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Quick Facts!

International Students FAQs

Determine if there is a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA)/Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreement with your professional accounting body. The application instructions are provided for those who are eligible.

Internationally designated accountants who are not part of a formal agreement may be eligible for advanced standing in the CPA Professional Education Program.

Please visit our Internationally Designated Accountants page for eligibility, criteria, and how to apply.

While program courses are offered in multiple formats to provide flexibility, module workshops and exams, and the Common Final Exam (CFE) for the CPA designation must be attended and written in person at a CPA testing centre in Canada.

Yes, CPAWSB/CPABC is a designated learning institution.

Yes, as a first step, persons living abroad are allowed to apply for a transcript assessment with the CPA Western School of Business (CPAWSB), and CPAWSB is allowed to provide you with the assessment results of your application.  Reference the CPAWSB Program Enrolment Guide for instructions on how to navigate and request a CPA transcript assessment in your My CPA Profile.  Upon receiving the results of your transcript assessment, CPAWSB will provide an ‘Appendix’ (upon your request) so that applicants may use this letter to apply for the appropriate Canadian permits for their study and work in the CPA program in British Columbia, Canada.  The CPA program is a professional training program (scroll to bottom of IRCC webpage for definition). Please read this definition as it explains the structure of professional programs, and that they include full-time work and part-time study. The CPABC/CPAWSB is a registered designated learning institution (DLI) under the Government of Canada.

Yes, because the CPA program is only available for enrollment for persons who reside in Canada.  For international persons who currently reside in BC, they must hold both a Canadian Study Permit and a Canadian Work Permit while enrolled in the CPA program as it consists of part-time studies and full-time paid work experience. In order to graduate from the CPA Professional Education Program and receive the professional CPA designation in Canada, individuals must hold one of the following:

  • Canadian citizenship; or
  • Permanent residence; or
  • Landed immigrant status; or
  • Study permit and work permit.

Please visit the CPA Western School of Business (CPAWSB) website for more information.

No, there is no limitation on the number of domestic or international students that can enroll in the Preparatory Courses or the CPA Professional Education Program.

No, unlike many post-secondary institutions, you will not pay more for tuition. The cost of the CPA Professional Education Program is approximately $12,000 for both domestic and international students. Visit our Fees page for more details.

Please note, if you have received your post-secondary degree internationally, you will be required to get your international degree assessed by a Canadian third-party degree assessment company, such as WES Canada. Fees charged by WES Canada are not included in the CPAWSB fee schedule.

No, we do not require proof of English language level for acceptance into our program, however to be successful in the CPA courses/modules, we recommend students have a (Canadian English Language Benchmark (CLB) 8 out of 12).

Here are the recognized Canadian third party degree assessment companies that are accepted by CPAWSB. We recommend World Education Services (WES) Canada for degree assessments. Please also visit the CPA Western School of Business (CPAWSB) website for more information.

No, the CPA designation, nor enrolment as a student or candidate in the CPA program are not requirements to apply and secure employment in the accounting and finance sector in Canada. That said, students and candidates certainly enjoy many career advantages that enrolment into the CPA program and having the CPA designation can provide, such as opening doors and opportunities towards employment and career growth, higher salary, and recognition across the globe. Job demand, compensation, and growth are among the many reasons to become a CPA!

Refer to the Government of Canada website for further information on visa, permit, and permanent residency status. Only seek advice from representatives who are regulated, such as Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCIC) who are authorized to advise on Canadian immigration matters pertaining to visas, permits, and permanent residency, and requests to change their current status in Canada. Each person who applies to the CPA program has different backgrounds and status in Canada, please seek counsel and advise only from representatives who are regulated and authorized to advise on Canadian immigration matters.

Welcome BC offers a wealth of resources for newcomers to BC, such as videos about settling and working in the province. 

Provincial settlement agencies offer many free programs to support newcomers to Canada, including English language classes, financial assistance, and information on settlement, career development, and mentorship opportunities. 

New to BC? Contact a BC settlement agency to access these free programs, resources, and support.