Helping newcomers restart their careers.

The Foreign Credential Recognition Program is offered by our community partners Immigrant Services Society of BC (ISS of BC) and Progressive Intercultural Community Services (PICS) Society, settlement service agencies for newcomers to Canada. With their referral, Vancity helps with financing for foreign credentials recognition so newcomers can restart their careers in Canada.

By 2023, Vancity has provided over $7.3 million in financing to support internationally trained professionals in obtaining Canadian qualifications. Stephen Truong, a member service advisor, has helped many Vancity members apply for Foreign Credential Recognition (FCR) loan and has seen the difference it makes for newcomers, “it helps lower the financial barrier that would prevent or significantly delay finding meaningful work.”

Many immigrants find out only upon arriving in Canada that their credentials are not recognized, and they cannot continue to work in their field of expertise. Beyond financial assistance, “the PICS Foreign Credential Recognition Program fosters a sense of optimism and the motivation to pursue continuing their profession,” shares Min Cho, FCR loans marketing & outreach officer from PICS Society.

Lowering the financial barrier to success.

Settling in a new country with a different financial system and labour market can be daunting. It’s why Vancity provides trusted advice, special interest rates and flexible payments through its FCR loan. The loan may be used to cover the costs of credential evaluation, bridging courses and exams, as well as other necessities, including English language courses, laptops, work equipment and rent.

The FCR loan tackles systemic barriers encountered by new Canadians, addressing issues such as credit scores and access to capital. “Loan approval is based on past professional experience and future potential in Canada,” explains Ashley Grewal, community investment operations manager at Vancity. “It embodies Vancity’s commitment to empower all our members so they can become economically stable and financially resilient.”

It's not just about money, FCR loans are also an opportunity for Vancity advisors to provide financial literacy basics. For newcomers navigating Canada's financial system, "we can provide information on how to build their credit history and to utilize credit responsibly," says Stephen Truong.  

Supporting newcomers builds economic resilience.

Canada is facing a labour shortage across industries. In 2023, the BC government forecasted one million job openings by 2033 and expects newcomers trained in other countries to fill 38% of the workforce needed to maintain economic growth.

Without support to navigate settlement systems, many highly-educated immigrants¬—including those with credentials in high-demand sectors¬—face high rates of job mismatch and overqualification, according to Statistics Canada.

Vancity’s support for newcomers is part of our community partnership-based approach. With PICS Society and ISS of BC, financial assistance is just part of the critical wraparound services they offer. Together, our goal is to give all newcomers the tools to be a success story in their new community.


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