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International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES)

International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES) for Canada Immigration

What is International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES)?

International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES) provides individuals with accurate and reliable evaluations of their educational documents for Canadian education, work and immigration purposes.

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

APPLY for ICES Online

ICES Canada mandate

ICES Canada compares education earned outside of Canada to the general education ladder in Canada. The evaluation 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, and
  • The recognition of the institution and program

See  Pan-Canadian Quality Assurance Framework for the Assessment of International Academic Credentials (QAF)

ICES for general purposes

Use ICES report if you are seeking employment, professional licensing or further study in Canada. International Credential Evaluation Service evaluates your formal for-credit educational programs of study if you studied in other countries. ICES then determines comparable levels in Canadian terms. The results of an ICES assessment are provided in evaluation reports that are objective, consistent, and reliable.

If you require ICES Canada assessment for general purposes please click General: Education, Employment, Licensure Registration.

The estimated processing time for a Basic Evaluation Assessments is four (4) weeks from the date all required documents are received.

The estimated processing time for a Comprehensive Evaluation Assessments is seven (7) weeks from the date all required documents are received.

If you are seeking an evaluation for immigration purposes, you will need a different type of report called the Educational Credential Assessment which is discussed below.

Scope and limits of ICES report

International Credential Evaluation Service 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.

International Credential Evaluation Service 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. ICES then issues an evaluation report that provides a general recommendation of the comparability of education earned outside of Canada to the Canadian education system.

ICES for Canada immigration purposes

International Credential Evaluation Service is designated by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to provide Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) reports for Canadian immigration purposes (Express Entry, Permanent Residency and Agri-Food Pilot).  Many of the Provincial Immigrant Nominee Programs also accept the ECA.  Please refer to the individual province for further details.

The estimated processing time for an ECA is approximately sixteen (16) weeks from the date on which all required documents are received in ICES office. Timelines apply to all applicants including those already in progress.

The estimated processing time for a renewal is currently two (2) weeks.

The estimated processing time when ordering a duplicate copy of your evaluation is currently seven (7) business days.

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

If you desire to apply for ICES Canada ECA report, APPLY ONLINE HERE.

ICES Frequently Asked Questions

The following FAQs are directly from ICES, courtesy of BCIT. To check for updates and new FAQs please visit ICES Canada FAQS.

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

ICES cannot answer questions regarding immigration and eligibility for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) immigration programs. It is up to you to decide which credential you would like evaluated. To emphasize, again ICES cannot advise you on this matter. Please visit the IRCC 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, then submit an application form and pay for the service; only then will ICES 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 Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) only completed programs of study will be assessed for points purposes. If a credential is not completed ICES 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 general purpose report. How can I upgrade to an ICES ECA for immigration purposes?

Are you already an ICES client and have had an evaluation/assessment completed in the past? If so, please fill out this form to update your evaluation to meet the requirements of an ECA. Please note that 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 your personal non-financial information for at least ten years from the date of application. And note also that it may retain this information indefinitely if ICES determines that your 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 that all ICES fees must be made in Canadian funds. Make payment payable to: International Credential Evaluation Service.

Note: You can process Debit or Cheque cards only in person. You can also make payment online when you access the online application.

Lastly, please ensure your credit card can 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?

Note that ECA completion times may change due to volume. Please see ICES ECA Processing Time.

Are there institutions ICES will not evaluate?

Yes, please review the country-specific information at ICES 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. ICES does not evaluate partial credentials.

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
  • Documents that the client, client’s friend or relative did not handle
  • Bears proper seals, signatures, and postal markings
  • If you completed your studies in China, you must satisfy the verification through the CDGDC or the CHESICC/CHSI
  • The academic authority can also send these documents directly to ICES office via email.

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

Send China Academic Degrees and Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC) validation directly to ICES offices. For non-university or Benke-level awards you may send credentials directly to ICES through 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?

In general your evaluation will proceed more quickly if you have applied before official documents get to ICES. 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. ICES would like to keep everyone informed about the status of their files. However, due to the sheer volume of mail they are unable to individually contact each client that documents arrived. If you wish to find out more about the status of a file, please contact ICES 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 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 will not receive a refund. If however, ICES cancels the evaluation or refuses to accept the application, applicant may receive a refund.

Will ECAs be issued in French?

If you submit documents in French only, ICES will not translate these documents into English. Also, 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 also that results of the ECA including comparability statements are in English only.

What if I want to add another credential 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. Also note that 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?

Applicants should submit their online application separately. 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 suspended the use of the recommendation of “First Professional Degree in Law”. This is due to information they received from the National Committee on Accreditation at the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. ICES will continue to review this issue and provide updates as they become available.

Additional ICES information links

See also: