What is the Educational Credential Assessment?
The ECA (Educational Credential Assessment) report is a valuation of all your educational qualification(s) achieved from a country other than Canada. In this report, al the academic qualification of applicants are evaluated and compared with Canadian standards, and an equivalency report is generated. This report is further used to gain points during the permanent residency process for Canada immigration.
Educational Credential Assessment or ECA is one of the primary requirements to apply for Canada Express Entry along with a passport and a valid IELTS Test Report Form. You need an evaluated report reference number which you have to mention during making an express entry profile.
Do I need an ECA?
Applicants who are applying to Canada Express entry are required to submit their ECA (Educational Credential Assessment) reference number while making Express Entreyt profile unless their educational credential was obtained from an institution in Canada.
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Candidates who want to apply under the Federal Skilled Trades Class or Canadian Experience Class are not required to obtain an ECA (Educational Credential Assessment). However, if they want to obtain points for their foreign educational credential under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), an ECA is required. A higher CRS score will increase the chances of the applicant to be selected in the Express Entry invitation to apply draw.
The spouse or common-law partner of a candidate for any of the programs managed under the Express Entry system must also obtain an ECA (Educational Credential Assessment) for his or her foreign education if he or she wishes to claim CRS points. However, an ECA (Educational Credential Assessment) is not mandatory for an accompanying spouse or partner, if you do not want to claim points.
An applicant and his or her spouse/partner (if applicable) must obtain an ECA (Educational Credential Assessment) for each credential for which he or she wishes to claim points. If the applicant has more than one degree, then all degrees to be evaluated to gain maximum points in the Express Entry system.
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How to obtain ECA report
In order to obtain an ECA (Educational Credential Assessment) report, an applicant (and his or her accompanying spouse or partner, if applicable) submits the required documents such as transcripts and degree certificates to an organization designated by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). These organizations operate independently of the government of Canada. The current organizations designated by IRCC to issue ECA (Educational Credential Assessment) reports are:
- World Education Services
- Comparative Education Service – University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies
- International Credential Assessment Service of Canada
- International Qualifications Assessment Service
- International Credential Evaluation Service
- Medical Council of Canada
- Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada
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Cost and Processing Time for ECA (Educational Credential Assessment) Canada
Different agencies will have different processing time for the ECA (Educational Credential Assessment). The table provided below can help assess different agencies easily:
The below list includes ECA processing time and only the basic ECA Canada fees. It doesn’t include courier charge and other miscellaneous expenditures
|ECA Organisation||Processing Time (approx)||Fees|
|World Education Services (WES)||4 Weeks||220 $|
|Comparative Education Service (CES)||14 Weeks||210 $|
|International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES)||12 Weeks||230 $|
|International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS)||15 Weeks||200 $|
|International Credential Assessment of service of Canada (ICAS)||13 Weeks||200 $|
|Medical Council of Canada – (Professional body for Doctors)||6 Weeks||290 $|
|Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (For Pharmacists)||13 Weeks||600 $|
Fees for Medical students can be higher as per their qualification.
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How to get ECA (Educational Credential Assessment) report from WES
WES is considered as the most preferred organization ECA evaluation for Canada Immigration purposes due to its fast processing time. Process of applying for ECA for Canada to WES is as follow:
Step 1 : Degree Equivalency Tool
WES has a free tool to check the equivalency of your degree to a Canadian degree. Some important points to remember :
- All organization does not evaluate all degrees in the same way. for example, it may happen that WES recognizes your master’s degree as a second degree while other organizations like IQAS may evaluate the same degree as a master. So, do ensure before applying.
- The same rule also applies in case your institution or university not recognized by one organization, then does not get demoralized, but try to apply with another organization.
- If your degree is not listed there it doesn’t mean it won’t be equivalent to anything, you will get to know that in a real assessment.
- If you are not sure after using the tool, if your degree/college will be valid for ECA through WES try to email/ WES to check or ask if anyone had the same degree evaluated before.
Step 2 :Create a WES account.
Create your WES using your Email address
Make sure you choose ECA application for IRCC not the other option.
Fill up your details in all pages very carefully and correctly.
You will have to provide a recipient address, give your address there. When you will proceed it will automatically generate “Recipient 2” as IRCC. Don’t worry about that one, it is used for electronic delivery of your records to IRCC when you put your WES report number while filling your express entry profile.
Step 3 : Pay your fees
The reference number will be generated. (This will be used in all your communications with WES).Your reference number is not the ECA report number. You can’t use it in the Express Entry profile. It is only used for communication with WES. When your evaluation is completed and you get your ECA for Canada report it will have your ECA number which you will mention in the Express Entry application.
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Step 4 : Arrange required Documents
Check what documents you need for your evaluation here. Read all instructions on what documents to send and at which address. Take out a print out of your WES academic record request form. Fill all the details along with your reference number and submit the form In your university or apply to your university online.
WES does not accept a transcript from individuals or other organizations. It should be directly sent to WES by the university in a sealed envelope.
Send a copy of your degree certificate of all the evaluations you applied for single candidates in one envelope to the WES.
Do not send any original document to WES unless asked specifically with instructions that they will return it after evaluation.
Step 5 : Get your ECA for Canada Immigration
You can check the status of your application by logging into your WES account. It will show once they have received your documents, your evaluation report will take up to 20 days after your documents are received. Be patient. Once your evaluation is completed you most probably will receive an email. You can find a pdf copy of your report by logging in to your WES account. Check your report that everything is correctly mentioned.No need to wait for a hard copy of your report for Express entry if you have got a pdf version in your account. It is the same and has your report number on it which you can use for express entry profile. Your ECA (Educational Credential Assessment) is valid for 5 years.
Ask your Query in Discussion Forum to get answers from experts.
Answer: WES is best in terms of processing time. However, do check if your university is recognized by WES.
Answer: WES put this condition to avoid any fraud, last year. Therefore, all the university is not accustomed to this rule. Therefore, either you should request your university to send the documents or you have to opt for another organization for ECA.
Answer: IF your CRS score is enough to get you a direct invitation to apply, then you can opt-out and save money.
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