In Immigration

There are numerous factors to consider when planning a relocation from one country to another. One needs a passport and a birth certificate, but is there anything else? What about the prerequisites to verify educational qualifications? Is it necessary to evaluate these academic degrees? Do I need ECA for study in Canada?

In Canada, school credits are crucial in securing a well-paying career. If you have a bachelor’s degree, you might be able to get a job that pays $80,000 instead of $30,000.

As a result, you may need an ECA in Canada if you are a foreigner who earned your degree in another country. This is a requirement for comparing and verifying your degree against Canadian criteria. The advantages of continuing with this review are apparent, but it is not a simple task.

What is the Educational Credentials Assessment (ECA), its Full Form & Meaning?

The Education Credentials Assessment is a report that verifies an immigrant applicant’s educational credits. This assessment will determine whether the academic quality in your home country is comparable to that of Canadian standards.

This study assesses if a person’s foreign secondary school diploma matches the requirements and rigor of a Canadian degree. Several agencies handle the evaluation of foreign degrees.

Among them are:

  • Service to Compare Education
  • International Educational Evaluation Service
  • Services in Global Education

These organizations must assess your education to determine its authenticity and credibility.

How Can You Know if an ECA Evaluation is Required?

An ECA evaluation is not required for all candidates for immigration. You must join the ECA to participate in the Federal Skilled Workers Program (The Express Entry program is another name for the Federal Skilled Workers Program).

Individuals might be fast-tracked to immigrate to the country based on their skill set. Suppose you possess a degree from a foreign institution and want it recognized in Canada. In that case, ECA is required for a work permit in Canada, especially if you want to pursue a vocation or job that fits your qualifications.

What Credentials Should Be Evaluated?

Every schooling degree does not need to be examined under this approach; only higher education levels are part of the assessment. However, if someone has many degrees and certifications, each one may be subjected to examination separately. This means that if they have a psychology degree and a relevant diploma, they must have both evaluated.

Please remember that an ECA is not required for your 10th and 12th-grade credentials. You should only have ECA done for your Bachelor’s degree (unless you have another diploma such as a Postgraduate Diploma of some sort; in this case, you might be eligible to get both of them evaluated via Canada CRS Calculator to earn more CRS points). Moreover, it is required for applicants holding a master’s degree to have their Bachelor’s credentials examined.

Which Organization Should be Chosen for ECA?

The organization that you should choose ECA For Canada greatly depends on the career chosen, the credential that has to be evaluated, and the institute from which you got your degree. You can refer to the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC) system to determine which organization to select.

This system helps users select the right organization for their requirements. It uses the work experience and the degree of the applicant to determine this.

For Immigration to Canada, who Needs an ECA Report?

Individuals who want to immigrate to Canada under the Express Entry program must assess their qualifications. However, it is not required for international students to pursue a degree at a reputable Canadian institution. 

Furthermore, some Master’s and postgraduate degree programs may not require an ECA for the Federal Skilled Workers Program. These exceptions depend on the degree, university, and country. 


Procedure for Obtaining an ECA Report for Immigrating to Canada:

An applicant (and their accompanying spouse or partner, if applicable) submits the required papers, such as transcripts and degree certificates, to an entity recognized by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada to get an ECA (Educational Credential Assessment) report (IRCC).

These organizations are not part of the Canadian government. IRCC has designated the following organizations to issue Educational Credentials Assessment Reports:

  • Services for Global Education
  • University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies Comparative Education Service
  • International Assessment Service for Qualifications
  • International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES) – A non-profit organization
  • Canada’s Medical Council
  • Canada’s International Credential Assessment Service
  • Canada’s Pharmacy Examining Board

Comparative Table of the 5 Designated Organizations

Here is a table that provides a comparative analysis of the five designated organizations that give an ECA for Canada for most degrees, diplomas and certificates. PEBC and MCC are not a part of this table as there is no other choice than using them if you are a general practitioner, specialist physician, pharmacist, or family physician.

The price is inclusive of all the credentials that you wish to add (this excludes CES for which the price is listed per credential). Ensure that you add all your credentials so that you don’t have to pay extra charges and waste time if you wish to get the education assessment Canada done for another credential later.

ICES IQAS ICAS Canada CES University of Canada WES
Price (Excluding Taxes $200 $200 $210 $210 $240
Processing Time 20 weeks 14 weeks 30 weeks 7 weeks 7 weeks
Canada Delivery (Excluding Taxes) Standard: NA

Courier: $26

Standard: NA

Courier: $15

Standard: $5

Courier: $35

Standard: NA

Courier: $35

Standard: $11

Courier: $26

International Delivery (Excluding Taxes) Standard: NA

Courier USA: NA

Courier: $75

Standard: NA

Courier USA: NA

Courier: $75

Standard: $10

Courier USA: $35

Courier: $80

Standard: NA

Courier USA: NA

Courier: $80

Standard: NA

Courier USA: NA

Courier: $89

After carefully analyzing the above table for designated organizations, the most evident option is WES. It is not only quicker than the other providers but also not more expensive when compared to the other organizations. Our recommendation is also WES.

