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RCMP Fingerprinting VS. Biometrics in Canada

Updated: Aug 11



After submitting an immigration application to IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada), you will be requested to submit fingerprints to Service Canada for biometrics and to RCMP for police certificates to continue the application process. What are the differences between them?


RCMP Fingerprinting


The fingerprints are electronically captured and sent to CPIC (Canadian Police Information Centre). The Canadian Criminal Real Time Investigation Services (CCRTIS), a part of the RCMP, uses the data after it has been submitted to CPIC to produce a criminal record report.


The RCMP will check the National Repository of Criminal Records using the provided fingerprints to see if there is a match. A criminal record report will be created and given to the applicant if there is a match. A Police clearance will be given if there is no match, indicating no information to report.


In order to conduct a background check for immigration applications (such as for PR and Canadian Citizenship applications), the IRCC will typically issue applicants request letters instructing them to submit their fingerprints to the RCMP. Before beginning work, employees hired by the federal, provincial government, or some private companies must submit their fingerprints to the RCMP to complete the background screening or request a new/renew reliability status. Our company, Fingerprinting Security Canada, is authorized to submit fingerprints to the RCMP's CCRTIS for searches of the National Repository of Criminal Records.


You may refer to the RCMP website for more information about the police certificate or criminal record check.


Biometrics in Canada


Both the immigration application and admission into Canada procedures involve the usage of biometrics. Visa officers can use biometrics to check applicants for past criminal convictions or violations of Canadian immigration laws. When a visitor enters Canada, biometrics are also utilized to verify that person's identification.


You only need to provide your biometrics once every ten years whether you are applying for a visitor visa or work/study permit. However, if your application is denied and you later reapply, you must refresh your biometrics.


According to the IRCC, fingerprints are encrypted and electronically transmitted to the Government of Canada's secure Canadian Immigration Biometrics Identification System. Once the personal information has been successfully communicated to this database, it is removed from the collection system.


The biometrics submission info can be found on the IRCC Biometrics page.



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