Canada Education Credential Assessment (ECA)

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Nothing compares to knowing that all the effort you put in, into life to succeed is accounted for and that such effort and hard-work gives you the right results you desired, it is worthwhile and fulfilling to realize that you and your achievements so far in life measure up adequately to anyone else and to any standard in the world to which you may be equated. This becomes very important when you desire to have and live a better life in a different country where the living standard and life expectancy is seemingly more well off than that you have experienced in your home country.

You desire success but moving forward in this path requires that you have a top – notched education experience and qualifications. Thus, a good education becomes important, therefore, to continue making this giant stride for immigration, it is required that your already achieved educational qualifications equates favorably with that of Canada which boast one of the highest standard of education in the world. To find out how well your qualifications equate to its Canadian counterparts you need an Education Credential Assessment (ECA).

What is an Education Credential Assessment (ECA)

An Education Credential Assessment is an instrument used to verify whether your certificate, diplomas, degrees or any form educational qualification equates to that of Canada of same category or status. ECA’s are often required for immigration purposes and there are different types available you can choose from. For example, to apply for a Canadian Express Entry you must submit an ECA report and reference number. An ECA is the standard required by employers, higher institutions and colleges to evaluate your educational standard and its value compare to that of what is required in Canada for employment purposes or further education.

Who Requires an ECA

  • Anyone who is educated outside of Canada will need an ECA to either pursue a job in Canada or secure a place in one of Canada’s higher institutions for their further education process.
  • Anyone who intends to apply for Canada’s Express Entry or the Federal Skilled Workers Program, will be required by the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the government department of Canada in charge of immigration to submit an ECA report with their profile.

An ECA increases your chance of getting an invitation for the Express Entry or Federal Skilled Worker programs as it increases you points. The ECA is only necessary so long as your educational achievements are outside of Canada. Anyone who graduated from a Canadian college or holds Canadian certificates and / or diplomas is not required to engage or submit an ECA.

Which Credentials do you need an ECA for?

Usually, you only need an ECA for your highest level of education. If for example you have a bachelors degree and a masters degree, you only need an assessment for your masters degree.

To get points for having more than one qualifications or degrees, you have to do an assessment on each of them. To get the full points on a credential, the credential must be atleast for a 3 years of study.

you can also assess your secondary school credential if your post – secondary school credential does not equate or is lower than its Canadian equivalent, in this case, you can still score points for your completed secondary school credential.

How to get an ECA

The Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada determines which organization you should be assessed by. Your ECA must come from a professional organization designated by the IRCC for it to be valid or accepted.

Below is a list of designated professional organizations which offer ECA services and who have be designated by the IRCC

Designated organizations

You must use one of these designated organizations:

NOTE: The processing time and cost varies with each professional body and organization, also procedures on how to submit your documents to get them assessed is also dependent on the professional body and organization.

For more information on how to choose a professional body to assess your credentials based on your occupation visit the link below:

World Education Services (WES)

The world Education Services popular known as WES is by far one of the preferred organization for ECA services around the world. World Education Services (WES) is a globally-recognized social enterprise dedicated to helping internationally-educated people find meaningful roles in U.S. and Canadian communities and academic institutions through rigorous credential evaluations, immigrant integration and refugee advocacy, and mission-driven philanthropy. Since 1974, WES has provided credential evaluations to nearly three million individuals from more than 200 countries.

WES Document Requirements

  1. Academic Transcript: How to send this;
    • Option 1: Ask the institution you attended to send your document directly to WES in a sealed envelope that is signed or stamped across the back flap by the appropriate official at the institution.
    • Option 2: Should the institution choose to give you the document to send to WES, it must be in a sealed envelope. If the envelope is opened or there is no stamp or signature across the back flap, WES cannot accept the document.

Note: The academic transcript must accurately lists your name, date of birth and matriculation number.

     2. Degree Certificate (P/C)

    • You must send a clear, legible photocopy of the degree certificate issued by the institution that awarded your degree.

Note: You can upload a clear and legible copy of this document in the My Account section.