The processing time is mentioned approximately for all providers and it starts after submitting a complete application. It may also vary depending on the number of applications received. The processing time for IQAS mentioned here is just for a single credential. If you have requested an additional credential, then it will take four more weeks for processing.

Applying for an ECA through WES

By now, you know what is ECA. ECA full form is Education Credential Assessment. If you want to apply for an ECA through WES, you can follow the process discussed here. Go to the Canadian WES website (ensure that it is the Canadian portal by checking the location on the right top corner of the WES website as there’s one for the US as well).

1. Use the Free WES Degree Equivalency Tool

Before creating your account on WES, use the free WES degree equivalency tool. With this, you will get to know what your ECA outcomes may be. This is not an ECA replacement. It is easy to use this tool. It needs only basic details like your name, email address, country of residence, country of education, number of study years, and name of your diploma or degree.

You can look for your institution. In case you don’t find it, research again without entering anything in the field given. You will find the list of all institutions. Even if you don’t find your institution, you can apply through WES.

2. Stay Aware of the Required Documents Depending on Your Country of Education

Navigate to this page on the WES portal: Select the type of education (secondary education refers to high school and higher education refers to post high school ) and your country. Then, you have to select the kind of high school diploma you have got (British, Spanish, French etc.).

  • Based on your answers, you will have to provide the required documents. In case you possess a higher education diploma, you have to submit the below-mentioned documents:
  • A copy of your degree or diploma certificate (provisional or final). This need not be certified.
  • An envelope consisting of your academic transcripts for the years that you attended the school. The envelope need not be an official one with your institution name in front. However, it has to be either signed or stamped across the flap by an authorized person from your institution. Then, you can ask the institution to send the signed or sealed envelope directly to the WES. Alternatively, you can get this envelope and submit it along with your other documents.
  • If your academic transcripts and/or degree or diploma certificate are not in English or French, you have to give a copy of ‘word-to-word’ English or French translation, either done by a certified translation service provider or your academic institution.
  • If you belong to countries like Pakistan or Morocco, you have to add your high school transcripts and your high school diploma in a sealed cover by the relevant officials. You can also cross-check with the ‘required documents’ page of the WES portal.
  • If your educational institution and the WES are in a partnership, it can electronically give WES the academic transcripts. This will ensure that your application processing time is speeded up. The ‘required documents’ page of the WES portal will show the option to ask for the transcripts electronically if the option is available for your educational institution.

Additionally, you can add this form as well: It has to be self-signed and also signed by the institution. This can help in requesting your documents. Include it in the sealed cover and also include the WEST number that you are assigned when registering.

3. Sign Up for Creating Your Account and Pay the Fee

Create your account by following this link: Once you enter your personal details, include your credential data as well. You can add many credentials for the same price. But, if you add a credential at a later point, you will need to pay extra fees). Once you have added these details, you can pay the fee by Western Union, credit card, money order, or cheque. Once this is done, you will get your WES Reference Number.

4. Gather the Needed Documents

As discussed earlier in the second step of the process, the required documents depend on the country when you had pursued your education. Once you have gathered all the needed documents or got them prepared by the institution, ensure that the mail address has your WES Reference Number. This can avoid any possible delays.

While sending these documents to the WES, make use of express courier services. You would never want to navigate through the entire process again if the documents are lost in transit. On the other hand, if you are ready to take the risk, want to save money, and are not in a hurry, you can use the regular mail service, provided your postal system is reliable.

5. Wait for Completion of the Review

After reviewing the submitted documents, the WES will review the same and update you through email if needed. If the submitted documents are not correct or if the WES required further verification, there could be a delay.

With your online WES account, it is easy to monitor your application status. You don’t have to be concerned if the courier states that the documents have been delivered. However, your WES status will not change right away as it takes almost three weeks after delivery for status update. The WES evaluation statuses include:

  • Waiting for required documents
  • Review in Progress (Documents received)
  • Waiting for verification from institution: Sometimes, the WES may find the need for document verification with the institutions that issued the same. In such a case, they will send a document copy to your institution and request them to verify the same.
  • Completed: You will be able to view your e-report in your account. You can also track your ECA report transmit with the help of the given tracking ID.

Where can I Get my ECA?

You can get your ECA from an organization approved by the ECA. Some of these organizations include:

  • International Qualifications Assessment Service
  • International Credential Evaluation Service
  • Medical Council of Canada
  • Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada
  • World Education Services (WES)
  • Comparative Education Service – University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies
  • International Credential Assessment Service of Canada

If you are trained professional other than a medical professional or a pharmacist, you can choose WES. The evaluations done by the WES are extensively recognized by many educational, governmental, and business institutions across the US and Canada.

Sample of an ECA Report Issued by WES

If you are wondering what ECA meaning or ECA report meaning is, it refers to a report that verifies that your foreign diploma, degree, certificate, or any other credential proof is valid and equivalent to a Canadian certificate. Here is a sample of the ECA report that is issued by the WES.

