Biometrics no longer required for some Canadian PR applicants.

Canada has announced that it will no longer require biometrics from certain applicants for Canadian permanent residence if they have submitted their biometrics in another application within the last ten years. This is the latest measure designed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to mitigate the impact of coronavirus restrictions.


The exemption was announced in a public policy that became effective immediately on September 22 and remains until further notice. It covers permanent residence applicants who previously provided biometrics within the last 10 years.

Foreign nationals who are both inside or outside Canada are covered by the exemption.


According to IRCC:

As a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, most biometrics collection service points were temporarily closed. There is uncertainty as to when the full complement of biometric collection services in Canada and overseas will reopen and operate at full capacity. In the meantime, there is a growing inventory of applications for permanent residence that cannot be finalized because applicants are unable to fulfill the biometrics requirement.

IRCC recognized that many of these applicants have, within the last 10 years, provided their biometric information in support of a claim, application or request under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

You may pre-qualify for a Canada immigration program.

Accordingly, in lieu of a new biometrics collection, the foreign national’s previously enrolled biometric information can now be linked to their pending or new application for permanent residence.


Canada has already exempted foreign workers from providing biometrics due to its recognition that COVID-19 disruptions may prevent them from doing so.

Eligible applicants

Foreign nationals are exempt from the biometrics collection requirement whether inside or outside Canada if they have both

  • a pending or new application for permanent residence
  • previously provided their biometrics within the 10-year period before the day on which they made the current permanent residence application

Effective date

The public policy, which supports the instructions, came into effect on September 10, 2020, and was operationalized on September 22, 2020, after changes were made to GCMS. It remains in effect until it is revoked by the Minister. See Biometric exemption for permanent residence applicants with previous biometrics on file: COVID-19 program delivery

You may pre-qualify for a Canada immigration program.