Do I need to give IRCC my photo and fingerprints during COVID-19?

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is contacting some people to make an appointment to give their “biometrics”. Biometrics refers to your photo and your fingerprints. Make sure that IRCC has your correct contact information. If you need to update your information, you can use the IRCC web form.

If IRCC gave you an appointment, go to your appointment.

If you receive a biometrics instruction letter from IRCC, you can book your appointment using this tool.

You can't submit your biometrics to Service Canada without an appointment.

You don't have to give biometrics if you are:

  • a child under 14 years,
  • an applicant over 79 years,
  • a refugee claimant who already gave biometrics for a work or study permit application, or
  • someone from visa-exempt countries coming to visit Canada.

You can check the full list to see if you meet an exemption.

Exceptions during COVID-19
During COVID-19, you don't need to have your photograph taken. This is because you must wear a face mask at your biometrics appointment for health and safety reasons. But you must let IRCC take your fingerprints. IRCC will complete your application using only your fingerprints at this time.

If you applied for status in Canada, you may be exempt from giving biometrics if:

  • you have a new or pending application for permanent residence, and
  • you gave biometrics for another application within the last 10 years.

Use the Check Status tool to see if your biometrics are still valid.

This exemption is a temporary policy during COVID-19.

If you applied for temporary status during COVID-19, you also don't have to give biometrics. This temporary measure applies if you are in Canada, and you're applying:

  • for a work or study permit
  • for a visitor visa
  • for a permit (TRP)
  • to extend your student, worker, or visitor status
  • to restore your student, worker, or visitor status

Biometrics fees

Some biometrics offices are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Check here to see where you can give your biometrics.

Your application won't be refused or closed if you can't give your biometrics because of COVID-19 office closures.

If you're applying for permanent resident status in Canada, you must pay the $85 biometrics fee when you submit your application. After you apply, you'll get information about how to give your biometrics.

If you applied for temporary status in Canada, you don't need to pay the $85 biometrics fee. Even if the IRCC system tells you to, you don't have to pay. You can include a letter with your application that states this. If you do pay, IRCC will refund the fee when they finalize your application.

If you were already given more time to give your biometrics, you don't need to ask for another extension.

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