The number of Visa Application Centres (VACs) that Canada operates around the world will be expanding from 137 in 95 countries, to 157 in 105 countries, in order to support its increased collection of biometrics data for visitors to the country.
Among the new countries on the list will be Greece, where a centre is to open in Athens in November.
According to a Canadian government announcement, the new biometrics data collection requirements will come into force on July 31 for refugee resettlement applicants and people from countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East who are applying for a temporary resident visa, work permit or study permit.
A Biometrics Instruction Letter will be sent to applicants applying online or by mail, directing them to visit a VAC to provide their fingerprints and a photo. The applications themselves must then be submitted separately.
The system applies to visitors from Asia, the Asia-Pacific region and the Americas, as of Dec. 31.
In addition to Canada, the biometrics data collected by Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship will also be shared between ‘Migration 5 Partners’ which are the United States, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
The announcement by the Canadian government to substantially expand
its biometrics data collection of visitors to the country came earlier this year; applicants will have to pay a fee of CAD$85 (US$66) to cover the program’s cost.