Biometrics now required for citizens from all non-visa exempt countries
Immigration Canada has recently announced the dates for a change in policy that may have a serious impact on your plans to work, visit or study in Canada.
Who is Affected by the Change in Policy?
As early as this July, biometric data will be required from applicants travelling to Canada from all countries that are not visa-exempt. Biometric data requires the submission of both a photograph of the applicant and their fingerprints. Biometrics will be required once every 10 years. This move represents a marked shift in Canada’s security policies which may have unintentional and serious effects on your application.
Visa-Exempt Countries (highlighted in Green)
How Will These Changes Affect Your Application?
The biometric data that you provide will help Canada verify your identity and confirm the information that you have submitted. The purpose of this is to avoid fraud and screen for previous criminality. The Canadian government will share biometric data with USA, Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand.
If you have committed a crime in the past, these new measures will greatly enhance Canada’s ability to uncover your criminal history. If you have a criminal record, you will be found Criminally inadmissible to Canada.
How to Overcome Criminal Inadmissibility to Canada?
If you have committed a crime in the past, we advise against purchasing a flight to Canada until you have resolved your criminal inadmissibility; this may take up to 6 months. Depending on the nature of the conviction, the place of conviction, the time that has passed since being convicted, end of parole and the time served, individuals have several options to overcome their inadmissibility to Canada.
Temporary Residence Permit
A TRP grants an individual legal entry to Canada despite the fact that the individual is inadmissible. A TRP is given at the discretion of Canadian Immigration Authorities to individuals that demonstrate compelling circumstances for their visit to Canada. It is important to have a properly prepared application stating valid reasons and justification for gaining entry to Canada. A TRP is required if less than five years has passed since the end of sentencing or parole.
If more than 5 years has passed since the crime, an individual can apply for Criminal rehabilitation to permanently cure their Criminal Inadmissibility to Canada. This involves a formal application process, and can take up to 6 months to process. In order to apply for individual rehabilitation, individuals must be able to show that they meet the relevant criteria. These are: that they have been rehabilitated; that they are unlikely to take part in future crimes; at least 5 years has passed since the end of the criminal sentence, including probation; and that at least five years has passed since they committed the original crime.
A person can be deemed rehabilitated if 10 years has passed since they committed a crime. In order to be deemed rehabilitated, a person must have committed a only 1 crime, and it comes with a jail term of less than ten years, or less than five years depending on the crime.
How can we help?
An application prepared by our team of immigration professionals will help you avoid mistakes that could result in inadmissibility to Canada. If you have already made a mistake on an application to enter Canada, but before you are found to have misrepresented, you will be given an opportunity to respond to IRCC’s concerns. This process is known as “procedural fairness” and it is important to be aware of the timeline given for a response to the IRCC. Please contact us immediately for assistance, as time is of the essence in cases like these. Misrepresentation findings will have significant impact on all future interactions with the IRCC and the CBSA, and can lead to a 5 year ban. It is important to carefully address these allegations in a timely manner as delaying or not responding could have severe consequences.
Contact us for assistance in overcoming your inadmissibility issues.
Matkowsky and Associates