ICES ECA for Canada Immigration - AfriCanada Immigration Inc.
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Immigration and Citizenship

ICES ECA for Canada Immigration

Table of Contents
1 What is ICES Canada?

What is ICES Canada?

International Credential Evaluation Services (ICES Canada) is a government-mandated service in British Columbia, but serves the interests of all internationally educated applicants throughout Canada. ICES is provided by the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT)

ICES Canada mandate

ICES Canada will provide individuals possessing educational credentials from outside BC or Canada with accurate, equitable, affordable, and reliable evaluations of their educational documents (Per Alliance agreement: Pan-Canadian Quality Assurance Framework for the Assessment of International Academic Credentials (QAF)). 
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ICES Canada compares education earned outside of Canada to the general education ladder in Canada. ICES Canada reports offer a general comparability of the years and levels of study. ICES Canada recommendations are set by considering several factors including:

  • The minimum academic credential one must hold in order to be admitted to the program.
  • The level and duration of the program.
  • The program of study to which the credential provides access in the country of origin.
  • The recognition of the institution and program.

The scope and limits of an ICES Canada report

ICES Canada follows the standard methodology used in evaluation services throughout Canada and the United States and we apply this methodology consistently to all of our clients. ICES Canada does not evaluate course content or make a judgment on the quality of individual credentials. ICES is not in a position to evaluate the merits of each individual’s performance or knowledge (other than on the basis of grades). Instead, ICES offers a service which authenticates documents, conducts research based on well established methodologies, and then issues an evaluation report that provides a general recommendation of the comparability of education earned outside of Canada to the Canadian education system.

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Please note that evaluations completed by ICES Canada are advisory in nature and do not guarantee, replace or supersede the assessments required by professional or trade associations or for admission to educational institutions or organizations. The evaluation reports are designed to support and facilitate hiring or admission decisions made by employers, regulatory bodies and educational institutions. Please note, all reports are provided in hard copy format only. Due to security reasons, we do not provide the report electronically.

Lastly, ICES Canada does not provide preliminary assessments prior to formal application. This is unfortunately not our process. We cannot review documents via email, fax or other means to determine comparability prior to receiving an actual application. Once an application, fees and documents are received, we can then review the submitted information in order to determine if all the necessary information has been submitted. For more information about requirements, please visit our requirements page. You can choose to receive the results of the evaluation by regular mail or by courier. Regular mail does not mean registered mail nor does is require a signature for delivery.

Important ICES Canada News:

  • Africa: due to a recent increase in the number of fraudulent documents originating from this continent, applicants who submit credentials from the Ivory Coast, Nigeria and other African countries will experience further delays due to verification procedures we have put in place. This applies to both general and ECA evaluation reports.
  • All rush requests have been suspended until further notice. 
  • Applications from Syria
  • ICES is unable to send any mail by courier to Kyrgyzstan, Kosovo or Turkmenistan. Cuba has restricted incoming mail by courier only. Also, Canada Post has temporarily suspended all mail services to Syria. Please see this notification of the OFAC trade embargo for more information.

ICES Canada assessment for Canada immigration purposes

ICES Canada has been designated by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC, now Refugees and Citizenship Canada or IRCC) to provide Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) reports for Canadian immigration purposes (Express Entry and Permanent Residency).

ices eca for canada immigration

For ICES Canada assessment for other general purposes please click General: Education, Employment, Licensure Registration.

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An Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) is a statement of the general comparability of international educational credentials to a completed Canadian educational credential, in the format that Citizenship and Immigration Canada / Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada requires.

