Have you ever wondered why a lot of people are presently moving to Canada whether to work or study? This is because Canada is one of the best countries of the world to immigrate to.
If you want to move to Canada whether to work or studying, you will need to submit certain documents during your application process as this is a way of certifying your credentials.
We will be looking at the process of certifying your credentials, how long it will take and also the cost.
So without further ado, let’s proceed…
Why Is Credential Assessment Necessary For Immigration To Canada?
For you to immigrate to Canada as a skilled worker, you will need to get your foreign credentials assessed to show that they meet the Canadian standards. This is a major requirement for most Canada’s skilled worker immigration programs.
You might also want to know if your credentials are equivalent to the Canadian standards before you immigrate to Canada or if you will need to upgrade them.
The assessment of your credentials will help potential employers understand that your credentials are more like the Canadian credentials and so you are fit for the job.
From assessment of your credential, you will get to find out if you will need more training or education in Canada before your start working in Canada.
If your credentials do not meet the Canadian standard, you will have to get re-credentialed in Canada and how you will go about it depends on your field or profession.
Why Is Credential Assessment Necessary To Study In Canada?
Every Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada sets its own requirements which can be general requirements or program specific requirements.
Some of the requirements might be that:
- You have received your previous degrees from an accredited institution
- Proof of language proficiency
- Specific course prerequisites.
You may not need to get your credentials assessed by the Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) as some of the post-secondary institutions will conduct the assessment themselves.
Before you go on, you will have to contact the admission office at the institution you are applying for to see if they accept your foreign credentials.
What Is An Educational Credential Assessment?
This is an evaluation of your educational credentials to know if they meet the Canadian standard. This assessment is for immigration purpose as it is also helpful in getting a job in Canada as it shows the employer that you are fit for the job.
The assessment looks at your degree, diploma, experience and certificate to know if it is equivalent to that of Canada.
If you have multiple degrees, you will just need an assessment for just one of the degrees which is the highest level of education so if you have a doctorate, masters and bachelors degree, it is only the doctorate degree that will be assessed.
Regulated Occupations, Professions And Trade Assessments
For you to work in a skilled trade or profession, you will need to be certified by the provincial or territorial body in the province you want to work in.
Trade jobs that are regulated in Canada are plumbers, carpenters and electricians while professions that are regulated in Canada are pharmacists, doctors and architects.
Sometimes, the regulation of trade jobs and professions depends on the provinces and territories in Canada as certain trade jobs and professions are regulated in certain provinces and territories while others are in some other provinces.
You will need a license to work in a specific province even if you already have a license to work in another province or territory.
For professional jobs, you might be required to complete a written exam, be supervised for a specific period of time or have your language and communication skills assessed and if it is a trades job, you might be required to take an exam or work as an apprentice.
Each regulatory body has different credential requirements for certification and things that are involved depend on the profession or trades job. So it is best that you find out what is needed for your profession or trades job.
Let’s look at the re-credentialing process of working as a doctor in Canada:
For you to be licensed as a doctor in Canada, the Medical Council of Canada will have to grant you a qualification called a Licentiate of Medical Council of Canada. To qualify, you must submit evidence that you have graduated from a medical school that is listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools with a sponsor note showing it is an acceptable medical school in Canada.
You must then receive a passing grade on the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination and provide proof that you completed the 12 months of clinical postgraduate medical training.
Once you are a licentiate, you will need certification from a College of Family Physicians in Canada or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and then you will qualify to apply for license to practice in a province or territory in Canada.
What Happens If You Don’t Qualify?
If your credentials are not equivalent to the Canadian standards, you may not meet the educational requirement for most of the Canadian immigration programs and therefore you would not get the extra points on your immigration application.
In this case, you can have an option of getting additional education or training or having your ability assessed. For instance, you are a physician that has done a residency program; you can apply for a practice-ready assessment. This program allows you to work for 12 weeks under the supervision of an experienced physician who will evaluate your skills and help you adapt to Canadian practice.
If it is a trade job, you could be allowed to undergo an apprenticeship program and additional training.
How to get an ECA
If you need an ECA for work, study or immigration to Canada, you will need to get it through the right paths and this educational credential assessment must be done by an organization that is approved by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to carry out the assessment.
There are about five general organizations and two specialty organizations for specific professions in Canada that carry out this assessment and they are:
- World Education Services
- International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS)
- International Credential Assessment Service of Canada
- Comparative Education Service: University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies
- International Credential Evaluation Service
- Physicians: Medical Council of Canada
- Pharmacists: Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada
You will have to make sure you plan ahead when getting your assessment as it could take weeks or months to get feedback. Some of the organizations will list the estimated time you will have to wait.
Your assessment is valid for five years after which you will have to get the assessment done again. The ECA could cost around $200 and more as the physicians and pharmacists assessments cost even more.