Along with several other sites across the world, the Canadian government has opened a new visa application center last week in Cali, the largest city in western Colombia.
The move comes less than two months before the North American nation will begin mandating that all visa applicants from the Americas, Asia, and Asia-Pacific submit fingerprints and a photo along with their other documentation. This applies for visitor, work, student, or permanent resident visa applications, a requirement that has already been in force since July 31 for people applying from Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.
In addition to Cali, other centers have been opened in Mendoza, Argentina; Melbourne, Australia; Vienna, Austria; Bridgetown, Barbados; Porto Alegre, Brazil; Recife, Brazil; Santiago, Chile; Lyon, France; and Bali, Indonesia.
By the end of the year, Canada plans to also open new offices in Madagascar (Antananarivo) and South Africa (Cape Town). More openings are also expected to be announced in the near future, bringing the total number to 152 locations across 103 countries by December 31.
“Biometrics are recognized as one of the most reliable ways to identify people and are used by more than 70 countries for immigration screening,” said Ahmed Hussen, minister of immigration, refugees, and citizenship for Canada.
“As we prepare to roll out the next phase of biometrics expansion, which will affect our largest volume of applicants, we will continue to work closely with other governments, partners, and stakeholders to ensure as smooth a transition as possible,” added the minister.