International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS) Guide

IQAS which stands for International Qualifications Assessment Service is an Alberta government-owned service that issues certificates by comparing the degrees obtained from other countries by prospective migrants to Canadian educational standards.

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This organization has been accredited by the Canadian Government to offer Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) services for Express Entry. The ECA Express Entry validity is 5 years.

This educational assessment can only be issued if the submitted credentials were successfully authenticated and on the flip side, it can’t be issued if it is from an institution/program that is not recognized by the Canadian government.

In situations when issues arise, IQAS officials are ever ready to advise and guide you through sorting it out.

It is important we state that there’s no expedited service when it comes to obtaining an ECA, so every applicant bears the sole responsibility for their timely application so as to meet all necessary deadlines.

How to apply for IQAS

Below we are going to be breaking down how to apply for IQAS assessment and all its requirements in steps, let’s get to it then.

Step 1. Before you apply

It would be a mistake on our part to begin anywhere else, before applying for the International Qualifications Assessment Service please read in-depth what it is about, there isn’t a thing like too much knowledge is there, anyways we’ve got you covered on this part. All you’ve to do is read this guide till the end to be fully informed of all the in-depth details about IQAS.

Cost for one applicant

After paying your application fees, if you want more than one credential assessed, it comes at no additional charge, but the time of processing would be four weeks longer than the average processing time.

  • The application fee is $200 CAD
  • The courier fees is $15 CAD for a addresses in Canada and $75 CAD for addresses outside Canada.

Cost for more than one applicant

Every applicant ought to apply separately, so therefore they would be paying separately for both the application and courier fees, doesn’t even matter if the applicants are from the same household.

Refunds

The fees paid for an Educational Credential Assessments (ECA’s) application and the courier are non-refundable.

An ECA assessment does not guarantee any of the following:

  • a job
  • an approved application for immigration to Canada
  • a licence to practice your profession in Canada

Exceptions for certain professions

Physicians

IQAS is not the body responsible for evaluating your qualifications if you are applying to migrate as a Physician or Specialist Physician and plan to get licensed to practice your profession in Canada, your qualifications ought to be evaluated by the Medical Council of Canada.

Pharmacists

The same rules apply to Pharmacists migrating into Canada with the intention to get a license to practice their profession in Canada. The only difference has been the body that should be evaluating your qualifications is the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada.

Regulated professions

There are some occupations that are regulated in Canada. Those regulated occupations typically have legal requirements or restrictions in place for the public’s protection.

If your profession falls under one of these regulated occupations in Canada, you’d need to be accessed by an adequate professional regulatory body in addition to getting an Educational Credential Assessment.

Step 2. Decide on credentials to be assessed

Credentials IQAS can assess

The only credentials that can be evaluated by IQAS are those already completed or an awarded formal academic and technical educational credentials from an admissible institution.

  • Your ECA wont be issued if your credential could not be authenticated or is from an institution or program that is not accredited. IQAS would duly inform you that your application has been cancelled.
  • Getting your ECA doesn’t guarantee you the outcome you expect from an Express Entry application. The ECA just converts your credentials to the standard accepted in Canada, which could differ from that of your country of education.

IQAS doesn’t assess:

  • incomplete credentials
  • anything credential below a secondary or high school level.
  • Your non-academic credentials
  • Your professional qualifications
  • Your vocational or trades training
  • Lastly, any credential obtained in Canada

Additionally, IQAS would not be pre-informing you about your credentials or institution not been recognized, as well as the final results of your evaluation process prior to you applying.

The above-mentioned information can only be ascertained after you have applied and your evaluation is completed.

Credentials you need assessed

In 2020, the government of Canada changed the rules for ECA’s, consequently only your highest completed or awarded educational credential is required for evaluation.

And if you want more than one of your credentials to be evaluated, you should expect an increase of four weeks to the average time for the processing of your assessment.

To get all the information regarding how points are assigned to applicants for education and make the best most informed decision you can, kindly visit the official website or the Government of Canada.

Lastly, IQAS doesn’t offer any form of advice on what credentials you need to submit for an assessment.

Step 3. Gather your documents

  • Kindly refrain from sending original documents unless if required.
  • If submitted when not required, IQAS is neither responsible for your original documents nor will they return them.
  • Notarized or certified copies of documents or transcripts are not returned by IQAS.
  • Your scans uploaded with your application should be clear and readable and also your digital photos uploaded with your online application of your identification, proof of name change (if applicable) and all educational credentials (degrees or diplomas) for the education you want to have assessed.
  • As regarding while submitting your application online, ensure to upload all the required documentations at the section of the ‘Document Checklist’.
    • Kindly ensure your uploads are named clearly and make sure that you match every upload to the document applicable on the checklist.
    • On a condition that you inadvertently neglect or didn’t upload one of the document required, you would be contacted vai your email after the application is assessed for completeness.
  • Those individuals with Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees should endeavor to upload a clear and readable scanned copy or photo of their PhD degree and their thesis cover page.

Educational documents

  • There are individuals from some countries that is required provide specific educational documents, carefully go through the list of the Country-Specific Document Requirements to know if:
    • Your country is one of the listed ones, if so ensure to provide the specified documents that are indicated depending on the credentials you want evaluated.
    • Your country is not one of the listed ones, only provide the requested documents that is listed in the Step 4 below

Translations

All educational documents not in the English language should be mandatorily translated to English:

  • The translations for all uploaded educational documents ought to be uploaded also.
  • These translations must be completed by a authourized professional translator (must not be certified in Canada).
  • The said translations doesn’t require certification or notarization.

