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Protecting Canada’s Immigration System

Beirut, December 9, 2013 — Effective December 11, 2013, visitors to Canada from several countries, including Lebanon and Syria, will be required to provide fingerprints and a digital photograph when they apply for a visitor visa, study or work permit. 

This new requirement will not only help protect the safety and security of Canadians while helping facilitate legitimate travel, it will also protect prospective visitors by making it more difficult for others to forge, steal or use an applicant’s identity to gain access to Canada. The new requirement will put Canada in line with other countries which are already collecting this information from visitors, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, countries in the European Union Schengen Zone, and Japan.

In the long run, the use of this information will make entry to Canada easier by providing a reliable tool to readily confirm a person’s identity.

Applicants will need to go in person to a visa application centre (VAC) to submit their application and give their fingerprints and have their photograph taken. There is a new fee of $85 CAD for the collection of fingerprints and the photograph, which includes application services at the VAC. Family members who apply together for a visitor visa will pay a maximum fee of $170 CAD.

Applicants under the age of 14 or over the age of 79 will not have to give this information. Diplomats and government officials travelling on official
business are also exempt.

When a traveller arrives in Canada at a port of entry, a Canadian border services officer will use all available sources of information to confirm that person’s identity.

Visitors can submit their application, their fingerprints and their photo by visiting the VAC located at:

Concord Center, Concord Street, Verdun, 7th floor.

VAC service agents are available by phone, email or in person to answer questions in local languages and to make sure that applications are complete. This helps avoid unnecessary delays or refusals due to incomplete applications.

For more information on the new requirements and VAC services, please visit



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