As of November 30, Service Canada will reopen its Appointment System for scheduling biometrics appointments online. Since September 2020, Service Canada officers have been calling IRCC clients to schedule biometrics appointments. However, effective November 30, clients who have not yet been contacted can use the online scheduling tool to book their biometrics appointment, as stated in the Biometrics Instruction Letter (BIL), which should be faster and more efficient than waiting for a call from IRCC officers.
IRCC has advised that clients should choose the closest Service Canada office to them for their appointment. Only clients with appointments will be able to use the service, as walk-in service is not available.
Permanent residence applicants who have not enrolled their biometrics within the past 10 years will require an appointment to fulfill the biometric requirement of their application.
Recent IRCC policies exempting temporary residence applicants in Canada, and permanent residence applicants who have enrolled their biometrics in the last 10 years, continue to be in effect.
Biometrics exemptions for temporary residents were put in place in July 2020 for individuals who are in Canada and are applying for one of the following:
- an extension of a work permit
- a new work permit
- an extension of a study permit
- a new study permit
- a visitor visa
- a visitor record to allow you to stay in Canada as a temporary resident
- restoration (extension) of temporary resident status
- a temporary resident permit
In September 2020, biometrics exemptions were announced for permanent residence applicants who have enrolled their biometrics in the last 10 years. Applicants are exempt under this public policy from the requirement to give their biometrics if they have both of the following:
- a new or pending application for permanent residence made from within or outside Canada
- already submitted their biometrics in support of an immigration application within the last 10 years
Health and safety protocols are in place in Service Canada Centres, and clients need to follow all applicable public health guidelines.