Step 4. Provide original or verifiable transcripts

Preferred methods

  • The official transcripts or mark sheets submitted must be for all the credentials you are requesting assessment for. Kindly follow the instructions that are specific to your country provided in the Country-Specific Document Requirements (PDF, 829 KB) as not all the below methods are available for all countries.
  • Generally speaking, your transcripts can be dubmitted through any of the below listed means.
  1. Electronic transcripts: You can bumit your transcriptd electronically if your issuing institution:
    • issues transcripts electronically
    • supports online avialability and sharing of transcripts via a secure channel.
    • supports the direct electronic verification of your transcripts.
  2. Transcripts mailed by an Issuing Authority: If your issuing institution can mail or send via courier your original transcripts, that transcript must meet all set standards by IQAS. Your issuing institution must use the IQAS Request of Academic Records Form as a guidline to prepare and send your original transcripts directly to IQAS, to ensure it meetsb all set standards.
    • Any transcripts sent via mail or courier ought to be attested, dated and put inside a sealed envelope that is duly stamped with your issuing institution’s official seal across the back flap.
  3. Transcripts mailed by an Applicant: If your issuing institution cannot send your transcripts directly via mail or courier, in that case you are allowed to mail or courier the sealed envelope with the institutions official issued transcripts to IQAS.
    • This transcripts sent by you via mail or courier ought to be attested, dated and put inside a sealed envelope that is duly stamped with your issuing institution’s official seal across the back flap, and you must not under any circumstance open the envelope. Kindly make sure that your file number is clearly stated in and identified with your transcript, failure to do so may lead to IQAS not been able to evaluate the application.

Step 5. Complete the online application

  1. Now you can complete and submit your application online via the IQAS application portal (https://www.alberta.ca/iqas-immigration-apply.aspx). Theere are different types of assessments provided by IQAS, ascertain and confirm the kind of assessment you need and pay the corresponding fees as you request it. It is important to know that an assessments done for employment, licensure or educational purposes cannot be utilized for an Immigration to Canada application.
  2. Futhermore, ensure that your application is fully completed. For your application to be considered fully complete, the below listed documents ought to be mandatorily uploaded in the portal using clear and readable coloured scan or a digital photo of all the pages (back and front) of the original documents:
    • a fully completed academic credentials that you have requested IQAS to evaluate.
    • the identity page of your international passport identity or a substitute government-issued means of identification (solely on the condition that your passport is unavailable)
    • if applicable, you must present the proof of name change (solely required in situation where the applicants current name differs from the one on the official education document sent by the issuing institution)
    • Lastly, 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].
  3. To completely order the ECA from IQAS, you must pay the corresponding fees of $200 CAD, below are the avialable payment options.
    • The avialable payment options include:
      • Visa, MasterCard
      • American Express
      • Debit
      • Interac
    • Lastly, there are no refunds for ECA applications.
  1. Kindly refrain from using an international P.O. Box number as your default mailing address, as couriers dont deliver to such addresses.
  2. After the submition of your online application, you would receive via email:
    • Your file number from IQAS (you would be needing this number for your Request of Academic Records form) and a complete PDF version of your application, and
    • Your payment receipt (only for those who paid online)
  3. You can keep a print out of the payment receipt for future purposes.

After you apply

Delivery address

For those applicants with their mailing addresses in Canada, IQAS would be mailing your documents to the closest Canadian Post Office to you.

A Delivery Notice Card from Canada Post would be received by you informing you that your package is available for pick up at the post office.

Canada Post only keeps packages for fifteen (15) business days, so ensure to pick your up before that time elapses. You would need to show adequate identification to be given the package.

For those applicants with their mailing addresses outside of Canada, your package would be directly delivered to your home address.

Making changes to or cancelling your application

To effect or request a change to your application, kindly login to the IQAS application portal:

  • For those who applied before November 26, 2018, you would have to login and create a portal account before you can effect or request a change.
  • But for those who applied after the aforementioned date, just login using your username and effect or request the change.

If IQAS needs more information

IQAS has been known to reach out to applicants when they require any additional documents or information, they do so via email, phone, or mail.

If IQAS cannot complete your assessment

IQAS only doesn’t complete assessment when the documentation submitted is either incomplete or has been found to not be authentic.

In such cases, you are duly contacted for further information, or your application could be cancelled. IQAS will duly inform you if your application is cancelled.

Refunds

As earlier stated, fees for both the application for ECA’s and courier are non-refundable. If your application is cancelled by you, IQAS will not be refunding your money.

Request a duplicate certificate

  • A duplicate copy of the final result of the assessment is only granted for a previously completed evaluation at cost of $15 CAD per copy, with an additional $5 courier fee for each mailing address.
  • If you want to request a duplicate copy of your IQAS final result of assessment, youd have to login to the IQAS application portal:
    • For those who applied before November 26, 2018, you would have to login and create a portal account before you can effect or request a change.
    • But for those who applied after the aforementioned date, just login using your username and effect or request the change.

Reassessment or appeal process

After your assessment is completed, if you are not satisfied with the result, you can send a reassessment request in writing to the IQAS office.

Then if the said reassessment doesn’t still meet your expectations and you want the reassessment to be reassessed, you would need to send an appeal in writing and pay $75 CAD for the appeal.

Your written request for an appeal must be sent in within 365 days of the original assessment.

Processing time

Averagely, an assessment from IQAS takes about 14 weeks to process after all the required documentation, (transcripts and payments) are delivered to IQAS. 

Since the global pandemic struck, times have not been guaranteed so it may change based on lots of factors.

IQAS does not rush or expedites ECA applications.

NOTE: The delivery time that would be taken by courier or mail is not included in the processing time mentioned above.

Validity

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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