Canada to require biometric data with some visa applications from 2013

Jason Kenney, the Canadian Minister for Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, has announced that Canada will soon require people from 29 countries and from the Palestinian Territory to provide biometric information with their visa applications.

The biometric data required will be a photograph and fingerprints. The information will be held on a database and will be checked when the applicant arrives in Canada to ensure that the correct person has travelled to Canada. The system will come into operation in 2013.

Biometric data will have to be provided by all those who travel to Canada whether on a visitor visa, a student visa, or a work visa. Those aged under 14 or over 79 will be exempt as will be citizens of those countries (and territory) with Canadian permanent resident permits. Diplomats will also be excused.

The countries are

Afghanistan
Albania
Algeria
Bangladesh
Burma
Cambodia
Colombia
Democratic Republic of Congo
Egypt
Eritrea
Haiti
Iran
Iraq
Jamaica
Jordan
Laos
Lebanon
Libya
Nigeria
Pakistan
Palestinian Authority
Saudi Arabia
Somalia
Sri Lanka
Sudan
South Sudan
Syria
Tunisia
Vietnam
Yemen

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