When applying for immigration via Express Entry, ensure you have all your documents in order. Your educational qualification is given a lot of importance in Express Entry. Whether you have received a diploma or a degree from your country, by getting it validated by the concerned authorities, you will be able to receive points for your foreign education. This is where an educational credential assessment (ECA) is used.
What is an ECA?
An Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) is used to verify any proof of your credentials, such as a foreign degree, diploma, or certificate. An ECA confirms that your credential is valid and equal to a Canadian one. There are different types of ECAs. You need to get an ECA for immigration purposes. Your ECA report may also help when you’re looking for a job.
An ECA validates your profile and compares it with Canadian education standards. There are several types of ECAs. If you have received a different kind of ECA for immigration purposes, you can get it re-issued by issuing authorities for immigration purposes.
Although an ECA doesn’t land you a job, it would be helpful to have an accurate ECA report when job searching.
- You might have a much higher chance of finding the right job in your select field or at a certain level.
- You could get a license to practice if you are in a regulated profession.
How to get your credentials assessed?
Only designated organizations have permission to validate your credentials. Once they have verified your educational degrees, they will give you a report to get information about the education’s equivalent in Canada. The time taken to process your application might vary according to the professional body, so it is always better to provide enough time to ensure your application is processed before you enter your profile in the Express Entry pool. Once you receive a report, you must include your ECA report and the reference number in your Express Entry profile.
Which authorities can do the assessment?
There are a few designated authorities authorized to conduct the education assessment. Please note that the evaluation could take anywhere between a few weeks to a couple of months.
The designated authorities are:
- World Education Services or WES
- Comparative Education Service or CES
- International Qualifications Assessment Service or IQAS
- International Credential Evaluation Service or ICES
- International Credential Assessment Service of Canada or ICAS
- Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada or PEBC (For Pharmacists requiring a license to practice)
- Medical Council of Canada or MCC (For Doctors to get their primary medical diplomas evaluated).
Note, if you have more than one higher education or postsecondary degree, you only have to get ECA for your highest qualification. However, if you are applying through Express Entry, it is good to get all the educational credentials assessed to get as many points as possible.
Getting your educational qualifications compared to Canadian education standards is essential when you are applying for Canadian immigration. The regulatory bodies will match your educational qualification against Canadian standards using equivalency standards. Ensure you have all the appropriate documents before applying for ECA, and always get the evaluation done from organizations specifically chosen for ECA.