Here is a list of frequently asked questions for everyone applying to ICES. Select which applies to you:
Information for all applicants
ICES does not review credentials over the telephone or by email. We must receive a formal application, full payment and documents before the research process begins. No preliminary information will be provided. Please do not send your documents by email for review.
No. Payment is required by the same method the application is submitted. If you choose to apply by mail, then the payment must be accompanied with the application package. The application will not be accepted without a payment. Acceptable methods of payment include Visa, MasterCard, American Express, bank drafts, money orders and certified cheques. Debit or Cheque Cards are not accepted by mail can only be used in person when applying at BCIT.
When applying online, you must pay online. The online portal is set up to accept credit card payments only (Visa, MasterCard, American Express). Debit or Cheque Cards are not accepted. Please do not set up an online account if you are unable to make a credit card payment.
ICES does not offer a list of institutions we can assess. However, ICES does provide country-specific information that details institutions we cannot assess. We do not offer preliminary information prior to receiving the application.
The processing time begins once the completed application, documents (original or official), and full payment of fees has been received by ICES. For ECA applications, we also require government-issued identification. This date we receive all your documentation and full payment will most likely differ from the date the application was received.
Generally, we recommend that you complete your application before you have your documents sent to us. After applying, you will be given an ICES client number that you can provide to your institution. It is always recommended that your institute includes your client number with the documents they send so the documents can easily be matched to your file. If the documents are received before your application, they will simply be stored until the application is received. If no application is received, documents are destroyed after one year.
Yes. ICES’s full disclosure policy mandates that all credentials appear together on one report; they will not be separated.
No. Due to the high volume of mail received on a daily basis, it is not feasible to notify clients when documents are received. For clients who have applied online, status updates are provided on your online dashboard. This is the only way that you will be notified of your application status. We will not call or email you to advise you of the receipt of your documents. Clients who apply by mail will not have access to an online status update.
No. This is beyond the scope of our service. We do not contact the institution to arrange for your documents. This is the responsibility of the client. This is a mandatory requirement that must be adhered to. We do however provide this Request for Academic Records form in lieu of a formal request from us.
Yes, you may add another credential. The process would be the same as before. If the previous application was submitted online, then please use your online account to submit the new credential. If the previous application was submitted by mail, then please submit another form for the second credential.
ICES does not charge for regular mail service. It is sent and delivered by the local postal service and is not trackable. A fee is charged for courier service ($26 domestic and $75 international) and it is trackable. Although ICES is not responsible for delivery times, courier service tends to be faster than regular mail.
Status updates are provided throughout the total timeline of the evaluation. Please check your dashboard periodically. As the file moves from one stage to the next, the status will update. This can take several days or weeks depending on the next step. For instance if you know your documents have arrived at BCIT, please allow a few days for the status to update as we process the mail.
For more information, visit our application status page.
All address changes must be provided by email. You will not have access to change your address on your online profile.
No. ICES does not release the final result electronically. It will not be posted to your account or sent as a soft copy by email. It will only be issued as a hard copy in the mail.
No. The only service ICES provides is to evaluate international academic credentials. We do not assess the trades including apprentice and professional qualifications.
No. Any official documents received directly from your institution become ICES property and are not returned back to the client. They are not forwarded to any third party either. Any original documents submitted by the client are always returned back.
No. The ICES office is not open to the public and we cannot offer pick up service. All documents and evaluations reports are sent to the client by mail or courier depending on what service was selected on the application.
Although the documents may have arrived at BCIT, they may not have been delivered to the ICES office immediately. It can take the mail a room a few days to sort the mail and deliver it the various departments on campus. It may also take ICES a day or two to process the mail. Please be patient and allow a few days for the application status to update.
No. The portal is only available to brand new clients who do not have a previous BCIT number. This also applies to previous ICES clients who previously submitted a paper application. You will need to apply with our printable form.
For clients who have applied online, the refund can take approximately 4 weeks for it to post back to your credit card. For clients who are expecting a refund by cheque in the mail, this can take 4-8 weeks.
ICES may require additional information or verification regarding your credential or documents. In all cases we do our best to contact the appropriate authority by email and notify the client. At this point the file is placed on hold until the appropriate response is received.
The online application status will indicate when ICES completed and mailed the report. We cannot however, estimate when you will receive it. That depends entirely on what method you chose for delivery (regular postal service or courier) and the current estimated delivery times of the postal or courier service.
The assessment is issued as a hard copy only. We do not release the report electronically. It is not available for download on your account and you will not be sent a soft copy by email.
