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According to a recent press release from Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the government will begin including biometrics in its temporary resident program sometime in 2013.
If you are from a certain visa-required country and come to Canada on a visitor visa, study visa or work permit, you will be required to submit these biometric data for your visa. This information is used by the Canada Border Services Agency to verify your identity as well as ensure you are admissible to Canada.
Biometric data are used to reduce fraud and ensure that someone is who they say they are. They will also be used to help strengthen the integrity of Canada’s immigration system by preventing people who have previously been deported, failed refugee claimants or known criminals from entering Canada under a new name or by using fraudulent documents.
Many other countries currently use biometrics in their immigration and border management efforts. Some of these countries include Malaysia, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Japan, many European Countries, the united States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.
“Personal information of applicants will be used, retained, shared and disposed of in accordance with Canada’s privacy legislation,” says the press release from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. “CIC and its partners are working closely with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner to ensure robust privacy protection for biometric data. Technological safeguards will ensure that client information is collected, stored and transmitted securely.
This is all kinds of scary, but the trend is in biometrics in almost every security industry. Let’s hope there is not too much abuse. I say too much because let’s be realistic. There will be abuse but that is why we have the rule of law and the courts. With every new technology there becomes a new area of law that, in democratic societies, are designed to protect the public.
Do you have questions about these changes to Canada’s immigration system? Contact us, we can answer them!
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