In recent weeks, more Visa Application Centres (VACs) around the world have been re-opening to provide services to those looking to come to Canada. VACs enable individuals to submit their biometrics as part of the requirements outlined by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Individuals provide their fingerprints, photos, and pay a fee as part of the biometrics collection process. Canada obtains biometrics to make it easier and safer to travel into the country.
Since March, VACs have been closed as part of global measures to contain the coronavirus. The list of open VACs is constantly being updated on IRCC’s website so the following list may not contain every VAC that is currently opened:
Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Barbados, China, Fiji, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Thailand, The Netherlands, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates.
South Africa VACs remain temporarily closed until further notice. If needed, the VAC will contact you to reschedule your appointment. IRCC continues to provide updates to those who are unable to submit their biometrics at this time.
It will not refuse the application of an individual who is unable to provide their biometrics. IRCC will leave their applications open by providing them with automatic extensions on their biometrics deadlines. Individuals do not have to give their biometrics until VAC sites re-open and they do not need to contact IRCC to request an extension on their deadline.
Temporary foreign workers (TFWs) are exempt from providing their biometrics overseas if their local VAC is closed and they are set to work in Canada as truck drivers, or in the health care or agriculture sectors. If they have not provided their biometrics to Canada before, exempt TFWs can do so when they get to Canada.
IRCC has also indicated they are considering additional reforms to help individuals complete the biometrics process more easily during the COVID-19 pandemic.
(Source: Canadian Immigration News, edited)