Recognition For Foreign Credentials


According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, skilled foreign workers immigrating to Canada comprise almost three quarters of the country’s labour force growth. Yet for successful recipients of a temporary work permit from CIC, credential recognition can pose an obstacle to their economic and social integration into the fabric of Canadian society.

Becoming informed about the types of occupations available in Canada will streamline the process for current or potential immigrants seeking employment with a Canada work visa. 

Canadian professions are distinguished by two categories:

The licensing for regulated occupations—for example nurses or engineers—is subject to provincial and sometimes federal legislation. These jobs are governed by a regulatory body who outlines the conditions that an applicant’s credentials must meet before they can receive certification or licensing.  Requirements for these occupations are not uniform across the country, thus it is important that immigrants to Canada consider whether their credentials meet the standards set by their chosen province’s professional association. Contacting the regulatory body that presides over the applicant’s occupation will give them access to information about how their credentials will be evaluated.

However the majority of Canadian occupations are non-regulated and the Canadian employer has the power to hire a foreign-born skilled worker based on his or her individual appraisal of their qualifications.

Applicants for regulated occupations are often assessed based on their academic background, language proficiency, work experience, and their performance on standardized professional examinations.  For the Quebec Skilled Worker program, applicants are asked to submit their scores from an approved French language test such as the DELF. Quebec immigration offices will only consider the foreign-born skilled worker’s performance in the listening and speaking sections of the examination.  

Especially for non-regulated occupations, an evaluation from a Canadian Foreign Credential Assessment Service is a useful asset that will gauge how an applicant’s qualifications will be received in Canada.   Other resources about Canadian employment accreditation prerequisites include the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials and the Government’s National Occupational Classification Matrix.

Additionally, FWCanada provides a Canada Visa assessment service that evaluates a Canada Immigration applicant’s eligibility for CIC’s various immigration programs.

For the latest updates pertaining to changes to Canadian Immigration legislation, please consult our news and articles section or follow @FWCanada on twitter. 

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