Education Credential Assessment? It’s Easy If You Do It Smart
Wondering How To Make Your Education Credential Assessment Rock? Well, we are here to help you. I have organized the most frequently asked questions related to ECA for immigration to Canada as well as tips to get better results.
If you have studied anywhere outside Canada, then you need to evaluate how your education stands up against any Canadian degree. This process is called ECA.
To complete this process, you need a transcript from your university and an ECA organization to approve it.
Table of content
What is an Education credential Assessment?
An educational credential assessment (ECA) is used to verify that your foreign degree, diploma, or certificate (or other proof of your credential) is valid and equivalent to a Canadian one.
- There are different types of ECA reports available
- You must get your ECA re-issued for immigration purposes specifically for it to qualify for Express Entry
- Express Entry profiles require an ECA Report. Recommended Step by Step Process of Express Entry System in Canada
- ECA supports education level on your resume but does not guarantee a job/license(if required) in your field
- Regulated jobs require licensing from the province you immigrate to
What is the ECA process?
- Start by selecting an ECA organization based on your requirements.
- Go to their website. Create your profile and pay the application fee.
- You will get a request form and a reference number
- Send this to your university along with your supporting document, so that you can get your transcript
- If possible, make sure your university derictly send your document to ECA organization. In the case of WES and ICES, if documents are not sent directly by university they will be rejected.
- You may have to wait over month for your university to send documents.
- In the mean time, send copies of your degree certificate along with reference number to ECA organization.
- Once the documents are accepted the organization will process them give you an equivalence report. It will be used to create your EE profile
Who needs ECA?
- Federal skilled workers program (Check your eligibility for FSW)
- To qualify you to need to get all education completed outside Canada Assessed as a Principal Applicant
- To meet minimum education threshold points
- The report Must reflect the completed and acquired Foreign Education/Post-Secondary Credential is equivalent to a level in Canadian Education
- If you are married, get additional 8-10 points for spouse education depending on the education level completed
- If neither of your credentials is equivalent to any completed Canadian secondary or post-secondary education then you will not meet the education requirement.
How many points you can get with ECA report?
ECA report is important because you cannot create your profile without it. And you will also be able to get points for your education based on your ECA report.
You can use the comparison table by the Government of Canada. It shows how many points you can earn under the:
- Comprehensive Ranking System
- Federal Skilled Worker Program factor points
- Visit the link: Educational credential assessment (ECA) for Express Entry: What your report means
- Select a point system
A federal skilled worker program factor points
With a 100 point grid, you can get a maximum of 25 points for your education.
For example, if the organization evaluated your education. And reported it to be equivalent to a Master of Business Administration. You get 23 points.
Recommended: Federal skilled worker program: Step by step process
Comprehensive ranking system
Based on the CRS point system, you can earn a maximum of 140 points with your spouse (you earn additional 10 points for your spouse’s education) and 150 without a spouse for a level of education.
For example, you will earn 126-135 points with a Master of Business Administration.
Which credentials to get assessed?
The majority of the time you only need to get your highest level of education assessed.
At the same time, it is necessary to visit each ECA organization website to view its requirements.
Usually, this is suggested that you send the documents for bachelor and above degrees. If you don’t have a bachelor’s degree then you can go with the higher secondary degrees or the higher secondary diploma.
If you have completed a postgraduate research degree (Ex: Doctor of Philosophy), you must submit a written statement from the awarding institution indicating the title page, table of contents, and abstract of your thesis/dissertation.
Should you get a secondary certificate assessed?
If your degree/diploma does not qualify, get your secondary school certification assessed to reach the minimum requirement of secondary school completion.
What are the ECA organizations for Canadian immigration?
CIC has designated both multi-purpose assessment organizations and professional bodies to assess foreign credentials.
Multi multi-purpose assessment organizations authenticate and assess foreign educational credentials across a wide range of regulated and no regulated occupations.
Designated Organizations to assess your foreign credentials:
- Comparative Education Service – University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies (CES)
- International Credential Assessment Service of Canada (ICAS)
- World Education Services (WES)
- International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS)
- International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES)
Pharmacists, having NOC code 3131, must get their report from the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC).
