The science of biometrics allows for the authentication of each person’s identity with either an iris scan or a handprint. As security tightens worldwide, biometrics are increasingly used as people cross borders.
As part of Canada’s enhancement of border security, biometrics are now required for those in the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program. Human Resources and Skills Development Canada informed farm employers this past summer how the biometrics program would be implemented in the months to come regarding various countries. Potential workers must present themselves in person and pay a fee.
Biometrics was partially implemented in Mexico in 2018. Once scans are done, they are valid for 10 years. Effective December 31, 2018, all Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) received after that date will require workers to have a biometric scan. Before that date, biometrics scans are not required, however, the worker must have a visa application submitted and processed to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
In Jamaica, the biometrics process has been in effect for eight years. The fee is $85 Canadian.
In Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, and eastern Caribbean islands, workers will be required to submit biometric scans. Only Trinidad and Jamaica currently have biometric scan facilities, therefore workers from other islands will need to travel there to secure the proper documentation.
Source: Foreign Agricultural Resource Management Services