FAQ: For Immigration

Prior to ECA:

ECA Process:

Completed ECA

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Prior to ECA:

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.

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

ICES cannot answer questions regarding immigration and eligibility for CIC 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.

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

ICES representatives are unable to provide statements of comparability over the telephone or by email nor can we review credentials without an application and payment. Please do not send your academic documents to us for this type of review. In all cases, ICES needs to research the credential further before providing any statement on comparability. This ensures that ICES goes through with an accurate and reliable process in assessing the credential.

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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.

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

As stipulated by the CIC only completed programs of study will be assessed for points purposes. If a credential is not completed the designated service cannot provide comparability to a completed Canadian credential.

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

It may be possible to use your ECA report for education, employment or licensing purposes. Please check with the receiving organization to inquire whether the assessment may meet their needs for credential evaluation.

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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 as an ECA.Please note you must submit government 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.

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What is included in my ICES ECA?

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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.

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How much does an ICES ECA cost?

Please see Service fees associated with the ECA.

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How can I pay for my ICES ECA?

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/BCIT).

Note: Debit or Cheque cards can only be processed in person. Please refrain from sending credit card information via email, a fax payment form can be found here.

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.

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How long does an evaluation take?

ECA reports are estimated to be completed approximately five weeks from the date all necessary documents have been received (This means, ICES cannot proceed with your evaluation until applications have been processed, fees paid and official documents received). Note, ECA completion times may be affected by volume. Please see Processing Time.

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Are there institutions ICES cannot evaluate due to the lack of information?

Yes, please review the country-specific information that can be found on our document requirements page.

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ECA Process:

What is a credential?

A credential is one partially or 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. Course work or credit completed at two or more different institutions and applied (or transferred) towards a credential is considered to be more than one credential. (Note, for ECA purposes partially completed credentials will not be assessed or evaluated)

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What documents do I have to submit?

You must arrange to submit:

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).

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What are official documents?

Official documents are:

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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).

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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.

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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

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Why will you not call me when my official documents arrive?

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.

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Can ICES contact my school for me?

It is the client’s/applicant’s responsibility to procure and requisition the official documents form the source country. If you have any questions please contact ICES directly.

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Can I get my ECA faster?

Yes, ICES offers rush service (when available) to clients requiring completion of their ECA faster than the normal timelines. If available rush ECA assessments can be completed in 10 business days. Please contact for more information.

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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.

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I'm submitting my application via email, is there anything I should know?

Please make sure to sign the application form and attach all the required documents when submitting your application via email. Please note, applications that are incomplete and do not include an authentic signature will be deleted. Applicants will be required to resubmit the full application including the uploaded educational documents again. Top

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?

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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.
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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.

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What if I don't provide my postal code?

Please make sure to include your postal code to your address. There is a risk for unsuccessful delivery if the full address including the postal code.

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