Back in December 2012, citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced that they would be fingerprinting visiting nationals from 30 countries - whether these nationals are visiting for tourism or business, or whether they are working or studying in Canada - starting in 2013. Last week, the program began. It is comparable to the United States' US Visit program, though CIC's program has been launched on a much smaller scale.

Fingerprinting Device By U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Marc I. Lane [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Fingerprint Scanner [Public Domain]

So far, only nationals from Colombia, Haiti and Jamaica are affected. In addition to being fingerprinted, visitors and immigrants must also pay a CAN$85 processing fee to cover the costs of the program.

The goal of the program is to help CIC and CBSA better determine who is admissible and who is not. It will hopefully reduce processing times for those who are admissible to Canada.

The rest of the program should be rolled out in the coming weeks and months, with all 30 countries being affected by December 2013. The complete list of countries affected is:

Afghanistan Colombia (as of 09/05/13) Iraq Nigeria Sudan
Albania Congo, DR Jamaica (as of 09/05/13) Pakistan South Sudan
Algeria Egypt Jordan Palestine Syria
Bangladesh Eritrea Laos Saudi Arabia Tunisia
Burma (Myanmar) Haiti (as of 09/05/13) Lebanon Somalia Vietnam
Cambodia Iran Libya Sri Lanka Yemen

If you are a citizen of one of the above countries, you should expect to be fingerprinted and have to pay the processing fee of $85 upon arrival in Canada in the coming months.

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