TORONTO: Though Canada has not confirmed it yet, it is likely to soon introduce fingerprinting for Indian citizens seeking Canadian visas.
The new measure is part of Canadian plans to boost border security and check immigration fraud. India, which is the second biggest source of immigration for Canada, will the first country to be subjected to fingerprinting.
Though most Indo-Canadians welcomed the move, they cautioned the Canadian government about its implementation.
Mississauga-based immigration consultant Sheetal Jhuti said, "I personally don't think fingerprinting is a big deal. The process and procedures to safeguard visas is not an issue. Let there be more safety."
But there are two issues for the Canadian government to address first, Jain said. "One, deal with granting of visitor visas in India in a better and positive manner as the denial rate is ridiculous.
"Two, biometrics should be implemented for everybody, not a select few. India's borders make it relevant unfortunately, but it (India) is not the largest source country for refugee or unwanted elements. Countries such as Algeria and from the Middle East are the ones that need stricter controls."
Toronto-based Arvind Vijh, director for India Services Group at Deloitte, saw no problem with the Canadian move. "Those abusing the system need to be stopped. Fingerprinting makes air travel safer for everyone since identity of every traveler is verified."
Calling it a positive development for business travelers, he said, "Once biometrics are in the system, business people should be able to get long-term multiple-entry visas. This move will increase business flows and opportunities."
Kalyan Sundram, of the Canada-India Foundation, said, "Biometrics is here to stay, even though it is being debated in India. It is important for the Canadian government to fully test it out internally (like any product) before putting together a fair schedule of global implementation, which avoids misinterpretations in friendly nations like India."
According to businessman Hemant Shah, "Biometric identification is merely using technology to check fraudulent passage into a country. It is more scientific and reduces chances of human errors. I do not see the move ruffling any feathers in India, where people are remarkably aware of genuine concerns of countries such as Canada.
"As far as diplomatic or trade relations between the two countries getting impacted, I am confident of the Canadian immigration authorities are doing a thorough study before introducing it."
However, Kam Rathee, vice-chairman of the Canada-India Education Council, seemed to be unhappy about the move.
"Canada should introduce fingerprinting all across the board for all suspect countries at the same time instead of singling out India. Putting India in the same list as rogue countries and not including China and Mexico in it will be a setback to Canada- India business relations, which we are so strenuously trying to nurture."
Source : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/nri/us-canada-news/Indians-seeking-Canadian-visas-likely-to-face-fingerprinting/articleshow/8750791.cms