2.C Settlement and Integration
C.6 How is education treated?
(v) Who covers costs associated with foreign credential equivalency assessments?
How Canada Does It
Refugees are generally responsible for paying the costs of their foreign credential assessments. In some circumstances, organizations may waive or reduce the fees associated with foreign credentials assessment. Sponsoring groups may also offer to cover the costs although they are not legally obligated to.
The cost of foreign credential equivalency assessments varies by organization. In some circumstances, credential assessment organizations or regulatory bodies may waive or reduce assessment fees for refugees.
Depending on the services required, costs for a complete qualification assessment process could range from as little as $90 to as much as $7,000, with even higher costs noted for regulated occupations. These costs could be related to an application and registration fees, assessment fees, oral or written examinations, translation of transcripts or work experience documents, and fees for academic or bridging programs.
As of 2018, high-skilled refugees may be eligible for a loan to cover the cost of the foreign credential equivalency process. Loans can be used for; but are not limited to, qualification assessments, association and exam fees, books and course materials, short-term bridge training, travel expenses, and living allowance.
Canada will provide funding to local community organizations that will assess the eligibility of individuals and manage the funding. A recipient may receive up to $15,000. Some provincial governments also offer loan programs to assist with the cost of credential recognition.
In some circumstances, private funders have contributed funds to cover the costs of credentials assessment for refugees. For example, in a recent pilot project for Syrian refugees, costs associated with assessments were covered by Intact Financial Corporation and in-kind donations by World Education Services.
This pilot project, co-administered by the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council, Intact Financial Corporation, and World Education Services, aimed to develop alternative mechanisms to assess refugees’ foreign credentials in recognition that many refugees may not possess documentary evidence of their education.