How to get foreign-earned credentials assessed for immigration or work and study, and IQAS resources for organizations.
IQAS for Canada immigration purposes
IQAS for Canada immigration purposes: To immigrate to Canada as a skilled worker, you will need an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) for education received outside of Canada.
The International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS) is an Alberta government service that issues certificates comparing credentials from other countries to Canadian education standards. IQAS is designated by the Government of Canada to provide Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) for Express Entry. An ECA may be used in Express Entry for 5 years.
- An ECA will not be issued if your credentials cannot be authenticated and/or are from an educational institution/program that is not recognized. IQAS will let you know that your application has been cancelled.
- An ECA may not result in an outcome you want for an Express Entry application. Your credentials are compared to Canadian education standards, which can be different from those in the country where you were educated.
- IQAS receives a high volume of applications and does not provide rush services. All applications are processed in the order they have been received.
- An ECA will not be issued within shorter timelines to meet your deadlines. You are responsible for applying early enough to meet any deadlines you may have.
ECA Process – Quick View
|Gather your documents to apply.|
|Complete application online and mail application package by post. Monitor delivery through courier.||IQAS sends you an email confirming we opened your package. Note: It takes time to process mail, so it could take several weeks for IQAS to email you.|
|Request your official transcripts from your school.||IQAS emails you after receiving all transcripts.|
|Note: Processing time starts after all required documents, transcripts, and payments are received. Applications currently take 15 weeks to process.|
|IQAS completes your assessment. Note: You will receive an electronic copy of your assessment, and a hard copy by mail.|
|Submit your assessment to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) with your file number.|
See the ECA Process infographic (PDF, 74 KB)
Who can apply for IQAS Canada Immigration Assessment?
You can get an IQAS Canada assessment for immigration purposes if you:
- plan to immigrate to Canada
- need an ECA for Canadian immigration purposes, and have a formal academic diploma or degree, or a technical diploma or degree from an institution outside of Canada
If you have a Canadian degree, diploma or certificate, you do not need to get an ECA for that credential.
Why get an IQAS Canada assessment?
The ECA is for formal academic / technical education.
An ECA issued by IQAS:
- is valid for Express Entry for 5 years
- can be used for immigration to any province/territory in Canada
- does not mean that your credentials are automatically recognized for licensure in Canada
- does not guarantee a job or successful immigration application; but, if you are successful with your immigration application, this assessment may also be used when applying for jobs
IQAS Canada Cost
Application fee (regardless of the number of credentials): $200
- to an address in Canada: $15
- to an address outside of Canada: $75
Fees apply to each applicant. Spouses cannot submit their credentials under one application even if they reside at the same household.
IQAS Canada Processing times
- Average processing time after all required documents, transcripts, and payments are received can be found at the links below:
- Processing times take longer if extensive research or verification is required.
- Processing times will increase with higher volumes of applications. Currently IQAS is receiving a very high volume of applications.
- Mail delivery time is not included in the processing time.
- Applicants are responsible for applying early enough to meet any deadlines they may have. IQAS does not provide rush services.
IQAS Canada International Education Guides
These guides explain how international education credentials compare to Alberta education credentials and standards.
IQAS International Education Guides profile educational systems in countries with the highest levels of immigration to Alberta. It compares credentials from these countries with educational standards in Canada, and can be used to make accurate and efficient decisions about the recognition of international credentials.
Each guide covers:
- country overview
- historical education
- school education system
- higher education system
- professional / technical / vocational education
- teacher education
- grading scales
- documentation for educational credentials
- IQAS’ suggested credentials comparisons
Note: Questions about credentials not covered in this guide should be referred to IQAS .
Translated credential titles
For accuracy, check the title of the credential in the original language, as well as the translation. If the title of the credential doesn’t appear in either language, refer to the overview of the country’s education system to find the level of the credential or alternative titles.
Who can use the IQAS Canada guides
These guides are typically used by:
- employers who need to know if an applicant with international credentials meets the educational requirement for the job, and how to compare those credentials to educational standards in Alberta and Canada
- educational institutions that need to decide if a prospective student meets the education requirements for admission
- professional licensing bodies that need to know if an applicant meets the educational standards
- potential immigrants
- immigrant-serving agencies
IQAS Canada Credential templates
The International Education Guides give detailed information on educational credentials awarded when completing a program of study.
For each country listed, you’ll find credential templates with descriptions of:
- the credential’s official name
- the standardized English translation
- alternative names
- the time period the credential was offered
- the issuing body
- admission requirements into the program
- descriptive program information
- recommendations on how the credential compares to educational standards in Alberta
Terms and conditions
These are not official IQAS Canada assessments.
The recommendations in these guides are for your information only. The credential comparisons represent common educational patterns within each country. They don’t take into account the recognition status of the institution through which a credential was obtained, the authenticity of the documentation, or the particular pattern of education followed by an individual.
IQAS Canada Guides by country
The International Education Guide compares the educational system in each country below to educational standards in Alberta. Click each country to see details of its standards and to download IQAS Canada Guide for that country.
- Former USSR
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
- United States
IQAS Canada assessment for employment, education or licensure
If you plan to work or study, you can get an IQAS Canada assessment that compares your credentials to educational standards in Canada.
In Canada, some occupations are regulated. Regulated occupations have legal requirements or restrictions in place to protect the public. To work in these occupations, you must register with the appropriate professional regulatory organization.
Who can apply for IQAS Canada assessment?
You can get this type of assessment if you have a formal academic or technical degree, diploma or certificate earned outside Canada.
IQAS Canada doesn’t evaluate training received in these areas:
Why get an assessment by IQAS Canada?
You can get an assessment by IQAS Canada to support your:
- job search
- application for professional licensure
- application for post-secondary education