Students studying in Canada, both foreign residents and Bermudians were put on notice today to be advised that there are new mandatory requirements in effect, to obtain “a Canadian visitor visa, work or study permit or permanent residency in Canada”.

Speaking at a news conference today, National Security Minister Wayne Caines, who is responsible for Immigration, reiterated that the new policy “is mandatory for all foreign students, inclusive of Bermudian students”.

“The Bermuda Government has been in discussions with the Canadian Consulate to address the issue of Bermudians having to travel to the US to provide their Biometric data,” said Mr Caines.

” Among other options, we have been advocating for a Canadian team to come to Bermuda and collect the Biometric data.”

The “great news”, he said was as of July 9 through to July 11, “the Consulate General of Canada, will have a team in Bermuda providing biometrics collection”.

“This means that Bermuda residents who have already applied either online, or by mail for a visa, work or study permit, or permanent residence, can have their biometrics collected in Bermuda and avoid the expense of travelling overseas,” he said.

“To residents who have not already applied, for their visa, work or study permit, or permanent residence, due to the time required to complete the application process, it is unlikely you will be able to complete the process in time to provide your biometrics data on the aforementioned dates.

“However, you are encouraged to complete the process as soon as possible.”

Applicants who have the completed online application process must now “bring their Biometrics Instruction Letter (BIL) provided by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) with them, as well as a valid passport in order to submit their biometrics”.

“The BIL is proof that the applicant has already submitted a complete application to an IRCC office and paid the biometric fee. Applicants who cannot make it on these dates may have to incur the cost of travelling overseas to the nearest visa application centre (VAC) or aUnited States (U.S.) Application Support Center (ASC),” said Mr Caines.

“Please note that the biometrics collection will be done by appointment only. To schedule your appointment, you must submit your email to The hours of operation will be between 9 am – 12pm and 1pm- 5pm at the Department of Immigration, 1st Floor Government Administration Building, 30 Parliament Street, Hamilton.”

The Minister concluded: “In light of this announcement, I offer my sincere thanks to the Consulate General of Canada for providing this service to the people of Bermuda. I suggest all applicants who have the necessary documents in hand to take advantage of this opportunity.

“This is for a limited time only, so act now.”