Biometrics Required – Working Holiday Canada (IEC 2019)

September 12, 2018
Posted in News

IMPORTANT UPDATE (March 20th, 2020): Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Government of Canada has announced that all-in Canada biometrics appointments are cancelled until further notice.

If you had already booked an appointment within Canada to complete your Biometrics for your International Experience Canada work permit application, you must have already received an email showing a cancellation with the appointment booked. No worries, this is only due to the COVID -19 situation worldwide. Your work permit application will NOT be denied if you can not complete the Biometrics within the regular 30 days, Canada is providing extra time to complete this step.

You will have to book a new appointment at Service Canada when they start collecting biometrics again (this date will be announced). Walk-in biometrics collection is currently NOT available at any Service Canada office.

You now have 90 days (instead of 30) to submit your biometrics for your Working Holiday, Young Professional or International Co-Op work permit application under IEC, for regular participants and for our Recognized Organization participants.

IMPORTANT: If you have an appointment OUTSIDE OF CANADA, at a Visa Application Centre (VAC) or a United States Application Support Center (ASC), check the VAC website or the ASC website and call them before you go.

Please follow the recommendations of the Government of Canada here.

Looking to come to Canada under International Experience Canada (IEC) for a Working Holiday, Internship or Young Professional permit? How about with a College Co-Op Program for Study & Work in Canada? In both cases, if you’re planning to apply for International Experience Canada (IEC) 2019 or a study permit for Canada, you will want to read this update!

It seems that now you will need to complete biometrics to come to Canada with a work or study permit. What does this mean? We answer all the questions you may have in regards to biometrics and how it applies to the application process for 2019. If you are still having questions about biometrics, leave them below and we will do our best to find the answer for you!


Starting July 31, 2018, you may need to give your fingerprints and photos (biometrics) when you apply for a visitor visa, study or work permit, or permanent residence if you are from Europethe Middle East or Africa.

Starting December 31, 2018 – applicants from Asia, Asia Pacific and the Americas will need complete their Biometrics. For IEC countries, if you are from Australia, Chile, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, or Taiwan and are looking to apply for a Canadian Working Holiday or any IEC work permit for Canada, you will also need to complete biometrics.


What are Biometrics?

Biometrics have now been implemented into the study and work permit application process in Canada in order for officers to confirm your identity better. This means that you will have to get your fingerprints scanned and photo taken at the closest VAC centre when you apply for study and work permit to Canada.

This includes your Working Holiday work permit or any other work permit under International Experience Canada, that from December 31st 2018 will be mandatory for any IEC work permit applicant, no matter where you are from!


How do I know that I need to complete my Biometrics?

Starting July 31, 2018, the biometric process applies if you are from Europethe Middle East or Africa. If you are from Asia, Asia Pacific and the Americas the process will start Dec 31st, 2018 (IEC countries included: Australia, Chile, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, or Taiwan).

This means for IEC 2019 everyone will need to complete biometrics.

Approx. 24 hours after you submit your study or IEC work permit application and pay your application fees you will also pay for your biometrics Fee (CAD 85) and receive indications on your MyCIC account through a letter like this.

When do I pay my Biometrics and how do I pay for it?

Right when you submit your study or IEC work permit application. This means that the process will be exactly the same.

For example, if you are about to submit your working holiday application for Canada through MyCIC account, you will need to pay the regular fees (CAD 250) and an extra fee of CAD 85 for biometrics. You will need to pay both fees in order to submit your application and request your biometrics.


Can I get my Working Holiday denied during my Biometrics?

NO, this step will be done before an officer reviews your application. You can get your permit denied after, but not during the biometrics process. Alternatively, you can get it denied if you do not complete the biometrics—this is MANDATORY. You have 30 days after requesting your biometrics to complete them, so make sure you do so within that time frame.

The time it takes you to give your biometrics after being requested isn’t included in the application processing time. For example, IEC processing time is normally 8 weeks, so if it takes you 3 weeks to get your biometrics done your 8 week processing time will start ONLY after you do your biometrics for Canada. This means, that the sooner you do your biometrics, the sooner your application will start to be processed.


