Thursday, September 05, 2013
Beginning yesterday, Jamaicans travelling to Canada for visits, work
or study were required to provide their biometrics under new regulations
enforced by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).
to the Canadian High Commission in Kingston, Jamaicans will be required
to give fingerprints and photographic data when whey apply for visas and
“This new requirement will not only help protect the
safety and security of Canadians while helping to facilitate legitimate
travel, it will also protect prospective visitors by making it more
difficult for others to forge, steal or use an applicant’s identity to
gain access to Canada. In the long run, the use of this information will
make entry to Canada easier by providing a reliable tool to readily
confirm a person’s identity,” the high commission said in a press
release, on Tuesday.
“Applicants under the age of 14 and over the
age of 79 will not have to give their biometric information. Diplomats
and government officials travelling on official business are also
exempt,” the release added.
Other countries that are affected by
the new regulations include Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Bangladesh,
Burma (Myanmar), Cambo-dia, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo,
Egypt, Eritrea, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Laos, Lebanon, Libya,
Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sri
Lanka, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Vietnam, and Yemen.
high commission said border services officers at Canada’s port of
entries “will use the biometric information to confirm” the identity of
individuals. ‘The traveller may also have to give their fingerprints as
part of the process to enter Canada,” the high commission said.
are required to go “in person” to a visa application centre to submit
their applications and give their fingerprints and have their photograph
“There is a biometric fee of CAD$85, which includes
applications services at the VAC. Family members who apply together for a
visitor visa will pay a maximum fee of CAD$170,” the high commission
The use of biometrics as an identity management tool
will bring Canada in line with many other countries that are now using,
or preparing to use, biometrics in immigration and border management.
These include the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New
Zealand, countries in the European Union Schengen Zone, Japan, South
Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Malay-sia, and Saudi Arabia.
making the initial announcement last year, Canada’s Citizenship,
Immi-gration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney emphasised that
the biometrics “will facilitate legitimate travel to Canada”.
explained then that once an individual arrives in Canada, their
biometric data will be checked to ensure that the individual who was
approved to travel is in fact the same person who is entering Canada.
will strengthen and modernise Canada’s immigration system,” said
Minister Kenney. “Our doors are open to legitimate travellers and,
through the use of biometrics, we will also be able to protect the
safety and security of Canadians.