If you obtained your education, work experience or professional credentials outside Canada, you will need to get your credentials assessed:
1. To immigrate as a Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)
To apply to the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), you must get an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) of your completed foreign educational credentials.
An ECA is used to verify that your foreign degree, diploma, certificate (or other proof of your credential) is valid and equal to a completed credential in Canada for the purpose of immigrating to Canada.
Find out more about the Federal Skilled Worker Program.
2. To work in some jobs in Canada, including certain trades
There are two types of occupations in Canada: regulated (including trades) and non-regulated.
No matter which type of job you are looking for, make sure you have the language skills needed. Even if you have the language skills needed to immigrate to Canada, those skills may not be strong enough to work in your preferred profession.
Regulated occupations, including trades
A regulated occupation (for example, architect, engineer or plumber) is controlled by provincial and territorial (and sometimes federal) law and governed by a regulatory body or apprenticeship authority. They are also called professions, skilled trades or apprenticeable trades. These jobs are regulated in order to protect public health and safety, and to ensure that people working in those jobs are qualified. About 20 percent of Canadian jobs are in regulated occupations.
Credential recognition is usually done by a regulatory body. Check with the regulatory body or other organization for your occupation to determine whether you need an assessment and, if so, which credential assessment agency you should use. Contact information for your regulatory body can be found by using Working in Canada. You can also check their website to find information about licensing, eligibility, the recognition process, and fees.
To work in a regulated occupation and use a regulated title, you must have a licence or a certificate or be registered with the regulatory body for your occupation in the province or territory where you want to work.
Each regulated occupation has its own requirements for obtaining a licence or certificate, and requirements can be different between provinces and territories. Requirements for entry usually include:
- An evaluation of your language and communication skills
- A specified period of supervised work experience
If you want to work in a trade (carpenter, electrician, bakers), visit Red Seal for more details about the training, skills and experience you will need to meet. As a tradesperson, you may be eligible to immigrate through the Federal Skilled Trades Program.
In Canada, some provinces and territories regulate certain professions and trades while others do not. If you have a licence to work in one province or territory, it may not be accepted in others.
Employers will want to learn about your competencies, education and work experience in order to decide if you can do the job.
They may also be interested to know the Canadian equivalency of the education that you acquired abroad.
A credential assessment agency can assess your educational credentials for a fee. You may include this information in your résumé or curriculum vitæ (CV).
3. To study
Contact the post-secondary schools you are interested in to find out what kind of education assessment they require and accept.
Many schools will assess your educational if you intend to apply to study there.
Credential assessment will help you:
- see whether your credentials are equivalent to the standards set for Canadian workers
- determine whether you need more training, education or Canadian work experience
- understand the types of jobs for which you might be qualified
- help employers understand your qualifications
You can start the credential assessment and recognition process before you arrive in Canada. This takes time and costs money.
Note: Having your educational credentials recognized to immigrate to Canada as a Federal Skilled Worker, to qualify to work in a particular occupation (including getting a license), and to find a job are each separate processes.
Find out about who is involved in the assessment process.
Be aware that the words credentials, competencies and qualifications may often appear to have the same meaning, but in Canada have specific definitions.