The surname field on the online application must be filled in, in order to proceed. If you have no last name, please enter your first name as your last and enter a dash (-) in the first name field in order to move on. This dash will not appear on your final evaluation. If you have a middle name such as Kaur or Singh, please enter that as the last name.
ICES reserves the right to revise or amend the details of the evaluation report if we find a revision is necessary due to incorrect or inaccurate information obtained at the time of completion.
All applicants have one year to request a review of the assessment if they feel there are errors or an inaccurate result. Please contact our office using the Contact Form to address any concerns. ICES will review the file and provide an updated evaluation report if we feel the necessary changes are warranted. After one year there is a $75 to re-open the file.
Please ensure that it is not a debit card, it is approved for international payments, and sufficient funds are available. As we are not advised of the reason for the decline, you may wish to follow up with your financial institution for further assistance.
No tax deductible receipt is issued for ICES fees. The evaluation is considered a service provided and the fee does not classify as a tuition so no receipt is issued for income tax purposes.
ECA applicants (for immigration)
ICES is not involved in the allocation of immigration points. We cannot answer questions regarding immigration and eligibility requirements for IRCC programs. Each client must decide how many and which credentials to have evaluated; ICES does not advise on this matter. Please visit the IRCC website for more information.
ICES is not permitted to recommend or advise clients on which credentials to have assessed. You may wish to visit the IRCC website for a comparison table for additional information as this may help you make your decision. You must decide which and how many credentials to have assessed. Most clients tend to assess their highest degree only. However, it is ultimately your choice.
No. As stipulated by the IRCC, only full completed programs of study (credentials) will be assessed for immigration. If the final degree/diploma was not awarded ICES will not consider the credential complete and will not be able to assess it. Incomplete or partially completed programs do not qualify.
No. Please wait for all final documents to be issued. ICES does not accept provisional documents in lieu of the final degree. A statement or notification of results is also not sufficient for the assessment. We do not consider the credential complete based on these documents. You must have your final degree/diploma issued to you in order for it to be eligible.
The ECA is intended for immigration purposes only. These include Express Entry, Permanent Residency, the Agri-Food Pilot and some Provincial Nominee Programs. You will need to check with the end user to determine if they will accept the ECA.
Yes, it is possible to update a previous ICES evaluation to an ECA.
The fee is $150 CAD per credential and is subject to the same timeline as a new ECA application.
You will need to meet the ECA document requirements in order to apply. This means that we require a copy of government issued photo ID and official documents directly from your institution. Please review your previous evaluation to see if you already submitted official documents. If you submitted official documents, then new documents are not required. If the previous evaluation was based on original documents, then you will need to contact your institution and make the necessary arrangements for them to submit official documents to ICES.
Please apply using the same method that was used previously. Online clients may reapply online, Clients who applied using a paper application by mail must do so again (they will not have access to the online portal).
The ECA is valid for five years from the date the assessment was completed. It may be renewed within 2 weeks of the expiry date. If you have an expired ECA and need it to be renewed, please use the ECA renewal form. The fee is $50 and you will receive two renewed copies of the report.
No refunds are offered for cancelled ECA applications. It is up to the client to ensure all document requirements can be met, prior to applying. Also, refunds are not offered if you change your mind and no longer require the assessment.
No. Each client is required to apply as an individual. You cannot apply as a couple or as a family. When applying online, each applicant must create their own account using a unique email address. Each person is given their own individual assessment.
Our requirements are mandatory. We must receive official documents for all the credentials you wish to have assessed. If you cannot meet this requirement, the credential will not be eligible for an assessment. There are no exceptions made for a closed institution. If the school is no longer operational, its documents will still be accessible. They may be stored with a higher authority such as a Ministry of Education or other similar body. The onus would be on the applicant to research and find out who is now in charge of the documents and have them sent by that body.
You must apply under your current legal name and include photo ID to support this name. It does not matter if your educational documents were issued under a different name. Unless specifically asked for, ICES does not require name change documents. A name change affidavit is not accepted in lieu of government issued ID.
As per the direction the IRCC has given us, they do not require a hard copy of the report. We do not send any copies to them. Once the client has provided their immigration reference number to the IRCC, they will have online access to your assessment with us.
No. Please have all documents ready prior to applying. You will not have access to add documents at a later date.
Please review ECA’s Step 1: Requirements for more information.
ICES does not include middle names on the assessment. The IRCC is fully aware of our process and accepts the report as it has been issued. We can assure you it will not cause any problems with your immigration application. Your full name has already been verified; that is why we ask for your ID. Please go ahead and use the ECA for your immigration application.
