We can give you only a rough estimate of how much our process will cost and how long it will take you to complete. Each applicant finishes at their own speed and according to their own ability. This outline of all costs and timelines gives you an idea of what to expect.
You must complete your NCA assigned subject areas within five years of the date that we issue your assessment result. That does not mean it will take you five years to finish. Many factors can affect the length of the process:
- Whether you choose to write exams or take courses at a Canadian law school
- The number of requirements you must meet
- The number of attempts you require to pass your exams and courses
- Your personal situation, such as family obligations, work, etc.
Here are the timelines that come into play when you apply to the NCA:
- Gathering documents – Takes two to six weeks
This process can take far longer in situations where, for example, your degree is more than 10 years old, or you earned your degree in a country where administration is not efficient.
- Assessment process – Takes six to eight weeks
- Meeting assignments – You are given five years
- Best-case scenario – 10 months
- Average time to completion – About two years
Timeframes for completing NCA exams
- Registration – Opens three months before exam dates
- Exams – Take place four times a year, in January, April/May, August and October (see our Exam Schedule)
- Exam results – Available 10 to 12 weeks after the last exam scheduled
- Exam failure – If you fail an NCA exam, you may not take it in the session immediately following your unsuccessful attempt. You must wait until the second session after the unsuccessful attempt. If, for example, you fail an exam in January, you must wait until August to re-write it.
- Exam appeal – Takes two to four weeks
Time considerations for the law school courses the NCA assigns you
- Law school application dates and deadlines
- Course schedules (when courses begin and end)
- The date that the school releases your course marks
- The time it takes for your law school to send the NCA your course marks and proof that you completed the course
Timeframe for Issuing Certificate of Qualification
- It can take the NCA up to one week to notify a law society that we have issued you a Certificate of Qualification. We will also mail a hard copy certificate within three to six weeks of receiving your request.
Costs associated with the NCA process
*All costs are listed in Canadian dollars
- Assessment fee – $350.00, plus taxes
- Assessment appeal fee – $280.00 plus taxes (will not apply unless you appeal your assessment result)
- Exam fee – $300.00 per exam, plus taxes (minimum $300 x 5 = $1,500)
- Exam appeal fee – $215.00 per exam, plus taxes (will not apply unless you appeal your exam result)
- Cancellation fees – $50.00 per exam, plus taxes (will not be a factor unless you cancel an exam)
Minimum cost: $1,850.00, plus taxes
Law school courses (full-year enrollment)
- NCA Assessment fee – $350.00, plus taxes
- Application fees – About $150.00, plus taxes
- Tuition fees – $35,000 to $56,000 (some schools charge additional fees on top of tuition)
Minimum cost – $35,450.00 (for a full year’s enrollment)