The Canadian government has announced changes to the existing Canadian immigration rules. Citizenship and Immigration Canada will soon require visitors to undergo biometric scanning in order to obtain Canadian visas.

At this point Citizenship and Immigration Canada has yet to comment as to which countries will have new biometric requirements for Canadian visas. A decision as to which countries will be required to conduct biometric scans will likely come only in early fall or in 2012. While the structure of the program has not been confirmed, Citizenship and Immigration Canada has stated that the Canadian government has committed over $174 million to implement biometric scanning over the next five years starting in 2013.

Biometric scans create digital identification records using a scan of the face, fingerprints, or retinas of the individual. The movement towards biometrics dates back to 2008 when Citizenship and Immigration Canada noted the increased reliability and convenience associated with biometrics. The reliability of biometrics was also championed as a way to offset the increasingly sophisticated and expensive methods used by criminals to move individuals and goods across the border. The use of biometrics makes it virtually impossible for an individual to travel with stolen or duplicated documents. Currently Canadian border agents are forced to rely solely on photo identification to verify the identity of individuals before them.

While useful in combatting immigration fraud, the increased use of biometrics will also serve to facilitate the processing of legitimate applicants. The ease and convenience of biometrics will ultimately result in the expedited issuing of Canadian visas and processing at the border. Biometrics use can create increased efficiency as a result of the speed and ease in which biometric information can be checked against multiple criminal or terrorist databases. Many countries, including Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom, have moved towards biometrics in their own immigration processes.

About FWCanada:
As one of the most trusted Canadian immigration law firms, FWCanada will ensure that your application receives impeccable attention to detail. Our mission is to provide high quality legal services, in a transparent and efficient manner. Unfortunately, fraudulent and ineffective practice exists in most industries and Canadian immigration is no exception. Only lawyers who are members in good standing of a Canadian bar association, or members of the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants are legally authorized to represent clients for the purposes of Canadian immigration. As the legal representative of all FWCanada clients, Attorney Marisa Feil has distinguished herself as a respected authority on Canadian immigration law. She is frequently contacted by government officials and other Canadian immigration lawyers for her expertise.

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