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The recognition of foreign credentials in Canada

Updated: Mar 18

If you are thinking about living and working in Canada, you need to learn about foreign credential recognition. Understanding whether and how your training and work experience are recognized will be essential to preparing for your immigration.

What is foreign credential recognition?

Foreign credential recognition is the process of verifying that the training, education, and work experience you acquired in another country meets the standards set for Canadian workers.

Meeting the requirements to immigrate to Canada does not automatically mean that your training, work experience, and professional credentials are recognized in Canada.

Here are some key things you need to know:

  • To work in certain occupations in Canada, especially in specialized fields, you may need a license. To get a license, you will need to get your credentials recognized.

  • You can start the foreign credential evaluation and recognition process before arriving in Canada.

  • Getting your credentials recognized takes time and money.

  • To facilitate the foreign credential recognition process, the federal government has created the Foreign Credential Recognition Office (FCRO). The FCRO provides information on getting your credentials recognized in Canada.

First, it’s important to determine whether the job you currently have or want in Canada is a regulated profession. The following tool will let you know instantly:


If your profession is regulated

In Canada, about 20% of jobs are in regulated professions overseen by provincial/territorial governments. Through legislation and regulations, provinces/territories give professional regulatory bodies the authority to regulate certain professions. The role of these bodies is to protect public health and safety and ensure professionals meet required standards of practice and competence.

If you want to work in a regulated profession and use a protected title, you must hold a license, certificate, or registration from the regulatory body governing your profession in the province/territory where you plan to work.

Some areas where regulated professions are commonly found include:

  • healthcare services

  • financial services

  • law and legal services

  • engineering

Entry requirements for regulated professions can vary by province/territory. They typically include:

  • exams

  • assessment of language and communication skills

  • a set period of supervised work experience

  • fees

Each regulated profession sets its own requirements for obtaining a license or certificate, usually through the provincial/territorial regulatory body or professional association.


If your profession is NOT regulated

A non-regulated profession is one that can be practiced without a license, certificate, or registration. 80% of jobs in Canada are in non-regulated professions.

Employment requirements vary from employer to employer. However, always be prepared to demonstrate that you have the necessary training or experience to do the job.

You will need to show a certain level of skill or ability, a specific level of education, and even the desired personal qualities and behavioural skills for the position. For example, marketing is not a regulated field but most employers will expect you to have a business administration degree or certificate plus specific marketing training or experience.

It is up to the employer to decide if qualifications you earned outside Canada match the Canadian qualifications required for the position.

Loans and Support Services

The foreign credential recognition process can take time, money, and effort. The following organizations are funded through the Foreign Credential Recognition Program to provide loans and support services to help you navigate the process. In Toronto, this is the Achēv organization.


Simple Relocate is your relocation partner in Toronto. We can assist you in getting settled in Toronto, and provide a variety of other services to facilitate your move to Ontario.


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