  • Under the guidelines provided by the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), ICES will only provide ECA reports for fully completed academic credentials. A certificate, diploma, or degree must have been completed and awarded.
  • If you intend to apply as a Physician/Specialist Physician (NOC 3111 or 3112) and plan to pursue licensure you are advised to be assessed by the Medical Council of Canada.
  • Individuals applying as a Pharmacist (NOC 3131) and intending to pursue licensure are advised to have an assessment from the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada.
  • If you are applying for the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, please visit Atlantic Immigration site for further details.
  • For more information about the immigration process related to services offered by ICES please visit Canadian Immigration and Express Entry.
  • CES Canada does not evaluate:
  • Trade qualifications
  • Military training
  • Second language training
  • Professional licenses
  • Apprenticeships
  • Work or life experience
  • Continuing education courses taken at non-recognized institutions
  • Non-credit professional development courses
  • Incomplete or provisional academic credentials

Note the credential must be at least comparable to one-year of full-time study. To proceed with the application for an Educational Credential Assessment please see Step 1 below.

For Immigration: Step 1

Document Requirements

You must arrange to submit official documents

  • These documents must be sent directly to ICES from your educational institution or educational authority.
    • For a document to be considered official, it must meet the following standards:
      • Mailed from educational institution directly to ICES office
      • Document has never been handled by client, client’s friend or relative
      • Bears proper seals, signatures, and postal markings
    • Official documents can also be sent by the academic authority directly to our office via email. (icesinfo@bcit.ca)
      • If being sent by email, they must be sent from a traceable university issued email account (educational domain) and signed by an appropriate university authority (i.e. registrar, controller of examinations, head of records etc.). Emails from generic accounts will not be accepted (i.e. Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.). Please ensure your school is not simply forwarding your scans. Documents must be stamped/signed/verified by an appropriate authority before they send them to us.
    • The documents must confirm what you have studied and that you have completed the program.
    • In most cases an official transcript is sufficient as long as the completion of the award is noted within. If confirmation of the award is not present in the academic transcript, this information can arrive in letter form from the appropriate authority accompanying the official transcript of records.
    • If a degree or transcript cannot be re-issued, applicants may make arrangements for an official letter of confirmation to be sent directly to ICES. This letter of confirmation must include details about study and the credential awarded (including the date of award). This confirmation can be sent by mail or by email as long as the source can be confirmed.
    • The mode of delivery (regular/distance education/part-time/full-time) and campus location must also be included on the official documents or in an accompanying letter.
    • If translations of official documents are required, clients will be contacted once official documents arrive to ICES. Please see more information about translations below.
    • Applicants with credentials from the People’s Republic of China will be required to have a China Academic Degrees and Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC) validation sent directly to our offices. For non-university or Benke-level awards you may choose to arrange for credential authenticity reports to be sent directly to ICES by the China Higher Education Student Information and Career Center (CHESICC/CHSI).
ices eca for canada immigration

Clients must submit:

  • Colour copies of photo identification documents.
    • Such as a passport, national identification card or driver’s license
  • Colour copies of the front and back of each final award.
    • Such as a degree, diploma or certificate
  • Colour copies of the front and back of each academic record.
    • Such as a transcript, marks cards, or diploma supplement
  • Copies of the literal (not interpretive) certified translations of each of these documents into English or French
    • ICES will forward any official documents requiring translations to you directly should it be necessary.
  • *It is not necessary to submit the back of a document if it is blank

Country-Specific Information

Some countries have specific requirements or situations. Please click the letters below to find your country.

  • Not all countries are represented below.
  • ICES evaluates credentials from all countries that provide education, whether or not they are listed below. 
  • If your country isn’t on this list, simply follow the general instructions on these pages.
  • We have separated secondary and post-secondary document requirements for convenience, not advice.
  • You must decide which credential(s) to evaluate.

