Here, ICES stands for International Credential Evaluation Service, an organization designated by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to assess a foreign education’s equivalency in terms of Canadian education.
Established in 1995, International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES) assists individuals in getting the recognition they need for going ahead with their career and educational goals in Canada. ICES compares education secured outside Canada to the general Canadian education system. A general comparison of the levels of study is provided.
Whether or not the institution and the program are recognized as per the Canadian standard is also established. While designated by the government of Canada, ICES works towards the benefit of all internationally-educated applicants across Canada.
The evaluation reports are designed with the aim of facilitating the admission or hiring decisions made by employers, government bodies, educational institutions, and regulatory bodies. Only advisory in nature, an ECA does not guarantee an admission to educational institutions or a job in Canada.
Helping an individual pursue a wide variety of goals overseas, an ECA report establishes if the credentials held by an individual successfully meet the requirements for admission, employment, or licensure in Canada. While the ICES evaluates credentials from all countries, certain countries have specific requirements.
Generally, it is the highest degree held by the applicant that will have to be assessed for an ECA report. If you hold a Master’s degree, you will only have to get an assessment for that degree. In such a case, an assessment will not be needed for your Bachelor’s degree.
ICES only evaluates international academic credentials. Professional qualifications and trade assessments are not done by ICES
The ICES offers three kinds of ECA reports -
Step 1: Selecting the right report
Step 2: Meeting the requirements
Step 3: Get to know what you pay for the ECA from ICES
Step 4: Applying
A basic ECA is needed in situations wherein an employer or immigration body don’t require a list of the individual subjects studied.
A comprehensive ECA might be needed when the organization or employer needs a more detailed report.
An immigration ECA is required if looking to immigrate to Canada via the Express Entry route.
Under the preferred mode of submission, you can submit a full set of official documents, to be sent directly to the ICES by your institution.
Alternatively, you can send in a full set of your original documentation. This will be the documents that you have in your possession.
A full set of original documents will mean the academic record (transcripts etc.) as well as the document issued on course completion (for example, a degree certificate).
The exact fees charged by ICES will be applicable for each of the individual credentials assessed.
CAD128, for each educational credential
ICES recommends using the online application portal. Payment will only be accepted by credit card - American Express, Visa, or Mastercard.
However, you can also apply for an ECA by ICES through a printable mail-in application.
If unable to apply online, the documents will have to be sent to -
International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES)
c/o General Application
3700 Willingdon Avenue
Burnaby, British Columbia
CANADA V5G 3H2
The processing time for your application will be as per the present volume of applications with ICES. No expedited or fast-track service available.
The timeline for a particular ECA Report procurement from ICES will be calculated from the day that all of the required items, including the fees, have been duly received.
Kindly note that the processing time does not include the time taken for you to get your report delivered, by mail or courier.
Due to external factors like the challenges thrown by COVID-19, new timelines were introduced with effect from April 1, 2021.
All immigration ECA applications received after April 1, 2021 will be processed within a 30-week timeline. The previous processing timeline was that of 20 weeks.
For those applying generally, and not for immigration purposes, the estimated timeline is between 4 weeks (for a Basic Report) to 7 weeks (for a Comprehensive Report).
While ICES is one of the organizations that provides assessment reports for foreign academic qualifications, it is not the only one around.
If planning to work in a regulated occupation, you might be required to get your assessment done by a specific designated organization.
Physicians, that is, individuals with their primary occupation as NOC 3111 or NOC 3112 - as per the National Occupational Classification (NOC) matrix of Canada - must get an ECA from the Medical Council of Canada.
The Canadian NOC is a comprehensive database that includes all the occupations, including the job titles and role requirements, available in the Canadian labour market.
NOC 3111 is for Specialist Physicians. NOC 3112, on the other hand, is the occupation code for General Practitioners and Family Physicians.
The occupation group of Pharmacists (NOC 3131) also requires a license before they can practice in Canada.
To be able to work in Canada as a pharmacist, you will require an assessment from the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada, the professional body for pharmacists.
If your position does not require a license to practice in Canada, you can get an assessment done through any of the other IRCC-designated organizations.
At Kansas Overseas, we have the right blend of expertise and experience to guide you in the right direction when it comes to visas and immigration.
Get in touch today!