Canada will collect the fingerprints of its visitors

Le Canada recueillera les empreintes de ses visiteurs

Photo: Orlando Sierra, Agence France-Presse
As of today, all visitors from Europe, the Middle East and Africa will be required to provide their fingerprints, while those from Asia or America will be forced to rely on the 31 December next. A traveller will have to provide his or her biometric data only once every 10 years, notwithstanding his many visits to Canada.

Visitors, your footprints ! As of today, the Canada is keeping step with several of his allies by demanding that travelers requiring a visa for entry they also provide their fingerprints.

This requirement applies to any person applying for a travel visa, a work permit, study permit, or who submits an application for permanent residence in Canada. Since 2013, the nationals of only 30 countries placing such requests were required to provide their fingerprints. Now, these are all the visitors from Europe, the Middle East and Africa, which are referred to, while those of Asia and of America will be as of December 31, next. The asylum seekers, they must provide their fingerprints since 1993.

By expanding our program of biometrics, we facilitate the entry into Canada and protect the integrity of our immigration system by establishing quickly and accurately the identity of a traveller

— Ahmed Hussen, the minister of Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship


All the tourists will not be bothered for much. Those from countries to which Canada does not require a travel visa will not be required to provide their biometric data. Canada requires visas from 147 countries, but to free his allies usual, including the United States, some european countries, Israel, the united arab Emirates, Australia, Japan, Mexico, Chile, South Korea and Singapore.

Canada ensures that its measure is not unique since “over 70 countries” engage in it already, including the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the United Kingdom and the 26 european States that are part of the Schengen area.

“By expanding our program of biometrics, we facilitate the entry into Canada and protect the integrity of our immigration system by establishing quickly and accurately the identity of a traveler,” noted in a press release the minister of Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship, Ahmed Hussen. Fingerprints will be checked upstream of the journey of the traveller, especially as they are compared to the directory of the fingerprints of criminals that manages the royal Canadian mounted police (RCMP).

The measure, which comes into force this Tuesday, was announced by Stephen Harper in 2015. A sum of 312.6 million dollars over five years has been devoted to it.

Risk assessment

The Office of the protection of the private life of Canada, indicate that they held consultations with the government on the planned expansion of the fingerprinting and received a number of assessments of the risks. The last, received in July, is still under review by the commissioner. “From the point of view of security, we believe that it is justified, for the purposes of verification of eligibility, to collect the fingerprints of persons seeking to be admitted to Canada,” says the office of the commissioner, Daniel Therrien. It is satisfied to the extent that the fingerprints are destroyed when a permanent resident will be granted the canadian citizenship.

The Commissioner does, however, require that particular attention be given to the protection of the biometric data collected by the enrolment centre private abroad, and that Ottawa should establish “with caution” criteria for the communication of data to other countries.

A traveller will have to provide his or her biometric data only once every 10 years, notwithstanding his many visits to Canada. The applicant must pay the $ 85 fee for the fingerprinting. The cost is capped at $ 170 for families and $ 255 for groups of three artists or more coming to perform at the country. In anticipation of the opening of new centres of reception of visa applications all over the world, applicants may apply at certain embassies in canada to provide their biometric data.

Canada may share data it collects with its allies, including the United States, which will in turn have the right to share the received data with other countries under an agreement on the security perimeter agreement in 2012.

Canada uses of genealogy sites for returning migrants

Ottawa — The canadian government uses DNA testing and Internet sites specialized in genealogy to establish the nationality of foreign nationals placed in detention prior to their eventual removal from the country, said Monday the border police.

“The CBSA [canada border services Agency of Canada] uses DNA tests to determine the identity of the persons held for the long term after you have exhausted all other investigative resources,” explained Jayden Robertson, spokesperson for the CBSA in an e-mail.

“DNA tests will help the CBSA to determine the identity by providing indicators on the basis of nationality, which enables us to focus our research on certain countries “, stressed the spokesman.

The Agency will obtain the consent of citizens before they submit their information to Internet sites of DNA.

This assertion, however, is called into question by Jared Will, a Toronto lawyer representing several nationals who have undergone DNA testing.

“My experience is that the CBSA made such requests to the inmates, in case of refusal, are accused of not co-operate in the efforts for their removal. This refusal to cooperate is then invoked as a justification for their prolonged detention “, he told AFP.

Other critics point out that the ethnic origin of a person is not proof of his nationality.

This case first revealed by the site Vice News comes at a time when more than 30,000 asylum-seekers have fled to the United States and Canada since the arrival of Donald Trump at the White House in January 2017.

These techniques are only used in extreme cases, such as in the case of a claimant who was called Ebrahim Toure, arrived in Canada in 2011 with a false French passport. He claimed to be a native of Guinea, a country which was finally discharged when Canada attempted to return in 2013, because the Guinea was held that his certificate of birth of guinea was also a fake and that he did not speak French, the official language of the country.

He has spent more than four years in prison before finally agreeing last year to undergo a DNA test.

After analysis of his DNA, and consultation of websites of genealogy research of his family members, the CBSA has determined that it is likely a Gambian, called Bakaba Touray.