Canadian government starts providing biometrics in the country

Bhutanese applying for Canadian visas do not have to travel abroad for biometrics services now. A team from the Canadian government is providing the service from Thimphu beginning today. Biometric information refers to the physical characteristics of a person like fingerprints and facial recognition. It is one of the requisites while processing a VISA.

Till now, all Bhutanese applying for Canadian visas had to either go to Nepal or India to complete their Biometrics due to the absence of a biometric collection point in the country. But now the service will be made available periodically before the new intakes.

“We have agreed to come periodically to do this collection while we are here in person. So, we are here, visiting other outreach and meeting with other partners. So, we can dedicate one or two days to do the collection in person, which helps the visa applicants as they don’t have to travel out of the country,” said Colin Wetmore from the High Commission of Canada.

“If we had to leave the country to get our biometrics collected, it would be expensive. We have to spend on air tickets and lodging. So, this makes it very convenient for us. I was planning to go to India and I even reached Paro. Then, I heard about this and decided to get my biometric collection done here,” said Sonam Dorji, an applicant.

“Doing the biometrics in the country is very beneficial, especially for us, students. Travelling abroad for biometric collection is expensive,” said Sonam Zam, another applicant.

Applicants, have to submit an online visa application and pay a biometric fee of over Nu 5,100 which is 85 Canadian Dollars for an individual and over Nu 10,000 or 170 Canadian Dollars for families.

“They can then make an appointment either at a visa application centre if they are travelling out of the country, or if we are coming, then they can make an application with us. They can send us an email and we can schedule an appointment. Once they have that letter, there’s a number on that letter that we need, they can bring that in. We can then enter that into our system and they can very simply take the fingerprint scan and take a photo and that’s all,” said Colin Wetmore.

The team will be providing biometric services at the BCCI office in Thimphu till tomorrow. Today, they provided services to around 30 applicants.

Karma Samten Wangda

Edited by Tshering Zam

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