In 2013, visitors from 30 countries will be required to submit a photograph and fingerprints if they want to travel to Canada.
The new rules will apply to individuals from Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Bangladesh, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Vietnam, Yemen and the Palestinian territory who are seeking to go to Canada as tourists or on study or work permits.
Canadian citizens and permanent residents returning to Canada will not be required to turn over biometric data.
According to the regulations, the photos and fingerprints would be collected overseas, prior to the individual coming to Canada. Fingerprints would be checked against fingerprint records of refugee claimants, previous deportees, those with criminal records and previous visa applicants before a decision is made as to whether the individual should receive a visa.
Border officials will use the accompanying photograph to verify an individual’s identity when they arrive in Canada and may require an additional fingerprint scan before they’re admitted. The Canadian government will charge a biometric fee of $85 aimed at offsetting about half the cost of the program.