If you think that a PhD or MBA from your home country holds the same prestige in Canada, you may be surprised when you start your job search. Many immigrants find that the educational credentials they worked so hard for in their home countries are not considered adequate in Vancouver or other parts of British Columbia. 

Foreign credential recognition has been a longstanding problem in Canada, with educated immigrants facing a myriad of issues when they attempt to transfer their credentials.

 

Some of the problems that immigrants face:


- Having to re-school in order to get a job that is equivalent to the one they held in their home country.

- Being told they are "overqualified" if they apply for a slightly less skilled position to avoid having to re-school. 

- Having to take examinations or further training to get licensed in Canada (especially individuals in professions that are licensed, such as nurses, pharmacists, and electricians). 

 

What Can Immigrants Do?


Now that we've told you about the problems, let's look at some solutions! 

- Be prepared.  Find out more about the licensing board that governs your profession in BC and get valuable information on your industry at   WorkinginCanada.gc.ca.

- Check out the  Foreign Credentials Referral Office (FCRO) website, part of Citizenship and Immigration Canada. You'll find a great deal of resources and services on foreign credential recognition in BC and other provinces. 

- Start networking. Find the professional member association for your industry that you can join. Reach out and start making connections - you may even find someone who's already been through the process and can help you. 

If you're in a licensed profession, contact the licensing board in BC for your profession for information and tips on credential evaluation and transfer. If you're not in a licensed profession, you will not need re-licensure or re-examination to work in Vancouver or BC. However, many immigrants do take some training or schooling in BC to familiarize themselves with Canadian workplaces. 

Remember, ensuring that you meet Canadian credential requirements is solely your responsibility. The earlier you start planning, the closer you'll be to working in your industry in BC.