Canada News Article – July 2005

This is often a factor where applicants rely too much on the interpretation of the Immigration case officer. Keep in mind that they are looking for what your qualification in the UK is equivalent to in Canada. To support this, I highly recommended that you complete an evaluation of your qualification by a Canadian company, such as International Credential Assessment Services (www.icascanada.ca).

An educational credential, by definition, is “any diploma, degree or trade or apprenticeship credential issued on the completion of a program of study or training at an educational or training institution recognized by the authorities responsible for registering, accrediting, supervising and regulating such institutions in the country of issue”.

This assessment is particularly important if you completed your education / training in the military or on a day release / block release basis. Remember that you must have completed your course of study and be able to document the number of years of full-time or full-time equivalent study.

The definition of full-time is at least fifteen (15) hours of instruction per week during the academic year, including any period of training in the workplace that forms part of the course of instruction.

For full-time equivalent, in respect of part-time or accelerated studies, the time period that would have been required to complete those studies on a full-time basis. For example, if you completed a three year apprenticeship on a day release basis, this will usually be considered a three year full time equivalent qualification.

You will be awarded points for your specific qualification and the number of years of education. This is relevant as educational systems around the world differ greatly and it an area when Citizenship & Immigration Canada can measure your education against Canadian standards.

If we look at the UK educational system, most will have completed seven (7) years of primary school and five (5) years of secondary school. At this point, you are now sixteen years old and have completed twelve (12) years of progressive education. If you decide to complete a three-year apprenticeship, you will then have attained fifteen (15) years of progressive education and claim 22 points.

If you have completed A Levels (another two years of education) and then gone on to complete a three year University degree, you will have completed seventeen (17) years of progressive education. However, you can still only claim 20 points under this factor. Although this seems to be an unequal weighting, it is a reflection of Canada’s shortage of essential trade professionals.

It is important to know that if a skilled worker has an educational credential referred to in the selection grid, but not the total number of years of full-time or full-time equivalent studies required, they will be awarded the same number of points that refers to the number of years of completed full-time or full-time equivalent studies completed by the applicant.

For example, if you have completed a Master’s Degree but only have sixteen (16) years of education, you will only receive 22 points instead of 25.

The officers at Citizenship & Immigration Canada will award points for your credential and years of study at the time your application is made. However, if you complete a qualification while your application is pending, forward the information to Citizenship & Immigration Canada. If your assessment has not been completed, the officer must award the points for the highest educational credential obtained at the time of assessment.

You must remember that the officer can only assess you on the paperwork they receive. I advise that you submit all of your academic qualification certificates and transcripts. If you have lost them, you can apply for replacements; however they are about £35 per certificate. You don’t need to submit unrelated qualifications such as having passed your St John’s Ambulance First Aid Course.

Dennis Brazolot is a Member in Good Standing with the Association of Immigration Counsel of CANADA (AICC) and can be contacted on +1 450 458 2186 or dennis@brazolotimmigration.com He travels regularly to the UK to meet with clients. www.BrazolotImmigration.com