January 23, 2024

BC’s Bill 38: A Game-Changer in Attracting Skilled Workers

In a significant move toward attracting more skilled workers and simplifying the path for immigrants, British Columbia (BC) is set to introduce a groundbreaking piece of legislation. On October 23, 2023, Premier David Eby and Workforce Development Minister Andrew Mercier presented Bill 38, also known as the International Credentials Recognition Act. This bill is poised to revolutionize the way newcomers to BC can put their professional skills to work in the province. Its overarching goal is to not only draw foreign skilled workers from across the globe but also to bolster BC's economy. In this article, we'll delve into the key provisions and potential impacts of Bill 38.

The Need for Change

The International Credentials Recognition Act arises from a pressing need to reform existing immigration and credential recognition processes. Premier David Eby expressed concern about the numerous challenges faced by skilled immigrants upon arriving in BC. He highlighted the complex, contradictory, expensive, and often frustrating hurdles that these individuals encounter. Eby emphasized the urgent need to eliminate these barriers to ensure that newcomers can contribute to the province's development to the fullest extent of their abilities.

In his mandate letter to Minister Mercier in December 2022, Eby laid the foundation for the bill, reiterating his commitment to streamlining the employment process for immigrants with foreign training. This commitment has been a focal point of Eby's tenure as Premier, starting in November 2022.

Key Provisions of Bill 38

The International Credentials Recognition Act is designed to bring about a paradigm shift in how BC receives and integrates skilled professionals from around the world. Here are some of the bill's essential provisions:

  1. International Credential Assessment: The bill mandates the establishment of a fair, efficient, and transparent international credential assessment process. This will ensure that foreign qualifications are recognized promptly.
  2. Removal of Barriers: Regulatory bodies in BC will be required to eliminate barriers in 29 professions. These professions include lawyers, engineers, social workers, paramedics, and early childhood educators. The bill's focus is on making it easier and faster for qualified professionals to seek credential recognition, regardless of where they received their training.
  3. Language Testing Simplification: The legislation aims to remove redundant language testing. If an applicant has already submitted valid language testing results as part of the application, regulatory bodies are not permitted to demand new test results.
  4. Faster Processing: Bill 38 sets caps for maximum processing times. It guarantees that determinations regarding an application will be made within a reasonable timeframe. Specifically, communication about determinations must be provided to the applicant within 14 days.
  5. Online Accessibility: The bill also requires that credential-assessment information be readily available online, making it more accessible to immigrants.

Potential Impact

If Bill 38 is successfully passed, it is set to come into force in the summer of 2024. This legislation will bring about transformative changes in the way skilled immigrants integrate into the BC workforce. It will expedite their ability to work in their respective fields, removing many of the obstacles they have traditionally faced.

The appointment of a new superintendent to oversee and promote fair credential recognition will further ensure the success of this initiative. BC will become a more attractive destination for skilled workers, as the province strives to tap into a global talent pool.


Bill 38, the International Credentials Recognition Act, signifies a pivotal moment in BC's history, underlining its commitment to attracting and retaining skilled professionals from around the world. By streamlining credential recognition and simplifying the immigration process, British Columbia is taking significant steps toward building a more diverse, prosperous, and inclusive province. This legislation not only benefits the immigrants who will find new opportunities but also promises to boost the province's economy, contributing to a brighter future for all residents of BC.

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