Credentials assessment process for Canada PR

A Complete Guide to credentials assessment process for Canada PR

Post pandemic Canada is open to welcome immigrants with open arms. The Canadian government has set ambitious  targets for the next three years aiming to invite a minimum of  1.3 millions immigrants to the country and going by the trends, we are sure the government is only going  to surpass  this target. 

So if you are  thinking about moving to Canada as a permanent resident or a student, this is the best time to do so. 

In order to file your application for permanent residence, you would have to submit a few documents. IRCC then calculates your CRS score on the basis of the information provided in these documents. These documents include:

  • An educational credential assessment (ECA) report
  • Language test results (IELTS, CELPIP, TEF and TCF)
  • Work experience letters or Letter of Reference from your current and previous employers in the NOC code you mentioned in your application. 

Today, we will cover everything you need to know about the ECA (Educational Credential Assessment) Report. We will dive into the specifics of how to obtain educational credential assessments, outline the credentials that need to be assessed, and also list down the agencies authorized to provide an ECA.

In this article, we will cover:

Advantages of getting your credentials assessed

Before we start with the detailed process, we would like to answer a question we have been asked a lot – “In what ways can ECA help me?”

Here are a few advantages of an ECA report: 

  • Check if your credentials are equal to the Canadian standards.
  • Find out if you should undergo any specific training, education or acquire Canadian work experience before  filing for permanent residence.
  • Understand what all kinds of jobs you can qualify for in Canada.

Please Note: If you have been an  international  student who has a Canadian degree, diploma or certificate, you don’t need to get them assessed. An ECA is required only for foreign educational credentials.

What is educational credential assessment (ECA)?

IRCC considers an educational credential assessment (ECA) report a proof that you have completed a foreign degree, diploma, or certificate and it is valid and equal to a Canadian one. 

There are different types of ECAs and ECA is mandatory for filing a permanent residence visa application. 

Please Note: Your ECA is valid proof of your education in your homeland  but it  does not guarantee a job in your field or a license to practice in a regulated profession (job).

Which educational credentials to get assessed?

In most immigration cases, you just need an assessment for your highest level of education that is diploma, certificate, or foreign degree. For example, if your highest degree is a Master’s degree, you only need to get it assessed and not your Bachelor’s degree. 

But if you need to gain more points for two or more credentials, you need to get all those assessed. 

Please Note: In order to gain full points for more than one educational credential, at least one of them must be for three or more years. 

Also, the order in which you complete your credentials won’t have any impact  on your total points. 

Regulated occupations, professions and trades

Regulated jobs or professions, skilled trades, or apprenticeable trades are governed by a regulatory body or apprenticeship authority and controlled by provincial, territorial, and federal laws. 

Professions include jobs like healthcare workers – doctors, nurses, and so on, lawyers, architects, pharmacists, and engineers. 

Trades include jobs such as bakers, electricians, and carpenters. 

To work in a regulated job, you must hold a license or certificate or be registered with the regulatory body in the province or territory where you are planning to do your job. 

Please note: In Canada, regulated jobs may differ from province to province. Also, different professions/trades are under different regulatory bodies so you should always check with the concerned body if you need to be assessed or  not.

A Licensed Immigration Consultant can help you navigate through this jargon speedily and easily. Also, there are multiple agencies that provide educational assessment services. A Licensed Consultant can connect with an agency best suited to your needs and get your assessment  done in a hassle-free manner.

Non-regulated Occupations

In case of  non-regulated occupations, certain employers may want the applicants to be registered or certified by the relevant professional association. Having an ECA report  may help companies understand if  you will be a good fit  from the skills perspective. 

A credential assessment agency runs an assessment on your educational credentials  for a fee. It will be a good idea to mention this information in your resume.

Where can you get an ECA for Canada?

You need to get an assessment from the agencies designated by IRCC. Once you find an organization suited to your needs, they will help you with all the relevant information and the list of documents you need to submit. They also provide you average processing times and associated costs.

Designated organizations for ECA for immigration to Canada

List of the designated organizations that can help you have an ECA done:

  • 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)

If you plan to work for a large employer or in a regulated occupation, you may need to have your assessment done by a specifically designated organization. Check with your employer or the regulatory body for your occupation for more information.

Please Note: If you are someone who had to migrate to Canada under dire circumstances, you may still be able to get your ECA through the World Education Services (WES) Gateway program. 

To qualify, you must:

  • Currently live in Canada
  • Minimum one credible document issued by your academic institution
  • Educated in either of the following countries – Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Ukraine, or Venezuela.
  • Be referred to WES by a designed Canadian partner organization.

Designated professional bodies for obtaining an ECA in regulated medical professions for immigration to Canada

OccupationNOCProfessional Body
Specialist physician3111Medical Council of Canada
General practitioner / Family physician3112Medical Council of Canada
Pharmacists3131Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada

Please Note: Nurses can get their ECA through designated organizations like CES, WES, etc. 

ECA for a Canadian study permit

If you are planning to study in Canada, you have to  obtain an ECA report as well. Some post-secondary schools are allowed to do the assessment. In other cases, you will have to take help from assessment agencies. 

But before you get the assessment, it is a good idea to contact the educational institution and understand what kind of  assessment they need and accept. 

What happens if your credentials are not recognized in Canada?

If your report shows that your credential is not equivalent to a Canadian credential or if your institution is not recognized, you won’t be able to meet the education requirement under the Federal Skilled Workers Program and so you won’t be rewarded any points for it. 

How much time does it take to receive an ECA?

The time varies for each designated organization or professional body. It can take from a few weeks to a few months. So it is  a good idea to start your ECA earlier.

Validity of an ECA report

An ECA report is valid for five years from the date you submit your Express Entry profile or apply for permanent residence. 

How much does an ECA cost?

It  is approximately $200 CAD plus the cost to have it delivered. For family/specialist physicians or a pharmacist, the cost could be on a higher side. Once you have decided which  agency to go for, you will be able  to get a clear picture of  the cost. 

Who can help me with Canada PR?

Keel’s team of expert Licensed Canadian Immigration Consultants can help you figure out everything you need to know about various Canada immigration pathways and the processes involved. Our streamlined immigration services will take care of the entire process from the day you decide to change your life until settling in Canada. 

Schedule your call today, let’s make your Canada dream a reality.

Click here to book your consultation.

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