International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES) for Canada Immigration

What is the International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES)? It is usually the first question met by people who haven’t encountered the name before.

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ICES is a body that offers individuals accurate, affordable, equitable, and reliable evaluations of their educational documents for the purposes of either studying in a Canadian institution, working in Canada, or immigrating to Canada.

The services of ICE are mandated by the provincial government of British Columbia, yet it serves the interests of all applicants who are internationally educated throughout Canada.

The evaluation service offered by ICE is provided by the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) and ICES is belongs to the renowned Alliance of Credential Evaluation Services of Canada (ACESC) as one of its members.

Note: The global pandemic means that ICES has only been accepting applications online and via mail Since 2020. There used to be a walk-in or drop-off service, but it is no longer available. Even applying in person is also currently no longer available. So If you need to submit your documents, please use the currently available options of either mail or courier services.

ICES Canada mandate

In lay-man language, ICES Canada is an organization that compares education obtained outside of Canada by prospective immigrants, students, or workers to the general education standard in Canada.

ICES Canada’s final report offers some sort of general comparability of both the level and years of study. ICES Canada final report is crafted with consideration to these below factors which includes:

  • The least academic credential an applicant must have in order to be admitted into the program.
  • The duration and level of the program.
  • The applicants program of study to which the credential provides access in the applicants country of origin.
  • The recognition of the institution and program from which the applicant graduated from.

For general purposes

If you are searching for employment, professional licensing trying to further your studies in Canada, International Credential Evaluation Service would help you with evaluating your academic credentials thereafter converting them to their equivalent comparable level in Canada.

The final result of an ICES assessment is offered in an evaluation report that is objective, reliable, and consistent.

If you need the ICES Canada assessment for general purposes please click General: Education, Employment, Licensure Registration on their official website.

Processing time

The estimated time for processing a Basic Evaluation Assessments is four (4) weeks which begins on the date that all the necessary documents are received.

The estimated time for processing a Comprehensive Evaluation Assessment is seven (7) weeks, which begins on the date that all the necessary documents are received.

NOTE: If you are seeking an evaluation solely for immigration purposes, you would be requiring a different type of report called the Educational Credential Assessment which we have taken time to write a comprehensive guide about, do take time to check it out.

For Canada immigration purposes

ICES is authorized by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to carry out Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) and curate reports for the purpose of Canadian immigration which includes programs like Permanent Residency, Express Entry, and Agri-Food Pilot programs. lots of the Provincial Immigrant Nominee Programs equally accept the ECA.  Please refer to the individual province for further details.

Educational Credential Assessments (ECA) for Canada immigration purposes are nothing but a result of the general comparability evaluation of an international educational credential earned by an applicant converted to a completed and acceptable Canadian educational credential, in the exact format that is required by the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada.

  • There are guidelines provided by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), and the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), under this guidelines ICES would only be providing ECA reports for academic credentials thst have been fully completed. This means that certificate, diploma, or degree ought to have been completed and awarded before ICES can evaluate it.
  • Individuals intending to apply as a Physician/Specialist Physician (NOC 3111 or 3112) and wants to pursue licensure to practice in Canada must be assessed by the regulatory body incharge of individuals under this regulated proffesion and they are the Medical Council of Canada.
  • Individuals intending to apply as a Pharmacist (NOC 3131) and plans to pursue licensure to practice in Canada must have their assessment from the regulatory body charged with doing so, they are the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada.
  • For those applying for the Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP) program, Kindly visit Atlantic Immigration program official website for more specified information.
  • For those who require more information on the immigration processes which is connected to the services ICES provides, do kindly pay a visit to the official web portal of the Canadian Immigration and Express Entry to get that information.

Processing time

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

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

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

NOTE: In November 2020, the rules changed for what documents you needed to submit for your ECA valuation, formerly you submitted all your educational credentials from the secondary/high school level. But the new changes ensure you only submit your highest earned educational qualification for your ECA evaluation.

Scope and limits of the ICES report

The International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES) Canada uses the official standard methodology exploited in evaluation services all through Canada and the United States of America and this methodology is consistently applied to all of their clients. 

ICES Canada doesn’t involve itself with course content evaluation or make a judgment on the quality of individual credentials.

ICES are not charged with evaluating the merits of each applicant’s performance or knowledge (except solely on the basis of grades).

Rather than that, ICES provides the service of authenticating your documents, after conducting research based on some well-established methodologies, and then they issue an assessment report that gives a general recommendation of the comparability of educational qualifications earned outside of Canada to its equivalent in the Canadian education system.

Cost of ICES

The standard service for ICES costs $200 CAD per educational credential while upgrading from a general application to an ECA cost about $150 CAD.

If now utilized within the stipulated five years validity period and consequently you need to renew for another five, that would cost you a $50 CAD.

Lastly, the fees for courier within Canada is $26 CAD and $75 CAD for outside Canada. one information that is important to note is that there are no refunds for ECA applications.

Payment options include:

  • Visa, MasterCard
  • American Express
  • Debit
  • Interac

The official documents required for ICE ECA

Official documents required are:

  • A coloured copy of your current, government issued photo identification document that shows the legal name you presently bear and your date of birth.
  • A coloured copy of both the back and front of every final award like your such as a degree, diploma or certificate. 
  • A coloured copy of the back and front of all your academic record like your transcript, marks cards, or diploma supplement.
  • Colored copies of the cetified English translation representing the exact words of the original text of each of the above educational documents only, [only required for documents in foreign languages].

What are official documents?

Officially admissible documents are:

  • Those documents mailed directly to ICES office from your issuing educational institution
  • A document that has never been touched or tampered with by you, your friends or your relatives
  • Those documents bearing the proper seals, signatures, and postal markings.
  • IFor students who completed their studies in China, they ought to mandatorily satisfy their verification through the CDGDC or the CHESICC/CHSI
  • The above mentioned documents can be forwarded to their office through email.

What is included in my ICES ECA?

  • Your name
  • Your date of birth
  • Your ICES client number
  • Your CIC reference number solely for verification purposes
  • The name of your cridential issuing institution
  • The country in your cridential issuing institution is located
  • The authenticity of the credential
  • The requirements for admission into that program
  • The level and duration of your completed program
  • The specialization of your program if applicable
  • The recognition of your cridential issuing institution and program
  • The comparable level of education in Canada


The final report of the ECA evaluation is valid for a period of five years for the purpose of immigration. Please note, that ICES would retain all your personal non-financial information for a minimum of a ten years period usually from the date you apply. but they would retain your document and information indefinitely when the documents are found to not be authentic.

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