Order Fixing July 31, 2018 as the Day on which Certain Provisions of the Act Come into Force: SI/2018-47
Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 152, Number 14
July 11, 2018
ECONOMIC ACTION PLAN 2015 ACT, NO. 1
Order Fixing July 31, 2018 as the Day on which Certain Provisions of the Act Come into Force
P.C. 2018-852 June 21, 2018
Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, pursuant to subsection 176(1) of the Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1, chapter 36 of the Statutes of Canada, 2015, fixes July 31, 2018 as the day on which sections 168 and 170, subsection 171(2) and section 174 of that Act come into force.
(This note is not part of the Order.)
Pursuant to subsection 176(1) of the Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1, which received royal assent on June 23, 2015, this Order in Council fixes July 31, 2018, as the day on which sections 168 and 170, subsection 171(2) and section 174 of that Act come into force. These provisions amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).
The purpose of this Order in Council is to bring into force provisions of the Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1 that expand the biometrics collection and verification requirement from prescribed foreign nationals to include all persons making a claim, application or request under the IRPA.
Canada’s immigration and border authorities have been collecting biometric information since 1993 through discretionary authorities under the IRPA. In 2013, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and its partners implemented the Temporary Resident Biometrics Project (TRBP). Through the TRBP, as set out in regulations, foreign nationals from 29 visa-required countries and one territoryfootnote 1 are required to provide biometric information (i.e. fingerprints and photograph) in support of their temporary resident visa, work permit or study permit applications. Biometrics have also been collected from overseas refugee resettlement applicants since late 2014. The collection of biometric information has a long and proven record of protecting the safety and security of Canadians and of bolstering the integrity of Canada’s immigration system while facilitating the movement of legitimate travellers.
The Government of Canada recognized that expanding the TRBP model to other immigration programs would capitalize on the benefits of biometrics. As a result, the Biometrics Expansion Project was initiated. In June 2015, amendments to the IRPA were approved through the Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1. These amendments expand the biometrics collection and verification requirement to include all persons applying under IRPA and set out that regulations may provide for any matter relating to its application. The Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (the Regulations) are being amended to prescribe the procedure for the collection and verification of biometric information.
This Order in Council is required to bring into force legislative amendments expanding the collection and verification requirement of biometric information to all persons (unless explicitly exempt) applying under the Act, including all those seeking a temporary or permanent resident visa or status, work permit, study permit, or temporary resident permit.
Once the relevant provisions are brought into force, the IRPA would require that all persons who make a claim, application or request under IRPA follow the procedure set out in the Regulations for the collection of biometric information and for the verification of this information upon arrival to Canada. With the overall goal of managing who comes to Canada, biometrics expansion is expected to strengthen identity management for informed admissibility decision making, prevent inadmissible individuals from entering or remaining in Canada, and facilitate the movement of legitimate travellers into Canada.
This Order also brings into force a minor editorial change to a provision in the IRPA regarding the sharing of biometric and related personal information for domestic law enforcement purposes.
As part of the TRBP, the Department implemented an engagement strategy focusing on foreign governments and associations with mandates related to immigration, security, privacy, the facilitation of trade and tourism, and the attraction of foreign students. Such a strategy continues to be employed under the auspices of the Biometrics Expansion Project. During the prepublication period of the proposed regulations, the Department undertook a comprehensive domestic stakeholder engagement strategy that included consultations with various sector councils and associations with mandates related to immigration, security, privacy, trade and tourism. In general, stakeholders continue to be supportive of biometrics and biometrics expansion as a means to protect the safety and security of Canadians, deter fraud, and ensure the effective screening of travellers and immigrants coming to Canada. Specific comments regarding regulatory amendments in support of biometrics expansion, as well as the Department’s responses to identified concerns, are summarized in the Consultation section in the Regulatory Impact Assessment Statement (RIAS). Financial implications are also summarized in the “Benefits and costs” section in the RIAS.
Identity Management and Information Sharing
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
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