Getting Accredited When Moving to Canada

While Canada is seen as the New Land of Dreams due to favourable immigration policies, english-speaking majority, and the fast-growing economy, there are several challenges to “making it” here. The primary hurdle for those moving here with advanced degrees and immense experience is getting their degree and experience recognized in the Canadian market i.e. getting accredited to practice their chosen career in Canada. In Canada, every field of study has a specialized certification which is both strenuous in effort and on your finances but if completed, could lead to huge rewards.

Here is a list of some programs that one may be required to complete to practice here:

  • Accounting- Chartered Professional Accounting is the official program for accounting enthusiasts in Canada. CPA Canada has entered into certain International Membership Recognition Agreements which makes it possible for International members to attain the Canadian CPA designation. International candidates in good standing and having an equivalent certification can earn the Canadian CPA designation by appearing for Common Final Examination (CFE). The CFE costs CAD $1500 for a 3-day examination.


  • Law- The National Committee on Accreditation is the national body here which evaluates the transcripts for degrees earned. Candidates can satisfy the requirements by enrolling in a Canadian JD/LLM program or appearing for examinations through NCA. Additionally, NCA requires every law graduate/candidate to go through an articling process which depending on the province could be for 9-12 months long, at the end of which, they can finally appear for the Bar for that province and get their license to practice. This entire process can cost up to CAD $6500 if you choose to appear for examinations through NCA. However, it is easier to enroll in an articleship if you take the JD/LLM route.


  • Engineering- Engineers Canada provides licenses to Engineers in Canada to practice engineering. There is a review process for Internationally trained engineers under which they can apply to the province of their choice to begin their journey into licensing. On meeting the good character requirement and academic requirement one may register as an Engineer-in-training. After 4 years of work experience, 1 of which must be in Canada, under a licensed Professional Engineer, one becomes eligible to appear for the Professional Practice Examination (PPE) to get the P.Eng. designation. It costs about CAD $1400 to go through this process.


  • Medicine- Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons in Canada provides the eligibility requirements for internationally trained doctors to practice as such in Canada. There are several routes to achieve this and depends on factors like specialty training and jurisdiction where certification was achieved. This is a time consuming and costly process with costs often reaching as high as CAD $80,000 however, medical professionals are often the highest earners in Canadian society.


  • HR- Chartered Professionals in Human Resources the official designation for licensed HR professionals in Canada. It has a provincial membership and requires Knowledge, Education, Professional Level Work Experience and Professional Conduct to qualify for the written examination. It costs about CAD $1300 to get through this process.


  • Architecture- Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB) provides licensure to foreign-trained architects in Canada. The Broadly Experienced Foreign Architect Certification (BEFA) can help Internationally trained Architects to get a license in Canada. CACB charges about CAD $7000 for the entire process.


  • Nursing- An Internationally Registered Nurse (IEN) has to apply to National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS) to get a license in the province of their choice as a Registered Nurse (RN), a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or a Registered Psychiatric Nurse (RPN). It costs about USD $800 to go through this process.


It is pertinent to keep in mind that although getting these certifications can be costly, there are additional costs involved in the form of living expenses, travel, healthcare, and professional training. While monetarily it can be a huge investment, one must also consider the time frame and the cost in years. There are innumerable examples of immigrants doing favourably in the Canadian market to draw inspiration from and who are likely to provide guidance to those who seek them out. Overall, patience, due diligence, networking, and hard work would make this transition easier and hassle-free.

For more information, you can check out the links in the reference.

List of References:

“International Credential Recognition” by CPACanada at

“NCA Assessment Process” by FLSC at

“Information for Internationally Trained Engineers” by Engineers Canada at

“Assessment routes for International Medical Graduates” by RCPSC at

“Become a CPHR” by CPHR Canada at

“BEFA Certification Process” by CACB at

Application Process by NNAS at

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