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Best Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) For Canada Immigration

As a foreign national, you need an ECA report to validate the certificate you got for completing an academic program in a foreign educational institution.

Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) is necessary when you want to immigrate to Canada. Besides, CES, WES, ICES, and IQAS are IRCC-designated organizations in charge of issuing ECA reports to foreign nationals.

For the most benefits, you need to opt for the best Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) for immigration to Canada between CES, WES, ICES, and IQAS.

What is Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) in Canada?

Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) is an evaluation report used to compare international credentials against the credentials offered by Canadian post-secondary institutions.

As a foreign national, you need an ECA report to validate the certificate you got for completing an academic program in a foreign educational institution.

Moreover, your Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report should state that your international credential has the same value as a Canadian certificate.

What are the functions of Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) reports?

There are several functions of ECA reports in Canada. An ECA report for work purposes may not be accepted for other purposes like immigration.

Hence, you need to consider the purpose of the ECA report before applying through one of the IRCC-designated organizations.

However, below are the functions of Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) reports in Canada.

Using ECA to immigrate to Canada:

You need an ECA report during Canada’s immigration processes, including Express Entry.

Inasmuch as you completed your studies in a foreign country, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will request you to provide an assessment report to facilitate your foreign certificates.

Moreover, you need to get an ECA to qualify for Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP) under Express Entry.

This qualifies you for points in the Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).

Using ECA for employment purposes in Canada:

An ECA report is applicable when you want to apply for a job in Canada. Moreover, using an ECA for employment purposes does not enforce you to work within your discipline.

Besides, you can only obtain an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report from an IRCC-designated organization.

However, this article explores various options of getting an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) to immigrate to Canada.

IRCC-designated organizations for getting an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)

Here are IRCC-designated organizations that issues ECA reports to foreign nationals.

1. Comparative Education Service (CES)

2. World Education Services (WES)

3. International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES)

4. International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS)

IRCC-designated professional bodies that issue an ECA report to work in Canada
  • Medical Council of Canada: for specialist physician (NOC 3111), as well as a general practitioner (NOC 3112)
  • Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada: for pharmacists (NOC 3131)

#1 Comparative Education Service (CES):

CES is an IRCC-designated organization run by the University of Toronto (U of T) School of Continuing Studies. Moreover, IRCC designated them to start evaluating foreign certificates and issuing ECA reports on April 17, 2013.

  • Application fee for CES ECA: $210 Canadian Dollars for each academic certificate
  • Processing time for CES ECA report: Up to 5 working days after CES has received your documents

#2 World Education Services (WES):

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) designated WES to issue ECAs on April 17, 2013.

Thus, you can use an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) from WES to satisfy Canada’s immigration requirements.

Besides, getting an ECA report from IRCC can help you immigrate to Canada through Agri-Food Immigration Pilot, as well as Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).

  • Processing time of World Education Services (WES) ECA: Up to 7 working days
  • Application fee for World Education Services (WES) ECA: $220 Canadian Dollars, with exemption to delivery fees

#3 International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES):

On August 6, 2015, IRCC designated ICES to serve foreign nationals in proofing the worthiness of their foreign certificates to Canadian academic certificates.

Thus, International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES) issues Education Credential Assessment (ECA) reports to foreign nationals for various purposes, including immigration.

Furthermore, ICES has an affiliation with the Alliance of Credential Evaluation Services of Canada (ACESC).

  • Application fee for ICES ECA: $230 Canadian Dollars for each academic certificate
  • Processing time for ICES ECA: It takes up to 16 weeks to get ICES ECA for immigration purposes.

#4 International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS):

IRCC designated IQAS to take on ECAs for foreign nationals on August 6, 2015.

Besides, Educational Credential Assessment (ECAs) from IQAS can be used to immigrate to Canada through Express Entry.

After immigration to Canada, you can still use your IQAS ECA report for job applications in Canada.

  • Application fee for IQAS ECA: $200 Canadian Dollars, excluding delivery fees

IQAS ECA processing time: This aspect answers your question if you intend to ask, “how long does IQAS take for ECA”.

  • ECA processing time for IQSA using 1 certificate: In this case, it usually takes up to 14 weeks
  • IQSA ECA processing time using multiple certificates: It takes a minimum of 18 weeks to process an ECA with IQAS using multiple foreign certificates.

Best Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) for immigration to Canada between CES, WES, ICES, and IQAS

We have already examined each of the IRCC-designated organizations for Educational Credential Assessments (ECA) in Canada.

The processing times and application fees for CES, WES, ICES, and IQAS was looked into as well.

However, we can assert that CES University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies is the best Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) for immigration to Canada between CES, WES, ICES, and IQAS.

We say this because Comparative Education Service (CES) ECA has a lower processing time of 5 working days.

Thus, you will be opportune to get an ECA report from CES quickly than other IRCC-designated organizations.

Additionally, the application fee of CES ECA is moderate in spite of the fact that it cost more than IQAS ECAs.

We can simply say that the extra $10 Canadian Dollars between CES ECA and IQAS ECA application fee is the charge for getting your Educational Credential Assessment report on time.

What Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) is accepted by IRCC for immigration purposes?

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) do not accept any kind of ECA report to immigration processing to Canada.

To this regard, your ECA report must feature the following;

  • Firstly, it must be given to you by an IRCC-designated organization.
  • Secondly, the date on your ECA report shouldn’t be below the date when the organization was designated by IRCC.
  • Moreover, your ECA report must be issued to you within the last five (5) years, which counts from the ECA’s issuance date

Next steps after getting an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report

After receiving your ECA report from the IRCC-designated organization, you need to do the following;

  • First of all, you need to secure the original copies of your documents
  • More so, you are required to log on to your Express Entry profile, input the ECA reference number, and its results
  • Then await an instruction from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to submit scanned documents after receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residency.

FAQs about the best Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) for immigration to Canada between CES, WES, ICES, and IQAS

Do I need an ECA for studies completed in a Canadian post-secondary institution?
No, ECA is not required if you graduated from a Canadian university or college
Which of my foreign certificate needs evaluation?
Generally, your highest education certificate needs to evaluation by an IRCC-designated organization
Can I get points for multiple foreign certificates?
Yes, you can use an ECA to receive points for each of your foreign certificates by getting an ECA for each of them. However, one of your certificates must include a minimum of a 3-year academic program.
What is the validity period of the WES Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)?
5 years starting from the issuance date
Which of my certificate should I send to WES for an ECA?
Your highest certificate from a foreign post-secondary institution
What is not included in an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report?
Your ECA report will not include information on your Canadian certificates, primary education records, professional training, as well as your non-academic certificates.
What professional body will process my ECA if I want to work in Canada as a physician?
Medical Council of Canada
What organization is in charge of ECAs for pharmacists who need a license to work in Canada?
Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada
Is my immigration certain for getting an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report?
Decisions on Canadian permanent residency applications are determined by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). You will be assessed based on your points (Express Entry), as well as immigration requirements that you were able to satisfy.
What is the cost of getting an IQAS ECA report with many certificates?
IQAS ECA application fee using many certificates costs the same as one. However, the application fee is $200 Canadian Dollars.
Should the designated organization send my Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report to IRCC?
No
What happens if my ECA report demonstrates that my foreign certificate is unequal to a Canadian certificate?

You will be unable to meet Express Entry (FWSP) academic requirement if your ECA indicates that an unrecognized institution issued your foreign certificate or if it is not equivalent to a Canadian certificate.

Thus, you will be ineligible to get a point under the Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).