The Federal Government has recently announced that it will require temporary foreign workers from a range of countries to provide biometric data as part of a work permit application. 

Jason Kenney, Minister for Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, made it clear that starting in 2013 persons from 29 countries and one territory will be required to provide their fingerprints and a photograph when submitting an application for a work permit. 

The collected information will be used as a means to verify the identity of a foreigner.  Specifically, Citizenship and Immigration Canada border officials will use this information in order to ensure that the individual seeking to enter and work in Canada is the same individual who was initially provided the permit.

The new rule applies to citizens of the following countries:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Vietnam, and Yemen

These requirements are coming into force as the number of temporary foreign workers in Canada continues to increase at an exponential rate.  Specifically, over 250,000 individuals from a wide variety of countries enter Canada as temporary foreign workers annually, while there are approximately 500,000 foreigners working in Canada on a temporary basis at any given time.  As the number of workers has increased, so has the number of regulatory measures designed to ensure the rights of foreign workers are respected and that the country remains free from external threats.