      3. Doctoral Degree Confirmation

If you completed a doctoral degree, a written statement from the awarding institution indicating the date your degree was conferred and your major is also required.

                    What you need to do:

    • Option 1: Ask the institution you attended to send your document directly to WES in a sealed envelope that is signed or stamped across the back flap by the appropriate official at the institution.
    • Option 2: Should the institution choose to give you the document to send to WES, it must be in a sealed envelope. If the envelope is opened or there is no stamp or signature across the back flap, WES cannot accept the document.

How to Send Your Documents to WES

  • Include Your Reference Number. Before you send documents, you must complete an application and obtain a reference number. You must write this reference number on each envelope and document that you submit to WES. As a disclaimer; WES does not take responsibility for documents that arrive without a reference number. Documents that arrive without a reference number often create delays.
  • Do Not Send Original Documents. Do not send your original documents unless they are specifically requested by WES. Every document that you send for evaluation becomes the property of WES. Documents that you submit for evaluation cannot be returned.
  • Ask About Sending Digital Documents. Electronic document transfer allows WES to quickly receive academic documents from your institution. This will help expedite the completion of your report. Your institution might already be able to securely send electronic documents to WES. If your institution does not already partner with WES, and if they have not already received information about how to get started, please have them WES and select the “Other” category on the contact form.
 For more information on how to preview your document requirements by WES click on the link below:

Evaluation and Fees

WES ECA is valid for 5 years from the date of issue, however, you can continue to use your ECA when you submit a new Express Entry profile.

Your Express Entry profile is valid for one year from the date you submit a profile to IRCC. If you have not received an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence after one year and still want to continue with Express Entry, you will need to complete and submit a new profile.

The standard processing time for a credential evaluation is seven (7) business days after receipt, review, and approval of all documents, and payment in full. IRCC applications require 35 business days for processing.

The cost of application and processing is CAD $220. Additional fees may also be incurred.

For more information on the type of additional fees and amount check WES ECA Fees.

ECA’s by other designated organizations and professional bodies follow the same requirements and method as WES, only with a little variation in their processing time and fees. However, for more verification on how to conduct your ECA through them, click on the designated organization of choice as given above.

What does your ECA Report Mean?

To gain points under the education category of the Federal Skilled Worker Program or  Express Entry Program your assessed foreign education credential must show that it is valid and equivalent to a completed Canadian credential of same status or category. E.g. Your foreign secondary school credential must equate to a Canadian secondary school credential or your foreign post – secondary school credential (BSc, BA, B.Eng e.t.c or Masters) must equate to that of Canada.

If however, your completed foreign credential does not equate to that of the Canadian credential of same category or your foreign educational institution is not recognized, you will not meet the educational requirement under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, and therefore, you will not get any point for it.

For a comprehensive report of your educational credential assessment on how it equates to its Canadian counterpart and its point value under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) or Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) check our immigration resources.

How to Submit your Report

  • Your ECA report must be issued for immigration purpose only and it must be from a professional body or organization designated by IRCC.
  • Be issued on or after the date the professional body or organization was designated or authorized to conduct an ECA.
  • Your ECA report must not be more than 5 years old on the day you submit your Express Entry profile or when you apply for permanent residence.

What to Do When You Get Your Report

  • Enter the results and the reference number into your Express Entry profile
  • Keep your original documents
  • Be ready to upload copies if you are invited to apply for permanent residence

How Does 2 or More Credentials Count

To get full points for having more than 1 credential:

  • At least 1 of the credentials must be for a program of 3 or more years in length as earlier mentioned.
  • A valid educational credential assessment (ECA) must be conducted for each credential

The order that you complete your credentials in does not affect points.

How to Enter More Than One Educational Credential in Your Profile

Follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Study and languages form in your profile
  2. Fill in all the fields in the Education history section with your first credential
    • Use the credential for your highest degree, diploma or certificate
  3. Click Save and add
    • The fields you just filled out will go blank
  4. Your credential will appear in the Education history table below the Save and add button.
  5. Repeat steps 1 to 3 for all your remaining educational credentials

NOTE: You can’t submit more than 1 educational credential in the same field.