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New B.C. Legislation to Simplify Foreign Credential Recognition Effective July 1

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Starting July 1, British Columbia’s International Credentials Recognition Act will streamline the process for recognizing foreign qualifications in the province. The new legislation eliminates the need for Canadian work experience, waives language testing for certain applicants, and removes extra fees for international candidates.

The new legislation will affect 29 professions, including engineers, accountants, real estate brokers, healthcare professionals, and others. The province collaborated with 18 regulatory bodies to draft the Act, which was passed by the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia last November.

The full list of occupations impacted under the Act include:

  • registered music teacher
  • professional engineer
  • professional teaching certificate holder
  • land surveyor
  • early childhood educator
  • landscape architect
  • early childhood educator assistant
  • applied science technologist
  • conditional teaching certificate holder
  • certified technician
  • social worker
  • veterinarian
  • registered clinical social worker
  • lawyer
  • professional biologist
  • architect
  • applied biology technician
  • notary public
  • registered biology technologist
  • emergency medical assistant, including paramedics
  • professional geoscientist
  • chartered professional accountant
  • registered professional forester
  • associate real estate broker
  • registered forest technologist
  • managing real estate broker
  • professional agrologist
  • real estate representative
  • technical agrologist

Eliminating Work Experience Requirements for International Credential Recognition in B.C.

Under the new Act, B.C. aims to streamline the recognition of international credentials by eliminating unnecessary Canadian work experience requirements. The Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills is collaborating with regulatory authorities to review current practices and identify any Canadian work experience requirements that would be prohibited under the new regulations.

The superintendent of international credential recognition, however, may grant exemptions to regulators who can provide valid reasons for requiring Canadian work experience.

Additionally, there is a one-year transition period for implementing the new requirements. Regulations defining prohibited Canadian work experience and outlining exemptions will take effect on January 1, 2025, with the full prohibition on requiring Canadian work experience coming into force on July 1, 2025.

Changes to Language Requirements for International Credential Recognition in B.C.

Under the new rules, applicants in specified occupations will be exempt from providing fresh English-language test results if they have already submitted valid scores. This exemption applies to internationally trained applicants who have previously submitted valid language test results as part of their certification application.

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