Canada to mandate biometric collection from visa applicants in 29 countries
As reported previously in BiometricUpdate.com, beginning in 2013, Canada will require biometric information from nationals of 29 different countries when applying for temporary visas, as a part of the Temporary Resident Biometrics Project (TRBP).
The Toronto Star reported Monday that there are 29 countries listed in this program, and are mostly from Asia, Africa and the Middle East, but the biometrics requirement will also extend to Haiti, Jamaica and Columbia.
“Biometrics will strengthen and modernize Canada’s immigration system,” Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said, “Our doors are open to legitimate travellers and, through the use of biometrics, we will also be able to protect the safety and security of Canadians.”
According to the article, the countries that will be a part of this program were selected for their volumes or rates of visa refusals, removal orders, refugees and nationals arriving without proper documentation or attempting to travel under false identities, along with their relevance to Canada’s foreign and trade policy considerations.
As listed in CICS News, these rules will apply to citizens of the following 29 countries: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Cambodia, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Vietnam and Yemen.
The Toronto Star article also reported that those who qualify for Canada’s biometric program will have to pay an extra $85 to have their biometrics collected when they apply.
Also starting in 2013, Canada’s Passport Office will start issuing higher-security 10-year electronic passports to all Canadians.