Doctors, having NOC code 3111 or 3112, must get your report from the Medical Council of Canada (MCC)
Which ECA organization I should go with?
There is no straight answer for this because each of the organizations has got its own specifications like their fees, their time, and their procedure.
Here is the list of best ECA organization
- Based on the application process
- Based on the processing time
- Based on processing Fee
- Based on your degree or university
Will CES/IQAS/ICAS/ICES give MS equivalency for sure?
There is no guarantee that CES/IQAS/ICAS/ICES will grant you a Master’s equivalency.
It is a well-known fact that WES give Master’s degree equivalency to degrees from elite universities around the world.
But based on previous ECA reports, here the possible outcomes for a master’s degree.
Can I send 2 degrees together?
Sending two degrees all together in the same envelope to the EC Authority is absolutely fine with them so long you are the single applicant.
Can I send only Master's documents for ECA?
Please keep in mind that no one can assure you that you’ll be getting the Master’s equivalents for sure. It’s always wise to send your bachelor’s as well.
In case if you have missed the master’s degree equivalents, at least you have the bachelor’s degrees with you.
It is necessary to visit each ECA organization website to view its documents requirements.
Can I add my spouse's documents in the same courier for ECA report?
No, you should not add your spouse’s on your envelope. It is because you need to write the reference number on top of the envelope.
You and your spouse will be two different applicants and have two different reference numbers. That means in a single envelope, you cannot put both the applications.
10 Tips to Better Education credential assessment results
Research each ECA organization
Learn about the details of each ECA organization. I have written a detailed article:
In this article, you will find information on each ECA organization. Such as
- Application process,
- Processing time,
- Processing fee,
- Document Requirements
- the Benefits and drawbacks of each organization
Moreover, visit the official websites of these organizations to learn more updated information
ECA for immigration
ECA can be done for many purposes. You need to apply for the ECA application that is required for immigration. And Immigration purposes should be stated in the reason for the ECA report
Do not go for black and white
Use colored copies when you are sending your documents to assess. Many people ask.
Can we send black and white copies instead of colored copies?
Do not go for black and white paper just for the sake of saving some money. I mean these are your educational documents. They have value and these documents are verified. It’s also their requirement.
ECA organizations need colored copies. They do not want a black and white copy of your educational documents because they value them a lot.
Your degree attestation dates need to be fresh. They cannot be two years old degree attestation dates. The sealed envelop cannot be dated back three years.
Now you have your original documents already attested. You will not have to pay for that. Only you will need to pay for the copies. And attesting those copies is not much expensive. Get them attested with fresh dates, sealed in fresh dates envelope, and then send those documents to CES. Why do you want to risk your 210 CA$?
Use passport instead of ID cards
You should not use your official identification card. As most of them are to be in the local official language. You will need to get it translated and then you will need to get it notarized.
Why go through all that trouble? Instead, use your passport for the process.
Use your own credit card
I mean when you’re going through this procedure. There are many steps that require fee payment. I believe everybody has their bank accounts and you can get credit cards from those banks. There will be no problem.
Just get your own credit card, so that the procedure is smooth. You do not need to borrow somebody else’s credit card.
Send a physical copy of your passport
When you have compiled all your documents and then you have gone to the courier service for sending them to the ECA organization. In that envelop you should also attach a copy of your passport.
I mean your degrees have your name on them. Your envelope will have your student number on it. But I suggest attaching your physical copy of your passport as well for identification purposes.
Send payment receipt
Send payment receipt along with the documents. You can print your payment receipt and attach it to the envelope with your documents.
This way, they know that you have already paid for the procedure and there will be no delays.
Use Request form
Print separate Official records request form for each qualification you have to assess, even if you received several qualifications from the institution
Envelop must be sealed & signed
ECA organization will not accept your documents if they do not find the latest dated seal from your university and education authority of your country (requirement varies from country to country)
You will be sending envelop that must be sealed and signed by the controller of examinations or the Registrar of your program. If you’re just sending the courier without a sealed and signed envelop. It is going to be rejected.
Translate your documents
Your documents are in any language other than English and French. Then you need to translate them
English and French are the official languages of Canada. The translated copies must be verified by the universities before sending them to the organization.