The validity of an ECA: 5 years
An educational credential assessment (ECA) is used to verify a foreign degree, diploma, or certificate’s validity and equivalency to a Canadian program. Amongst various options, a candidate applying for Canada Immigration has to choose ECA for the IRCC option. If you are a foreign degree holder you would need the ECA
Who should get an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) done?
If you have completed your education outside Canada, then you would need to get an ECA done. This ECA report needs to be included in your submission and the reference number entered while making your Express Entry profile.
You need a separate report if your spouse or common-law partner has studied outside Canada and is accompanying your wants to claim points.
Which degrees need to be assessed?
Normally, only the highest degree needs to be assessed but in some cases, the evaluating agencies need the credentials of all the degrees, diplomas or certificates that you have completed. Keep an eye out for what documents the evaluating agency tells you to send.
You do not need to get your Canadian degrees assessed.
Should you send all your credentials (2 or more credentials)?
Yes! Degrees from outside Canada are sometimes not recognized or at other times not given the same equivalency as a Canadian Degree. For example, A Master’s degree from some of the reputed Universities in India gets a Post Graduate Diploma (1-year) equivalency. You will get points for more than 1 credential only if at least one of the programs is assessed to be of 3 or more years of study.
There are 5 agencies that can assess your credentials.
- Comparative Education Service: University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies
- International Credential Assessment Service of Canada
- World Education Services
- International Qualifications Assessment Service
- International Credential Evaluation Service
For assessments of specialist and family physicians, your report must be from the Medical Council of Canada
If you are a Pharmacist, you will need an assessment from Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada
How much does an ECA Cost?
The ECA will cost you approximately between CAD 200-300. This will include
- the fees that you pay to the agency that assesses your documents
- Fees that you pay to the University you studied in to make a duplicate transcript and post it directly to the Canadian agency doing your ECA
What documents would be required for an ECA?
The document list greatly varies from agency to agency but the documents commonly asked are
- University Transcripts
- University Statement of Marks (if in your country, they are different)
- Convocation/Degree Certificate
- Licensing Statement (if applicable)
Can my spouse not do an ECA?
If you want to claim points for your spouse’s education and if your spouse’s education has been completed outside Canada, then you would have to go through an ECA.
Is ECA required for a PNP
Some provinces specifically ask for the ECA report to be sent to them before they start processing your application if you have not studied within Canada. Please look at the requirements of each province and programs before determining whether or not there is a need for an ECA.
How do I send documents for ECA
Documents have to be sent directly from your degree-awarding body to the Credentialing agency in Canada. Once you make an application, the credentialing agency gives complete information on how these documents can be sent to them.
I have a Masters from the United States of America, would I still need an ECA?
If your education is from outside Canada, you will still need to get an ECA report before filing for your Express Entry.
Which amongst the Credentialing agencies are the best?
There is no one agency that is better than the others, some take more time, some are more rigid, some are more transparent but all of them follow the rules laid by Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
What are the processing times for an ECA Report
This greatly varies from agency to agency. But the average time is close to a month from the time your file is complete (i.e. all your transcripts and other required documents reach the agency).
What is the validity of an ECA Report
Can we upgrade the report?
Yes! You can upgrade the report from a document-by-document to course-by-course assessment.
When do we need to upgrade the report?
If you wish to study after receiving your PR, some Universities will ask you for a course-by-course evaluation to assess your standing, CGPA and so on in which case you would need to upgrade the report.
Very rarely, organizations can ask for an upgraded course-by-course evaluation