Qualification recognition is the process of verifying that the knowledge, skills, work experience and education obtained in another country is comparable to the standards established for Canadian professionals and tradespersons. Far from simple, this process is different in each province and territory, and for each trade and profession. It is particularly challenging for applicants in regulated occupations, which account for about 20% of the Canadian labour market. The complexity of the process can contribute to difficulties in integrating immigrants into the labour market and to their over-qualification.
While responsibility for the recognition of foreign qualifications generally rests with the provinces and territories, the federal government has launched several initiatives to make the process easier for immigrants. The issue of foreign qualification recognition has also been the subject of numerous reports to the federal government, and has been specifically named in several Speeches from the Throne and budget plans over the years.
This document outlines initiatives that have been undertaken at the federal level to try to address the challenges related to the recognition of foreign qualifications. These include funding programs such as the Foreign Credential Recognition Program, pre- and post-arrival settlement services and the recent integration of some form of foreign credential recognition into economic immigration program requirements. However, these initiatives are limited and pressure will continue for fairer recognition of foreign qualifications and improved economic opportunities for newcomers.
Read the full text of the Background Paper: Recognition of the Foreign Qualifications of Immigrants
Author: Laurence Brosseau, Library of Parliament