An Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) is a vital report needed for most immigration programs in Canada, such as the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, and Provincial Nomination Program. You may also need an ECA to study or to work in Canada. In addition, you’ll have to obtain the proper licensing or certification to work in Canada if your occupation is regulated in the province you intend to live.
You worked hard for your credentials, and that’s why it’s crucial to get them recognized. It can even boost your CRS score by 25 points in the Express Entry pool. An ECA lets immigration officials and future employers know your education is valid and up to Canadian standards. Learn more about the ECA process below!
- What is an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)?
- How Can You Get an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)?
- Which Credentials Must Be Assessed?
- How Much Does an ECA Cost?
- When Do You Need to Get Your ECA?
What is an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)?
An ECA is a report used by immigration officials, employers, and schools to verify that your foreign degree, diploma, or certificate equals a Canadian one. If you’re immigrating to Canada, then it’s essential to apply for an ECA report for immigration purposes from an approved ECA organization.
Your ECA report may help when you’re looking for a job, but it doesn’t guarantee you’ll get a license to practice in a regulated job. Also, the original ECA report must not be mailed to the IRCC offices. Instead, you must give the report reference number and submit copies when asked.
What You Need to Know About ECAs for Canadian Immigration
How Can You Get an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)?
You can only get your credentials validated from the approved IRCC organizations in the table below. We recommend that our clients get their ECAs from World Education Services (WES) since they have the quickest processing times of 35 business days.
|Approved ECA Organisations for Canadian Immigration Purposes|
|1. Comparative Education Service – University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies|
|2. International Credential Assessment Service of Canada|
|3. World Education Services (WES)|
|4. International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS)|
|5. International Credential Evaluation Service|
|6. Medical Council of Canada (Doctors)|
|7. Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (Pharmacists)|
Suppose you intend to apply as a Physician/Specialist Physician (NOC 3111/3112) or Pharmacist (NOC 3131). In that case, you must get an ECA report from professional federal regulatory bodies in Canada listed in the table above. You may also need to get your credentials assessed by provincial regulatory bodies, such as trade and occupational professions if your job is regulated in Canada.
Sample of an ECA Report Issued by WES
Which Credentials Must Be Assessed?
The good news is that you don’t have to get your entire educational history assessed. In most cases, you only need an assessment of your highest level of education. So, if you have a Bachelor’s degree, you only need an assessment for that degree. You don’t need one for your secondary education. And if you have a Master’s Degree, you only need an assessment for that degree and not one for your Bachelor’s degree.
If you want additional points for immigration for having two or more credentials, you can get them all assessed. However, at least one of your credentials must be for three or more years of study to earn full points for more than one credential.
How Much Does an ECA Cost?
An Educational Credential Assessment costs between $200-$240 without courier fees to deliver the original document to you. And it typically takes a few weeks to evaluate your credentials, but the report is valid for five years from when it's issued.
|Costs Without Delivery Fees|
|Approved ECA Organisations||Application Fee|
|1. Comparative Education Service – University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies||$210|
|2. International Credential Assessment Service of Canada||$200|
|3. World Education Services (WES)||$240|
|4. International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS)||$200|
|5. International Credential Evaluation Service||$200|
When Do You Need to Get Your ECA?
Since an ECA report is valid for five years, you don’t need to worry about it expiring before you’ve submitted your immigration application. However, it’s an important requirement for various Canadian immigration programs and is sometimes needed early in the immigration process. For example, the Federal Skilled Worker Program requires you to give your ECA report before creating your Express Entry profile.
An ECA report may not be a requirement for other Canadian immigration programs, such as the Federal Trades Worker Program or the Canadian Experience Class. Still, increasing your points and chances of success could be beneficial.
Translate Your Documents to English or French
If your documents such as your certificate, diploma, or degree, were issued in any other language besides English or French, then you will need to get them translated before sending them to one of the approved organizations for a credential assessment. It must be word-for-word translations from your academic institution or a professional translation agency. In most cases, the IRCC requires an affidavit from the translator.
ECA for International Students
If you want to study in Canada, you’ll also need to assess your credentials. Most schools in Canada do the assessments themselves by evaluating your transcripts. However, in some cases, you might need to use the services of an assessment agency. Since different schools prefer different agencies, contacting the designated learning institution you want to attend in Canada is best to find out what kind of assessment they need and accept.
ECA for Foreign Workers
If you’re searching for a job or planning to work in Canada, you might need to get more than just your credentials assessed. Your future employer may also be interested in your qualifications that consider your combined work experience, knowledge, and skills on top of your credentials. For some occupations, you may also need to show proof of specific competencies, such as your level of knowledge and skill sets.
Get a Complete Immigration Document Checklist
Besides for an ECA report, what else do you need to immigrate to Canada? If you leave your immigration application to the professionals at CanadianVisa.org, you will get access to your own Visa Profile Dashboard by simply logging in to “My Account” and receive a full document checklist complete with video tutorials on where to find them. Optimise your chances of success!