As part of expanding Canada biometrics program, nine additional Visa Application Centres (VACs) will be opened in Africa, Middle East and Europe. Biometrics is the measurement of unique physical characteristics of applicants for Canadian immigration programs. Biometrics includes fingerprints and a photograph of the face.
VACs are privately owned, third-party service providers who give administrative support to Canada visa applicants. These centers are located across the world.
Canada currently collects biometrics from 30 foreign nationalities applying for temporary resident visa, work permit and study permit. From July 31st onwards, citizens of countries in Europe, Africa and Middle East will have to provide biometrics while applying for Canada visa. As part of this expansion plan of Canada biometrics program, new VACs will be opened in:
- Kigali, Rwanda
- Stockholm, Sweden
- Tel Aviv, Israel
- Athens, Greece
- Berlin, Germany
- Lyon, France
- Vienna, Austria
- Antananarivo, Madagascar
- Cape Town, South Africa
The VACs in Kigali, Stockholm and Tel Aviv will be opened by mid-September 2018. The VACs in Athens, Berlin, Lyon and Vienna will be opened in November 2018 and those in Antananarivo and Cape Town will be opened in December 2018. Canada is planning to open more VACs in 2019. More VACs means extended hours of operation and more points of service. This will make the process of applying for a Canadian visa or permit easier and more convenient.
From July 31st till the opening of the VACs, some Canadian embassies in Europe will run interim biometrics collection service points for the applicants who have received a Biometrics Instruction Letter.
Before providing the biometrics in support of visa application, the applicants must first apply for visa on the website of Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada or by mail and receive a Biometrics Instruction Letter.
In India, biometric service points are located in:
- New Delhi
In the United Arab Emirates, biometrics service points are located in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
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