Transfer to BC from Outside Canada

A lawyer seeking to be called to the Bar in BC who has obtained a law degree in a country other than Canada or a law degree in the civil code must first obtain a Canadian LLB degree or a Certificate of Qualification issued by the National Committee on Accreditation.

These requirements may take a substantial amount of time and can cost a significant amount of money.

The National Committee on Accreditation (NCA) assesses the legal education and professional experience of individuals who obtained their credentials outside Canada and may impose further educational requirements before it will issue a certificate. The NCA will review the applicant’s legal education and professional experience (if any) and may require the applicant to do the following:

  • acquire Canadian legal knowledge through self-study and/or courses at a Canadian law school; and
  • successfully complete several examinations.

Note that the Law Society has no contact with the NCA on individual applications and will not overrule a decision of the NCA or waive the requirements for a Certificate of Qualification in lieu of a Canadian LLB. It is the transferring lawyer's responsibility to arrange for completion of the NCA's requirements.

The UBC Distance Learning Program offers online courses designed to meet the needs of foreign-trained lawyers and law students.

Once a lawyer wishing to transfer to BC from another country has completed an LLB or obtained a Certificate of Qualification from the National Committee on Accreditation, he or she may then apply to enrol in the Law Society Admission Program.

A lawyer with practice experience in a common law jurisdiction outside Canada may apply for a reduction in the nine-month articling term or an exemption from all or part of the Professional Legal Training Course (PLTC).

If you are not resident in Canada, consult the Canadian immigration authorities at an embassy or High Commission office in your area with regard to immigration requirements.

For more information, contact Registration and Licensee Services.