Where can I take my Biometrics for my Working Holiday for Canada?

You will need to go in person to a visa application centre (VAC) and must schedule an appointment first for most of them. We highly recommend contacting them in advance especially if you are travelling to get your biometrics done, you want to make sure they can help you the exact day you are planning to go there. Once there they will scan your fingerprints, take your photo, and give you a receipt that biometrics have been completed, after that, your application will start to be processed.


What documents do I need to bring to complete my Biometrics?

You will need to bring your Request Letter (received on MyCIC account right after paying your visa & biometrics fees) and Passport. That’s it!

Important: you need to receive your Request Letter in order to complete your biometrics for Canada.


What do I need to do once I complete my Biometrics? Do I need to submit any confirmation to CIC?

Nothing, now you can sit back and wait for your application to be processed. After you do your biometrics for Canada, you will receive a receipt that many times they stick to your Request Letter. Make sure you keep this receipt in a safe place in case there is any problem with your application, so you have a proof that you did your Biometrics. Most importantly, you don’t need to do anything else rather than check your MyCIC account for updates. The VAC will connect your biometrics directly with your application, so just let’s wait for the good news!


There is no VAC close to my city, what do I do?

Canada is working on opening more VAC locations for 2018/2019, but if you do not have a VAC close you will need to travel to complete your biometrics.

Also keep in mind that some countries have temporary locations, for example in Germany, there is only one VAC in the city of Dusseldorf, but Canada has opened a temporary office in the Canadian embassy in Berlin and Austria. Same has been done in France, Ireland and Norway. You can find more details here for the temporary VAC offices, find your closest one here.


I am currently outside my home country, can I do my Biometrics in another country?

Yes, you can go to any VAC  it doesn’t have to be in your country of residence. You can check your closest VAC centre here.

Example: You are a permanent resident of France, you submitted a working holiday permit application already and paid the biometrics fee through MyCIC, but you have scheduled a trip to Spain right after so you will not have time to travel to closest VAC in France. You can travel to Spain and get your biometrics done in the VAC in Spain. The most important thing is that you complete your biometrics within 30 days that you got them requested, otherwise you will get your working holiday application denied for Canada.

Please keep in mind the residence requirements for your working holiday permit for your country of citizenship though, you can find those here in this link.


I am already in Canada and I need to provide Biometrics for my IEC work permit, where can I do this?

IMPORTANT 2019 UPDATE: Canada has now set biometrics locations within the country, so you can complete the Biometrics within Canada. This means that now you can complete the Biometrics from within Canada for your IEC work permit (Working Holiday, Young Professional or International Co-op).

Inland Canadian collection points ARE NOW AVAILABLE! Check details here


I already have my POE and I am planning to enter Canada, do I need to complete my Biometrics?

No, you are good to go! Next time you apply for a different permit for Canada you will need to complete your biometrics, these will last for 10 years.


I have a valid work permit/ study permit in Canada and want to extend my study or work permit, do I need to complete Biometrics in Canada?

No! If you are already in Canada with a valid study or work permit and want to extend your stay, then you don’t need to complete biometrics until they establish service inside Canada. This means you don’t have to worry yet, we will update you if anything happens during 2019.


How do I know when my Biometrics have been approved?

Once you complete your biometrics you will receive a letter like the one below, confirming your biometrics are complete! This document tells you when your biometric information is valid until, 10 years after the letter date.


That is everything you need to know about biometrics and the new update to apply for IEC 2019! Please share your questions or experience below!

Are you planning to come to Canada during International Experience Canada (IEC) 2019, for an internship or a working holiday experience? We can help get that started and secure your internship or work experience in Canada!

You can learn more about our Working Holiday programs or Student internship program on our website, or simply contact us now for a FREE consultation and we will help make the process easy and stress free for you! We will get back to you as soon as possible and will be happy to help with your work experience in Canada!

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