An Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) is to verify if your foreign-earned degree, diploma, certificate or other credentials are valid and equal to Canadian education. ECA is required if you want to claim points in Express Entry or Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) for permanent residency.
The main purpose of an ECA is to prove that your foreign-earned degree is valid and at par with Canadian education standards. There are different types of ECAs, and you need to issue a specific one for immigration purposes.
Additionally, when completing your Express Entry profile, include your ECA report and reference number. An ECA may also help when looking for jobs, but it does not mean you will get a job in your field or at a specific level.
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Who needs an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)?
An Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) is needed if you completed your education outside Canada. This assessment helps to:
- Applying under Express Entry system and wants to claim points for your education outside of Canada, OR
- Claim points for your foreign education points for any of the provincial nominee program (PNP).
Moreover, if your spouse or common-law partner is coming with you to Canada, you can also earn points on their credentials.
Your or your spouse’s ECA report must demonstrate that a foreign institution’s degree, diploma, or certificate is equivalent to a Canadian secondary school (high school) or post-secondary degree to earn points.
Lastly, if you have a Canadian degree, diploma or certificate, you do not need an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA).
Which credentials do you need to get assessed?
You typically only require an assessment for the highest level of education. For instance, if you have a Master’s degree, you need only an evaluation for that degree. Your bachelor’s degree does not require one.
When should you get an assessment for 2 or more credentials?
If you want to earn points for having 2 or more credentials, you need an assessment for each.
To obtain full points for more than 1 credential, at least one of the credentials must be for three or more years of study. The order in which you complete your credentials has no bearing on your points.
Do you also need a secondary education evaluation?
If your post-secondary credentials are not equivalent to Canadian credentials, you could get your secondary education assessed. However, you would earn points for completing secondary education only.
Where to get an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)?
For the assessment to be recognized, you must get it from an organization or professional body designated by IRCC. Their report will explain what your education level is equal to in Canada.
However, the processing time and cost may differ between organizations or professional bodies. After you have chosen your designated organization or a professional body, they will instruct you on how to submit your documents for evaluation.
Below is the list of designated organizations:
- Comparative Education Service – University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies
- International Credential Assessment Service of Canada
- World Education Services
- International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS)
- International Credential Evaluation Service – British Columbia Institute of Technology
Lastly, A specific designated organization may be required to conduct your evaluation if you intend to work for a large employer or in a regulated occupation. If you want to learn more, speak to your employer or the organization that regulates your occupation.
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