Top Tips to Lower Your Educational Credentials Assessment Costs:

  1. Use a regular courier service for saving about $80 as you require the PDF document for the application to Canada that is sent to you after the review is issued.
  2. Evaluate your entire post-secondary education at once. Rather than charging each degree, the preponderance of ECA-awarding universities charges per application. Multiple qualifications can be earned in a single application, saving time and money.
  3. Your marital spouse may not need the ECA Canada report. Using the Canada CRS Calculator, you may calculate your CRS score either with or without your partner’s degree points. If you have enough points, you may skip this in the application.

Express Entry Step-by-Step Guide

Here’s a step-by-step process that serves as your complete Express Entry guide:

Step 1: Find Your National Occupational Classification (NOC)

To understand your eligibility for the Express Entry program, you have to first check whether your work experience is eligible for the program as set by the NOC system.

Step 2: Get Your Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)

If your educational credentials are not from a Canadian institution, you have to get your educational credentials from a foreign institution evaluated by an approved third party of the IRCC.

Step 3: Take Your French and/or English Language Tests

There are three programs under the Express Entry system. Irrespective of the program you are applying for, you have to take a French and/or English test and score the minimum points to be eligible for the program.

Step 4: Check Your Express Entry Eligibility

Check whether you are eligible for Express Entry under any of the three economic immigration programs.

Step 5: Calculate Your CRS (Comprehensive Ranking System) Score

Next, you should know how to calculate your CRS score. It is on the basis of this score that you will be ranked in the Express Entry pool.

Step 6: Enter the Express Entry Pool

Once you have got your ECA report and taken your language tests, you have to check your eligibility using the Come to Canada tool. Once you know you are eligible, you can now generate your Express Entry profile and enter the pool of Express Entry applicants.

Step 7: Get an ITA (Invitation To Apply)

If you have scored the required CRS points, you will receive an ITA. Once you get this, you can fill additional forms within 60 days and submit all the supporting documents to get your PR.

Step 8: Gather the Required Documents

Once you get an ITA, gather the required documents as you will have to upload all the requested supporting documents. Enclose them with your forms so that you can submit them together.

Step 9: Acknowledgement of Receipt (AoR) and Passport Request (PPR)

Once you have submitted your documents you will have to wait for the approval of your application. Check for status updates regularly as this will give you an idea of which stage or the process your application is in.

Step 10: Prepare for Your Landing in Canada

Now that everything is done, it’s time to prepare for your landing in Canada. Learn about the applicable terms and conditions related to what you need to know before landing in Canada and also about living in Canada. Get to know everything about the country from its education system to healthcare system.

Final Pointers to Remember

The evaluation procedure can take a few weeks to several months. In case you’re applying for a skilled worker profile, you’ll need an ECA to be qualified to submit to the Express Entry pool, therefore starting with your Educational Credentials Assessment usually is one of the first steps in your immigration process through Express Entry.

To submit your documentation, go to your Express Entry profile page and upload the report. Within five years of the ECA’s delivery and completion, this must be done. If you cannot submit your report within five years, it will have to be reissued. 

The original documents should always be kept for your records, but uploading them is required for entrance and authorization to stay in Canada. On this screen, you may also add numerous credential reports. You will notice the option to add additional credentials after submitting the first report, and you may do so.

Frequently Asked Questions About ECA

What documents are required for an ECA?

The documents required for an ECA are:

  • A copy of an identity card issued by the government with your date of birth
  • A copy of the final award (diploma or degree certificate) in the original language
  • A copy of your academic record (mark sheets or transcripts) in the original language

If these documents are not in English or French, then you need to submit a word-to-word translation of such documents (it should be completed by a qualified professional translator).

How Do I Submit My ECA Document, and When Do You Need the Report?

You have to submit your ECA document to one of the five designation organizations: ICAS, ICES, WES, IQAS, or CES. The common way is to use an online platform, choose your preferred designated organization from the dropdown list, and submit the scanned copies of the documents. The organization retrieves these documents and continues with evaluation.

How can Croyez Immigration help in ECA?

Croyez Immigration is the best immigration consultant that can help you through understanding Educational Credential Assessment meaning and the process of getting your ECA report. With this team of professionals by your side, they can assist you gather all the required documents in order and submit them to the designation organization such as CES or WES. They will follow up on the status of your application and keep you updated all through until you get your ECA report.

What is the validity of an Educational Credential Assessment?

An Educational Credential Assessment report is valid for up to five years from the date of issue. If the IRCC has to accept the ECA report, it should not be over five years old when the IRCC receives your Express Entry application and your PR application.

Can I use an ECA for multiple applications?

Yes, you can use an ECA for multiple applications provided that it is valid and an ECA for the purpose of immigration. The IRCC will accept the same report for five years from the date it is issued. If you have multiple qualifications or degrees, then you have to get an ECA report for claiming points for each educational credential.

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