For Immigration: Step 2

ICES Canada Service Fees (in Canadian Dollars)

Standard Service

$200.00 per educational credential which includes:

  • Two original credential evaluation reports (hard copy only)*
  • Secure electronic access by CIC
  • Standard postage

Updated ECA

$150.00 for updating a pre-existing general evaluation report to ECA for immigration purposes which includes:

  • Two original credential evaluation reports – one for the applicant and one to submit to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) (hard copy only)*
  • Secure electronic access by CIC
  • Standard postage

Additional Copies

$20.00 per evaluation report which includes:

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  • One original credential evaluation report sent directly from ICES to any recipient. (hard copy only)*
  • Standard postage

Courier

  • Courier deliveries cannot be made to post office box numbers. If your only address is a post office box, we will default to regular mail for the delivery of your report. Note, there is no tracking for regular mail. Also if there’s a problem with your mailing address and the courier company is unable to deliver your package, the courier company may elect to abandon the package and deem it undeliverable. Any additional costs associated with re-sending are the responsibility of the applicant. 
  • Domestic Courier within Canada
    • $26.00
  • US and International Courier
    • $75.00

Payment

  • Payment must be included with all applications sent by mail or courier.

Cancellation and Refunds

  • There are no refunds for ECA applications. ICES is not responsible for document requirements that cannot be met. Please ensure all requirements can be met before proceeding with an application.

(*Only hard copies are available, due to security reasons we cannot send the report electronically)

For Immigration: Step 3

Online application

Before you click the button below for the online application, you should be prepared.

  • Know which credentials you want to evaluate.
  • Do not combine applications for multiple people. (ie. You and your spouse should apply separately, under two different accounts).
  • Have copies of documents ready in PDF format, (5MB maximum size per file). These files should include:
    • Colour scans of identification
    • Colour scans of academic records
    • Colour scans of certificates, degrees or diplomas
    • Translations of the above if they are not in English or French
  • Be ready to pay via credit card (Visa, Mastercard, or American Express). You cannot pay by debit card online.
  • Remember you are still required to have your institution send us official documentation.The official documents can be sent two ways:
    • by email directly from your institution to: icesinfo@bcit.ca (ICES will reject all confirmation that cannot be connected directly to your awarding institution)
    • by post directly to our office c/o ICES 3700 Willingdon Avenue, Burnaby BC V5G 3H2 Canada

The online application will allow you to check the status of your application by indicating:

  • Incomplete 
  • Submitted (application has been submitted online to ICES)
  • Received 
  • Incomplete file (Documents Required)
  • Documents Received (Being checked by ICES)
  • Complete

No further details about the status of the evaluation will be available. This system is there to allow for general updates only.

Other options

If you are unable to pay and apply online, we have a printable application available which can be sent by mail or courier.

If you have already completed an online application for a general evaluation you may apply for an updated report online.

In all other cases, use the form below.

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Submission of PDF applications

Submit your completed, signed ICES ECA application form and ensure the following requirements are met:

  • Please read Terms and Conditions before signing the form.
  • Submit the completed form via mail or courier ONLY.
  • Colour copies of photo identification documents.
    • Such as a passport, national identification card or driver’s license.
  • Colour copies of the front and back of each final award.
    • Such as a degree, diploma or certificate.
    • Colour copies of the front and back of each academic record.
      • Such as a transcript, marks cards, or diploma supplement.
  • Copies of the literal (not interpretive) certified translations of each of these documents into English or French.
    • ICES will forward any official documents requiring translations to you directly should it be necessary.
  • It is not necessary to submit the back of a document if it is blank.
  • Please include photocopies of the literal (not interpretive) certified translations of each of these academic documents into English or French (ICES will forward any official documents requiring translations to you directly should it be necessary).
  • Arrange for official documents to be sent directly to ICES from all educational institutions to be evaluated.

For all applications

Those already with a previous BCIT or ICES Canada Id will not have access to the online application form.

  • Completion times apply only when we receive all necessary documents and full payment.
  • Courier deliveries cannot be made to post office box numbers. If your only address is a post office box, we will default to regular mail for the delivery of your assessment.
  • ECA processing times will depend on the volume of applications. Timelines will be clearly stated on the ICES Canada website at Processing Time.
  • ICES is not responsible for lost or misdirected mail. It is your responsibility to keep ICES informed if your contact information or postal address changes (in writing).

