Foreign Credentials Recognition

1. What do credentials mean?
Documents that prove your qualifications in the area in which you intend to work in Canada are called credentials. These may be secondary school or college diplomas, professional school diplomas and certificates and university bachelors, master's or PhD degrees. Also, your credentials include professional licences, memberships in professional associations, apprenticeships or trade certificates, references, employment records and other documents. All of your credentials have to be evaluated in Canada.

2. Why do I have to get my credentials recognized?
You have to evaluate your credentials in Canada because of differences in systems of education and employment in different countries and because of different titles and degrees in certificates and diplomas of foreign professionals. Credentials evaluation is an international practice, which is set by the international United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The evaluation of the diploma determines which Canadian equivalents correspond to your foreign education and employment experience.
Source: Why should I get my international educational credentials evaluated?

3. Why should I apply for a credential evaluation before immigration?
After you apply for immigration to Canada, some Canadian organizations have to evaluate your credentials, because depending on your credentials, you get a certain number of points towards your immigration score. Assessing your diploma can be done through a professional association or a special agency that has government accreditation, for example, the World Education Service (WES). This service can take up to three months and cost $500 or more. You should remember that this assessment is preliminary and only serves the purposes of immigration.
Source: Visit online Welcome to World Education Service.

4. Why should I apply for credential evaluation after immigration?
After immigrating to Canada you have to show your documents on education and experience to many other places:
•to employers, if you apply for a job,
•to educational institutions, if you want to continue your education,
•to a regulatory body, if you want to obtain a licence to practice a regulated profession.
Because many Canadian provinces and territories have their own rules about credentials evaluation, it can be necessary to get a new credentials assessment according to provincial rules.

5. Where can I get my credentials evaluated for employment?
Employers are generally not involved in the assessment of diplomas. However, during the job interview they may ask you to show your diploma and ask you about your credentials evaluation. In this case, you can show a credentials evaluation made, for example, by an organization belonging to the Alliance of Credential Evaluation Services of Canada.
Source: Where can I get my international credentials evaluated for employment?

6. Where can I get my credentials evaluated for education?
In order to continue your education in Canada you must provide documents on education received prior to immigration. Children applying to school have to show report cards, school certificates or diplomas received abroad. A school counsellor will evaluate these documents to find out what grade will suit newcomer's child. If necessary, children have to pass additional tests. Those who want to continue their studies in college and university must also present certificates or diplomas proving the education they received abroad. Their credentials can be evaluated by an educational institution. Also, if necessary, applicants have to pass additional tests.
Resource: Where can I get my credentials evaluated for education?

7. Where can I get my credentials evaluated for licensing?
If your profession is regulated in Canada, you have for sure to repeat the procedure of evaluating your credentials. You'll save time and money, if before starting the procedure of evaluating your credentials after immigration, you just ask your regulatory body where you have to go. Most of the regulatory bodies make such evaluation themselves for a fee. They will compare your credentials to their requirements and advise you what you have to do to obtain a licence. Perhaps you have to take some additional courses or pass some additional exams, etc.

8. Do I have to translate my educational documents into English?
Yes, all documents of your credentials which you have to submit for evaluation to Canadian offices should be translated into English or French by a certified translator. To find a certified translator you should visit the website After choosing such options as language combination, specialization and area of work you will find an appropriate translator.

9. Why might my credentials not be recognized in Canada?
Canadian organizations rarely deny recognition of diplomas obtained abroad, although this sometimes occurs. In case of refusal they will explain their reasons. For example, if your institution is not on such internationally recognized institutions' lists as the World Higher Education Database or the World Directory of National Information Centre for Academic Recognition and Mobility, your diploma in Canada can be denied. Sometimes you need to provide additional information about subjects you studied, or you have to ask your institution to send the documents about your education directly to the regulatory body.

10. What should I do if my credentials are not recognized in Canada?
The most common reasons why your credentials would not be recognized in Canada are: Insufficient number of hours in the study of a particular subject, the lack of subjects in your academic record that are studied in Canadian institutions and lack of work experience in your profession. In this case, you should get additional education and/or experience in Canada and obtain a Canadian diploma, but some subjects that you have studied abroad may still be recognized.

11. What support is available for newcomers to get credentials evaluated?
If don't know where and how to evaluate your credentials, the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials ( will help you to solve your problems. Look at their website, where you will find answers for many of your questions. You can also visit their centre and talk to an expert. Centre address: 95, St. Clair Avenue West, Suite 1106 Toronto (Ontario), telephone 416-962-9725. To get credentials evaluation support also visit online:
•World Education Services (WES).
•Comparative Education Service (CES).
•International Credentials Assessment Service (ICAS).
•International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS).
•International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES).
These are paid services.