UPDATES: GRADUAL REOPENING OF VISA APPLICATION CENTERS (VACS)

If you are not familiar with the term (VAC), it stands for Visa Application Centers, which are private companies that Canada has contracts with. These centers are located around the world, speak local languages, and facilitate collecting biometrics of the applicants (fingerprints and photos) as well as send applications and passports to the visa office.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, majority of these centers worldwide were closed were only few were open with limited working capacity.

As of June 11, 2020, more centers have opened with limited operations including:

  • Biometrics collection for holders of Biometrics Instruction Letter (BIL) only.
  • Delivery of decision envelope to applicants.

Remember that the ban on non-essential travel is not lifted yet and for those allowed to travel to Canada they must self-isolate for 14 days. Reopening some VACs now will help expedite non-essential travelers’ applications when the restrictions are eventually lifted.  

Measures to ensure the health and safety of the staff and the applicants are implemented and include:

  • Use of hand sanitizer
  • Limiting the number of people allowed inside the center
  • Checking the temperature of staff and applicants
  • Use of gloves, face masks and face shields by staff
  • Cleaning of the VAC frequently

To confirm if the VAC closest to you is open, click here.

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