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About Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)

About Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)

January 11, 2020

What is it?

An Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) is used to verify that your foreign degree, diploma, certificate (or other proof of 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. If you got another type of ECA, you may be able to get it re-issued, depending on the type of ECA and/or issuing organization. 

Since an ECA compares your education to its Canadian equivalent, you don’t need an ECA for any education you obtained in Canada. If you have more than one post-secondary degree, you usually only need to have your highest degree assessed. However, you might want to get all of your credentials assessed to claim as many CRS points as possible once you’re in the pool.

If you’re eligible for Express Entry under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, you’ll need an ECA before you can submit to the pool. If you’re eligible under the Federal Skilled Trades Program or Canadian Experience Class, you don’t need an ECA to submit to the pool, but you will need one if you want to claim any Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points for your education.

Your ECA report may help when you’re looking for a job. But, it doesn’t guarantee that:

  • you’ll get a job in your field, or at a certain level
  • you’ll get a license to practice in a regulated profession (job)

If you plan to work in a regulated job, you must get your license in the province or territory that you plan to settle in.

Designated organizations for ECAs

The government will only accept the ECA for immigration purposes from one of the organizations they designate. The original ECA report must be issued on or after the date the government designated the organization. If you got a report before that date, contact the organization to see if they will re-issue it. Your ECA must be less than five years old when you apply.

If your spouse, or common-law or conjugal partner, is accompanying you and has a post-secondary degree, they can also get an ECA. While it isn’t required to submit to Express Entry, you may be able to claim additional CRS points for your spouse or partner’s education if they have an ECA. IRCC will only accept ECAs from designated organizations:

Did you work as a doctor or a pharmacist?

Doctors: The Medical Council of Canada (Date designated: April 17, 2013) must evaluate your primary medical diploma if you worked as:

Pharmacists: You must get your report from the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (the professional body for Pharmacists) (Date designated: January 6, 2014) if you worked as a pharmacist (NOC code 3131).

Whichever organization you choose, the evaluation process can only begin once they receive the necessary documents from you or your school. They’ll need your official transcripts, and usually a copy of your diploma or degree.

The evaluation process itself can also take several weeks to several months. Since you need an ECA to be eligible to submit to the Express Entry pool if you’re applying as a skilled worker, getting started on your ECA is usually one of the first steps of your Express Entry immigration process.



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