All You Need To Know About International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS) For Canada Immigration

Have you heard of IQAS? It is a government body in Canada with its headquarter in Alberta that handles the Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) for all immigration programs in Canada.  Also,  for countries of all socio-economic standards with the highest immigration population to Canada, the IQAS provides them with comprehensive guides,  transcript comparisons, and skill assessments.  

The IQAS body is very influential such that it assists people in gaining recognition for education and training they received outside of Canada, which means that the recognition they offer is valid all over Canada.

It is in their power to issue certificates that compare educational credentials obtained from other countries to educational credentials from Canadian institutions for the purpose of immigration, work, and study in Canada.

This article can be defined as an expository one because we will be discussing all you need to know about the IQAS ranging from their functions to their credibility factors and so on.

How does the IQAS process operate?

You can choose to apply either online or by post. If the application was successfully delivered, the IQAS will confirm the delivery but this may take some weeks before they can do so. 

After this, you will be required to apply for your official transcripts from your school and when the IQAS receives them, they will confirm as well. 

After all the needed documents, transcripts, and payment information is received, the actual processing commences and this can take up to 15 weeks.

You will receive an electronic copy of the assessment, and a hard copy via mail once the assessment is completed.

You can now proceed to submit the assessment to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada alongside the file number.             

IQAS for Canada immigration purposes

If you desire to immigrate to Canada as a skilled worker and you received education outside of Canada, you will be required to obtain an Educational Credential Assessment for that education.  

Remember that it is the duty of the International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS)to issue you a certificate that compares your credentials obtained from other countries to Canadian education standards.

Any IQAS issued ECA;

  • It is valid for Express Entry for 5 years
  • This does not entail that your credentials are recognized for licensure in Canada
  • The ECA is recognized in any Canadian province or territory
  • This ECA issued by IQAS is not an assurance that you will either get a job or have a successful immigration application; nevertheless, if your immigration application happens to be successful, then, the ECA can be useful to you when applying for jobs

Please take note of the following;

  • You cannot be issued an ECA if the authenticity of your credentials cannot be verified and/or if your credentials were obtained from an unrecognized institution/program. Meanwhile, the International Qualifications Assessment Service will notify you if your application has been canceled.
  • Also, an ECA may not give you your expected result for an Express Entry application. This is because the IQAS compares your credential to Canadian education standards, which can be different from those in the country where you were educated.
  • The IQAS usually gets a large number of applications and does not provide rush services, they process all applications according to the order in which they have been received. This is why it usually takes time depending on when you submitted your application.
  • Finally, nobody will issue you an ECA within shorter timelines just to meet your deadlines. Therefore, please note that the onus is on you to apply early enough to meet any deadlines you may have.

A Quick View of An Educational Credential Assessment Process

An ApplicantThe IQAS
The applicant gathers his or her documents ready to apply.
The applicant upon completion of the application online mails the application package by post and starts monitoring the delivery through courier.The IQAS will send you an email notifying you that your application was received and they commence processing which usually takes time, about several weeks for IQAS to email you.
The applicant after this proceeds to request his or her official transcripts from the school.The International Qualifications Assessment Service will send you an email notifying you that your transcript was received 
Things you should note are that; after all the needed documents, transcripts, and payments are received, processing begins and it takes about 15 weeks to achieve this. Furthermore, when the International Qualifications Assessment Service completes your assessment, you will be sent an electronic copy of your assessment, and a hard copy via mail. Finally, you should submit your assessment to the Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) alongside your file number.

Who is qualified to apply for IQAS Immigration Assessment?

You are qualified to obtain an IQAS assessment for immigration purposes if you:

  • Those who plan to immigrate to Canada
  • Those who need an Educational Credential Assessment for applyCanadian immigration, as a result of the formal academic diploma or degree, or a technical diploma or degree they received from an institution outside of Canada

Meanwhile, if you have a degree, diploma, or certificate from a Canadian institution, then, there would be no need for an ECA for that credential.

Moreover, training received in these areas listed below are not evaluated by the IQAS in Canada:

  • Area of trades
  • Vocational areas
  • Professional areas

The Cost

Irrespective of the number of credentials, the application fee is $200

As for the mailing fees;

  • If you are mailing to an address within Canada: $15
  • If you are mailing to an address outside of Canada: $75

Please kindly note that these fees are applicable to each application which means that spouses are not permitted to submit their credentials under one application even if they live in the same place.

The time needed for processing 

  • If there is a need for extensive research or verification, then, the processing time will take longer.
  • The time required to process the application may increase as a result of the high volume of applications.
  • The time for mail delivery is excluded from the processing time.
  • An applicant has to apply on time if you want to meet any deadlines they may have because IQAS does not provide rush services 

What about those who need IQAS Canada assessment for employment, education, or licensure purposes?

Are you one of those who desire to work or study in Canada? Obtaining an IQAS Canada assessment which compares your credentials to educational standards in Canadian institutions is pertinent to either your employment, licensure, or educational purposes.

Certain occupations are regulated in Canada and these occupations have legal requirements or restrictions set to protect the public. Therefore, for you to work in such occupations, you have to register with the right professional regulatory organization.

Why do you need to obtain an assessment by International Qualifications Assessment Service?

We advise that you obtain an IQAS assessment for the following reasons:

  • To support your job search
  • To support your application for professional licensure
  • To support your application for post-secondary education

Lastly, we will like to reiterate that the IQAS handles all Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) and this ECA is required for people who studied in institutions outside Canada. The essence of the ECA is to compare your foreign credentials to Canadian credentials just to be sure that yours meet the Canadian requirements. Also, we advise that you apply for this much earlier because the processing takes like 15 weeks. Aside from the ECA, and IQAS will also be useful to you in your job search and other areas just as we mentioned above.

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