Immigration Canada (IRCC) recently released some first post-election regulations updates. The two most important updates are regarding biometrics and flag-poling.
Foreign Nationals Applying for A Visa Within Canada Need to Provide Biometrics
To increase the security and safety of Canadians, the federal government started to collect fingerprints and digital photos from the foreign nationals coming to the country as temporary workers, international students, visitors, and immigrants. In 2018, Ottawa introduced requirements for biometrics for the applicants applying outside Canada. Canada has already opened 160 visa application centres (VAC) in 108 countries across the globe to collect biometrics.
Before December 2019, applicants within Canada were exempt from providing biometrics. On December 3, IRCC officially published that beginning that date, foreign workers and students, visa-required visitors, and permanent residents will need to submit their fingerprints and photo (biometrics) along with their applications when applying from within Canada. The update also includes those foreigners who apply for the extension of their work and study permits or visitor records.
To make the biometrics submission more convenient, IRCC designated 58 Service Canada locations across the country where applicants will be able to submit their biometrics. The fee for biometrics for a single person is $85 CAD. The fee for a family of two or more people is $170 CAD.
Canada Is Partly Banning the Flag-Poling
Flag-poling is a fast-track opportunity for the foreign nationals who are in Canada and whose application has been approved to immediately receive a desired status document. This was a time-saving alternative to applying to Immigration Canada for a new study or work permit or to validate the Confirmation of the Permanent Residence.
The processing times at the Immigration Department can take months and to get your document or schedule an appointment in the immigration office it is additional waiting time.
According to the figures by IRCC, as of November 19, 87,148 people are waiting for work permits and 32,542 people are waiting to get their study permits. Also, as of September 30, another 9,580 people are waiting for permanent residency appointments.
The flag-poling is a trip to the nearest Canadian Port of Entry on land (not the airport) without entrance to the United States. Candidates literally exit Canada but do not enter the USA. One should also note, that if you don’t have a visa to the US, you will get a formal denial of entry from the American Border Service. This means you need to report it in all your future trips.
Canadian Border Service Agency (CBSA) started to reduce the number of flag-poling candidates in Southern Ontario and Quebec complaining about the volume of such travellers. CBSA is constantly forcing the IRCC to ban flag-poling as it increases the workload of CBSA.
On November 15, IRCC issued a notice to all international student advisers across the country about the regulations for international students who want to save time and apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) at the border. IRCC clearly stated that foreign graduates should not apply for a PGWP at the at a port of entry. This method of application has been banned!
Do you have any questions about the biometrics inside and outside Canada? Looking for information about your work or study permit or how to quickly validate your PR? Contact Path Advisers and we will help you to obtain your documents!