IQAS Canada Processing Time

*All rush requests have been suspended until further notice. 

For general applicants

The estimated processing time for a Basic Evaluation Assessments: four weeks from the date all required documents are received.

The estimated processing time for a Comprehensive Evaluation Assessments: seven weeksfrom the date all required documents are received.

For immigration

The estimated processing time for an ECA is approximately twelve weeks from the date on which all required documents are received in our office. Please note, if we have received your application prior to this recent update in timelines, there is no need to call or contact our office about this change.

* Note: Timelines are calculated from the day that all required documents are received in their entirety at ICES and not counted from the date of application. Please note that timelines are an estimate only and not a guarantee. Timelines may be affected by incoming volume, additional research or inquiries required to complete the evaluation report. Timelines are subject to change at any time. Lastly, processing times do not include the time it takes for mail delivery. 

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(The online application only accepts credit card)

ICES Frequently Asked Questions

The following FAQs are directly from ICES, courtesy of BCIT. See more

Does ICES have any offices or agents outside of Canada?

The International Credential Evaluation Service operates out of an office in Burnaby, BC, Canada. Our services may be directly accessed from anywhere in the world by submitting an application form, which is available on our website. Educational documents may be sent to us via regular mail or courier. While there are many agencies that assist individuals in seeking an assessment of their education from ICES, they are not authorized to charge any premiums for this service. It is not necessary to access our service through any third party as individuals may come to us directly.

Can you tell me how many points I have for immigration?

ICES cannot answer questions regarding immigration and eligibility for CIC (now IRCC) immigration programs. It is up to you to decide which credential you would like evaluated, again ICES cannot advise you on this matter.  Please visit the CIC website for more information.

Can you give me an idea of what my credential is comparable to over the telephone or by email?

ICES is unable to review credentials over the telephone or via email. If you want your credentials evaluated, submit an application form and pay for the service; only then will we perform research.

Do I need to have my high school credential evaluated?

It is up to you to decide which completed foreign credentials you would like ICES to assess. You will receive immigration points for the Canadian equivalency of your highest level degree, diploma or certificate (or combination) and it is generally sufficient to only have your highest credential assessed and unnecessary to have your high school credential evaluated. For more information, please visit Canadian Immigration and Points Eligibility.

I have not completed my program of study yet, can I still apply for an ICES ECA?

No. As stipulated by the CIC (IRCC) only completed programs of study will be assessed for points purposes. If a credential is not completed we cannot provide comparability to a completed Canadian credential.

Will I be able to use my ICES ECA for other purposes after I arrive in Canada?

The ECA report is intended for immigration purposes only. Please check with the receiving organization to inquire whether the assessment may meet their needs for credential evaluation.

I already have an ICES report. How can I upgrade to an ICES ECA for Immigration purposes?

If you are already an ICES client and have had an evaluation/assessment completed in the past please fill out this form to update your evaluation to meet the requirements of an ECA. Please note you must submit a colour copy of your government photo ID. Also, if your evaluation was not based on official documents, you will now need to arrange for official documents to arrive directly to our office. If your previous report was already based on official documents, it may not be necessary to submit any additional documents.

What is included in my ICES ECA?

  • The name of the client
  • The date of birth of the client
  • The ICES client number
  • The CIC reference number for verification purposes
  • The name of the institution
  • The country in which the institution is located
  • The authenticity of the credential
  • The admission requirements
  • The level and duration of the program.
  • The specialization of the program if any
  • The recognition of the institution and program
  • The comparable level of education in Canada

Does my ICES ECA expire?

The ECA is valid for five years for immigration purposes. Please note, that ICES may retain my personal non-financial information for at least ten years from the date of application and that it may retain this information indefinitely if ICES determines that my documents are not authentic.

How much does an ICES ECA cost?

Please see Service fees associated with the ECA.

How can I pay for my ICES ECA if I’m submitting my application via mail?

