Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has announced its plans to implement mandatory digital fingerprint collection from foreigners applying for temporary citizenship, work visas and student visas, according to a University World News article.
The program for Canada is nothing new to various other world governments. The U.S. has had a similar program for five years as well as France, the UK, Australia and New Zealand all either have a system in place or in planning.
The news came on the heels of the Canadian Bureau for International Education annual conference where university professionals were already tackling a problem of getting more international students at their schools. Many officials from various universities have expressed worry about the new biometric program in that it will further hinder their ability to get new international students in their schools.
Further, they cited worries surrounding the logistics of the program that, in its current plan, would require those seeking visas to submit fingerprint data with their application not upon entry. The overarching worry here is that many students would not be able to obtain digital fingerprints to submit due to availability in their country.
Despite these worries, CIC asserts that other countries who have implemented similar programs have not seen significant drops in international student enrollment. Additionally, they push that such a system is necessary to ramp Canada’s national security and safety up and better protect those in Canada from identity fraud.
Read the full story here.