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As of September 5th, 2013, citizens of specified countries must now provide biometric data when coming to Canada as visitors, students, or temporary workers.

The biometric requirements are being implemented in stages. The following chart outlines which nationalities require biometric data, as well as the date when this requirement will become effective:

Country Effective Date (all dates 2013)
Afghanistan December 11
Albania October 23
Algeria October 23
Bangladesh December 11
Burma (Myanmar) December 11
Colombia September 4
Democratic Republic of Congo October 23
Egypt December 11
Eritrea October 23
Haiti September 4
Iran December 11
Iraq December 11
Jamaica September 4
Jordan December 11
Laos December 11
Lebanon December 11
Libya October 23
Nigeria October 23
Pakistan December 11
Palestinian Authority December 11
Saudi Arabia October 23
Somalia October 23
South Sudan October 23
Sri Lanka December 11
Sudan October 23
Syria December 11
Tunisia October 23
Vietnam December 11
Yemen December 11


Individuals who require biometric data must visit the Visa Application Centre (VAC) or Visa Office responsible for their area of residence outside of Canada. They will be required to provide fingerprints and to have photographs taken.

There are some cases where a citizen of a designated country will not be required to provide biometrics. An individual is exempt if s/he:

  • Is under 14 years old or 80 years old and over;
  • Is a diplomat, consular officer, or representative of
    • A country;
    • The United Nations;
    • An intergovernmental organization that Canada is a member of,

And is travelling to Canada on official business

  • Is applying for a transit visa of less than 48 hours, directly to/from the United States and hold a valid United States entry visa; or
  • Is already in Canada and eligible to apply as a visitor, student, or foreign worker.