Multiple payment options are available to all applicants, including certified cheques, bank drafts, money orders, Mastercard, American Express, Visa. Please note all ICES fees must be made in Canadian funds. Please make payment payable to: International Credential Evaluation Service).

Note: Debit or Cheque cards can only be processed in person. When you access the online application, payment can be made there.

Lastly, please ensure your credit card is authorized to make international payments if you are abroad. You may want to contact your financial institution or credit card provider to authorize these types of transactions. Please submit payment with your application, failure to do so may end up in cancellation of your application request.

How long does an evaluation take?

ECA completion times may be affected by volume. Please see ICES ECA Processing Time.

Are there institutions ICES will not evaluate?

Yes, please review the country-specific information that can be found on our document requirements page. ICES reserves the right to add new institutions to these listings at any time.

What is an ECA credential?

An ECA credential is a fully completed educational program from one institution leading to a certificate, diploma or degree. Each certificate, diploma or degree program you have taken is a separate credential. No partial credentials will be evaluated.

What documents do I have to submit?

Please refer directly to the document requirements listed at For Immigration: Step 1.

What are official documents?

Official documents are:

  • Mailed from educational institution directly to ICES office
  • Document has never been handled by client, client’s friend or relative
  • Bears proper seals, signatures, and postal markings
  • If you have completed your studies in China, you must satisfy the verification through the CDGDC or the CHESICC/CHSI
  • These documents can also be sent by the academic authority directly to our office via email.

I completed my studies from China, where should my verification come from?

Applicants with credentials from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) will be required to have a China Academic Degrees and Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC) validation sent directly to our offices. For non-university or Benke-level awards you may choose to arrange for credential authenticity reports to be sent directly to ICES by the China Higher Education Student Information and Career Center (CHESICC/CHSI).

I’m having my university send you documents. Do I need to apply before the documents get there?

We don’t throw out mail that universities send us, but in general your evaluation will proceed more quickly if you have applied before official documents get here. That way the mail goes into your file the moment it arrives.

If I’m having more than one credential evaluated, will all my credentials appear on the same report?

Yes, if a client is having more than one credential evaluated they will all appear on a single ECA.

Will you call me when my official documents arrive?

No. Although we would like to keep everyone informed about the status of their files, due to the sheer volume of mail we receive we are unable to individually contact each client to inform them that documents have arrived. If you wish to find out more about the status of a file, please contact our office via telephone or email.

Can ICES contact my school for me?

It is the client’s responsibility to have official documents sent from the source institution.

How can I contact ICES via email?

Please contact ices via email at icesinfo@bcit.ca. Please make sure to include “ECA” in the subject line so we can more accurately serve you.

Can I receive a refund if I cancel the evaluation process?

If applicants cancel the evaluation process they are not entitled to a refund. If however, ICES cancels the evaluation or refuses to accept the application a refund may be issued.

Will ECAs be issued in French?

In cases where an individual only submits documents in French, ICES will not translate these documents into English, course names, titles and other information will remain in French if applicable. If an individual submits English translations ICES will use this information for the ECA. Note, results of the ECA including comparability statements are issued in English only.

What if I want another credential added to my ECA after it is finished?

Adding another entirely new credential onto a completed evaluation will cost the same as getting a new report for a single credential. Please follow the same application process as before. Please note if you are already an existing ICES client, the online application process will not be available to you.

I want to apply by mail. Can I pay online?

No. You can only pay online if you apply online. Mailed applications must include payment.

What does a completed ECA application look like?

For your reference:

Can I apply online for both my spouse and myself?

Each online application should be separately submitted for each individual applicant. Note that each applicant will also need their own email address to apply.

How do you evaluate law degrees?

It is important to mention that the International Credential Evaluation Service has suspended the use of the recommendation of “First Professional Degree in Law” due to information we have received from the National Committee on Accreditation at the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. We will continue to review this issue and provide updates as they become available.

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