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FAQs About the WES Document Verification Process

Thursday | October 26, 2023 | by WES Advisor

Have you signed into My Account and seen the following status update?  

“On Hold: We are waiting for your institution(s) to verify your documents.”  

Once WES has received all required documents from an applicant and their institution(s), WES will begin document verification. When this process begins, we will update the applicant’s WES account with the above message. 

Document verification is a necessary step before beginning the credential evaluation process.  

Like many of our applicants, you might want to know more about this aspect of credential evaluation. Continue reading for answers to frequently asked questions about our document verification process.  

Why does WES verify documents?  

WES is committed to maintaining the integrity of our evaluation process. We ensure this by basing our reports on authentic, verified documents. That means we may need to send documents to the issuing institution for verification. We generally do this for the following reasons:  

  • To minimize instances of fraud, WES will proactively conduct a secondary verification of documents. 
  • The documents received are different from the documents WES generally receives from the same institution or institutions in that system of education. 
  • Information on the documents received by WES does not correspond to the information an applicant provided on their WES application. 

How does the verification process work?

WES sends a photocopy of your documents electronically to the issuing institution or authority with a letter requesting verification. The status of your file changes to “On Hold.” 

As soon as the institution verifies in writing that the documents are authentic, WES proceeds with the credential evaluation process. WES is unable to begin the process and issue a credential evaluation report until documents have been verified.  

How long will my application remain in verification status? 

Institution response times vary. Verification can take a few days or extend to several weeks. If we do not receive a response from an institution within seven weeks, WES automatically sends another request. 

What do I need to do during the verification process?

Generally, you do not need to take any action during this time. However, there are two exceptions. 

  • If your institution requires a fee for its verification service, you will need to pay the fee directly to the institution. 
  • If your institution requires authorization from you prior to verifying your documents, we will send you a notice asking you to contact your institution. 

While immediate action is not required, it is important to monitor your email inbox and My Account so that you do not miss any important updates or instructions from your institution or WES.  

What are the benefits of document verification? 

Although document verification can take time, the benefits of this process will lead to an accurate and verified WES evaluation report that is widely trusted and accepted by thousands of institutions in the United States and Canada. 

Document verification assures institutions and organizations that receive a WES credential evaluation report from a candidate that the assessment was based on authentic, verified documents. 

To find out the latest status on your credential evaluation, please sign in to My Account. For other questions, search our Help Center or contact us. 

Related Reading 

Benefits of WES International Credential Advantage Package (ICAP) 

What Is a Course-by-Course Evaluation and When Do I Need One? 

WES Advisor is an initiative of World Education Services, a non-profit organization with over 45 years of experience in international education. We provide advice and resources for international students and skilled immigrants to help them make informed decisions about education, employment, immigration, and integration opportunities in the U.S. and Canada.