October 31, 2005

Citizenship and Immigration Canada will be introducing a six-month trial period during which it plans to collect biometrics from new arrivals to Canada using technology as their tool.

The intention is to gather digitized photos and inkless fingerprints, in addition to making greater use of biometrics such as measurable physical characteristics such as facial appearance, iris scans or fingerprints as a means of confirming identity. The findings will be fed into a database during the life of the pilot project.

The pilot project will give authorities the tools to match photos and fingerprints against existing files to help screen out ineligible applicants, such as individuals on criminal watch lists.

Once a visa is issued, it will also allow officials to electronically check the document once the individual arrives in Canada.

At Vancouver International Airport and the British Columbia land border crossings at Douglas and Pacific Highway, the Canada Border Services Agency will use digital readers to verify the visa information.