In the case of PhD’s there are many instances where a transcript is not issued or available. In this case, please have your institution send either a copy of your degree or a confirmation letter confirming the award. We would also request a copy of the thesis title, either from your institution or from you.
General applicants (Basic & Comprehensive)
The type of report required (Basic or Comprehensive) depends on the purpose of the evaluation. Ask yourself: who will be receiving this report? If you do not need to show a list of your courses, then a Basic Evaluation will suffice. If the recipient wants to see your courses, grades and credits, then a Comprehensive Evaluation is more suitable. Please refer to our website for a list of organizations that use ICES and their requirements. If you are applying to an organization that is not on the list, then you might want to contact them directly for further direction.
An official document is a document that is sent directly to ICES by the registrar (or other appropriate authority) of your educational institution. This is usually the preferred method of document submission for applicants. For the document to be considered official, it must have the proper seals, stamps and signatures according to the practice of your institution. These documents can be sent by mail or email to ICES. ICES does not consider a document to be official if it has been handled by a third party (friend, family member, you). If the mailing details indicated a sender other than the institution, it will not be accepted.
ICES defines original documents as the documents that are submitted by the applicant. This usually refers to the degree/diploma certificate and transcript received upon graduation from your institution. It does not matter if these documents are sealed or not. Any documents received by the client are always considered original.
Visit the general application Step 2: Requirements page for more information.
No. Certified and notarized documents will still be treated as photocopies and are not accepted in lieu of original documents.
In rare cases, ICES may be able to complete an evaluation based on photocopies or incomplete documents. This is entirely dependent on what has been submitted and the requirements of the organization you are applying to. When doing so, this is the notification that will be included in your evaluation:
IMPORTANT NOTE – Document Authentication: ICES recommends that all official or original documents be submitted for evaluation. Since all required documents were not submitted, authentication of this credential was not possible.
This may or may not be acceptable by the organization you are applying to. Please contact them to find out. If the missing documents are submitted at a later date, ICES will charge $51 to revise your evaluation to include the new documents.
An ICES evaluation measures the level of education and not the content of the courses. It will not specifically mention which courses in your country of education match course and programs in Canada. Although a Comprehensive Report will list the courses you took, it will not state what each individual course is comparable to each course. It is up to the end user or institute to make that determination.
Since you completed a research-based degree and no transcript is available, a Comprehensive Report is not suitable because no course work will be listed. In this case, please apply for a Basic Evaluation.
Visit Step 1: Select Evaluation Type for more information.
No. ICES only converts credit information for post-secondary studies. We do not assign or convert credits for high school courses. Although you may still apply for a Comprehensive Evaluation, no credits will be available and thus, no G.P.A (grade point average) will be assigned. It will be a modified Comprehensive report without this information.
ICES is not responsible for damage sustained to documents during transit caused by weather, postal services or courier companies. This applies to both incoming and outgoing documents.
Using a courier service is optional but recommended, as this method of delivery usually reduces the risk of damage.
ICES reports are issued in English only. In cases where only French documents are submitted and English translation are not provided, the transcript part of a Comprehensive Evaluation will be issued in French only; the remaining report will still be in English. This means all courses and titles will appear on the final evaluation in French.
If you are applying to more than one organization with different requirements, ICES will put your file on hold until all document requirements have been met. We will not be able to proceed with one credential only. Even if you have submitted your original documents, the evaluation will not proceed, until the official documents have been received as well.
You can send your documents to ICES via mail or courier.
If you cannot access the online application, you can complete the printable application form and bring your application directly to the BCIT campus in Burnaby. Although ICES does not have an office on campus, you can submit your application and pay with Student Information and Enrolment Services (SIES) in the SW01 building. Please have your application and documents ready for submission. Before coming to campus, please review the offices hours of Student Information and Enrolment Services as they might be affected by our COVID-19 response.
No. ICES requires a transcript or marksheets for each individual year or semester. This includes any failed attempts or pre-improvements marks. Please make arrangements to have all attempts submitted if you would like a G.P.A (grade point average) as part of your Comprehensive Evaluation. Without these, ICES will issue a modified Comprehensive Evaluation without a G.P.A. which may not be accept for the end user.
If these documents are submitted at a later time after the evaluation has already been completed, a $51 revision fee will apply to update the report.
Yes, you may request a revision of your previous assessment. The fee is $51 and you will need to submit your new documents for review.
Visit Step 3: Services Fees for more information.