The Government of Canada has posted proposed regulation changes in the Canada Gazette that will require some visitors to provide biometric information (ie. finger prints, iris scans) in addition to their visa applications beginning later this year. These changes will not impact visitors from the U.S., visitors eligible to travel on the eTA program, anyone who already has a valid visa, or anyone who does not already require a visa. The regulations will come into effect in July 2018, but will not be rolled out in countries such as India or China until December 2018.
TIAC will be filing comments asking Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to consult and communicate with TIAC and other travel and tourism stakeholders to ensure that there are no unintended consequences with visitor processing. TIAC has long supported and advocated for the use of technology in streamlining the visa application process and facilitating the movement of people across borders. While biometric information collection during the visa application process may be a step forward, we urge the government to take this opportunity to simplify the visitor visa application process in priority markets to reduce processing times.
Anyone wishing to comment on the proposed changes or raise concerns can address them through the Canada Gazette until May 7th, 2018, or contact TIAC’s Public Affairs department in advance of the deadline.