application process for refugees seeking asylum in the United States.

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.