News Articles

New Visa Application Centres open in Asia-Pacific, the Americas, Europe and Africa

Source: PRNewswire, 02/11/2018

Collecting biometrics provides many benefits: It stops those who pose a risk to the safety and security of Canadians, while also helping officials better manage applicants` identities, facilitating application processing, and simplifying entry for travellers with legitimate identities. As most applicants need to give their biometrics before they come to Canada, the Government of Canada is expanding its worldwide network of Visa Application Centres (VACs) to make services more accessible to a wider audience. Today, new VACs have opened in the following locations: • In Asia Pacific: Bali, Indonesia; Melbourne, Australia; • In the Americas: Mendoza, Argentina; Porto Alegre and Recife, Brazil; Cali, Colombia; Santiago, Chile; and Bridgetown, Barbados; • In Europe: Lyon, France; and Vienna, Austria. Canada has successfully rolled out of the first phase of biometrics expansion for nationals from countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, who have been required to give their biometrics since July 31, 2018. Since this first phase of biometric expansion, Canada also opened the following VACs: • Athens, Greece; Kigali, Rwanda; Stockholm, Sweden; Berlin, Germany; and Tel Aviv, Israel. Some of these VACs replace the temporary biometrics collection service locations that were opened in Europe to support the first phase of biometrics expansion. By December 31, 2018, there will be 152 VACs in 103 countries, including a new VAC in Antananarivo, Madagascar, and Cape Town, South Africa. More VAC openings will be announced at a later date. The Government of Canada will closely monitor the impact of the biometrics collection requirement to ensure that the level of service available meets the needs of applicants. To make it as convenient as possible to give biometrics, Canada is allowing applicants to go to any VAC in any country they are legally allowed to enter, or, if already legally in the United States, to one of 135 U.S. Application Support Centers. Canada is also increasing capacity at existing VACs, including the 12 VACs in China, 10 in India and 2 in the Philippines, to ensure they continue to meet the needs of biometrically-required applicants. The Government of Canada takes its privacy obligations very seriously, and safeguards have been built into policies, procedures and technical systems. These policies are based on the best practices of international partners who are increasingly relying on biometrics. Quote `Biometrics are recognized as one of the most reliable ways to identify people and are used by more than 70 countries for immigration screening. As we prepare to roll out the next phase of biometrics expansion, which will affect our largest volume of applicants, we will continue to work closely with other governments, partners and stakeholders to ensure as smooth a transition as possible.` ` The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Quick facts: • VACs are privately owned, third-party service providers located around the world that are authorized to provide Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) visa applicants with specific administrative support. • VACs offer support to applicants before, during and after their temporary resident application is assessed by an IRCC officer. VAC service agents can be reached by phone and email, or in person, to answer questions in local languages. VACs are also authorized to collect biometrics from applicants. • In order to better serve the needs of clients in countries in Asia, Asia Pacific and the Americas, applicants will need to make an appointment to give their biometrics at a local VAC. Appointments will be available within 5 business days from the date the request is made. This will allow applicants to select a time that is most convenient for them and reduce the wait time at the VAC. • Some exemptions to biometrics expansion include: o Canadian citizens, citizenship applicants (including passport applicants), or existing permanent residents o Visa-exempt nationals coming to Canada as tourists; o Persons under 14 years old and over 79 years old (there is no upper age exemption for asylum claimants); o U.S. nationals making an application for a work, study or temporary resident permit; o Cabinet ministers and accredited diplomats of other countries and the United Nations, coming to Canada on official business; and o Heads of state and Heads of Government, regardless of purpose of travel.


Search

  •    FLAWS: ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize says elitist business models and a sluggish economy are limiting jobs.... Read more...
  •    A family travelling to South Africa for Christmas was turned away at the gate despite the country recently relaxing its strict rules on travelling with children. Paul Denning, his wife, son and daughter arrived at the check-in desk at Heathrow last week for flights to Johannesburg - booked at a cost of £3,000 - only to be told by Virgin Atlantic staff they did not have the required documentation and would therefore not be able to fly.... Read more...
  •    South Africa has successfully launched into space the continent’s most advanced nanosatellite to date ` the ZACube-2. The ZACube-2 will provide cutting edge remote sensing and communication services to South Africa and the region. “This satellite will help us monitor our ocean traffic as part of our oceans economy and also monitor veld fires and provide near real-time fire information ensuring a quick response time by disaster management teams.... Read more...
  •    The recent re-hashing of South Africa’s immigration regulations providing ‘clarity’ on the requirements for foreign minors to gain entry to the country has done nothing to help the destination market itself as a family-friendly destination.... Read more...
  •    HARARE (Reuters) - Several people were killed and some 200 arrested during protests in Zimbabwe on Monday, the government said, two days after it raised the price of fuel in an attempt to tame the worst economic crisis in a decade.... Read more...
  •    Statistics SA`s analysis of tourist arrivals between 2013 and 2014 fails to take into account that 2013 tourist arrival figures included transit passengers, while for 2014 these were excluded.... Read more...
  •    Microchips are a fact of modern life. They are in our washing machines and coffee makers, our cars, credit cards, even our cats and dogs.... Read more...
  •    South African Parliament‘s Home Affairs Committee wants Home Affairs officials working in the front line to be prohibited from using their cellphones during working hours.... Read more...
  •    Kenya records significant increase in 2018 tourist arrivals when compared with 2017. Kenya’s 2018 tourist arrivals surpassed the two-million mark, with a growth of 37.3%, reaching 2.025 million with the majority of the travellers visiting Kenya for holiday purposes.... Read more...
  •    SA`S NEW travel rules prevented our minor children from attending a family funeral. My wife and children were on holiday in Florence, Italy, and I had returned early to our home in Singapore when we received the tragic news that our three-year-old niece had passed away. We wanted to return to SA immediately, in time for the funeral last Friday.... Read more...

Get the latest Immigration News