Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) for Canada Immigration


Important Announcement: IRCC has approved Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB) as an ECA designated professional body for architects on 20th May 2024.

An ECA, Educational Credential Assessment, is a document requested by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). IRCC requests this document to check whether the candidate’s international educational credentials meet Canadian educational standards. 

ECA is an official assessment evaluated by a designated organization or body. If you have received your education outside of Canada, you need to get an ECA when applying for Canada PR. To obtain an Educational Credential Assessment report, a designated organization will ask you for your degree or diploma, most likely your highest educational credential so that they can create the report.  

Since there are different kinds of ECAs, apply for the one that is for immigration purposes. In case the ECA you acquired is not for immigration purposes, you may get it reissued. However, this depends on where you got the ECA issued in the first place. 

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ECA for Canada PR

You need to have your ECA if you want to get points for your Canada PR application. Providing an ECA report will show what level of Canadian education standards you meet. 

If you are applying for Canada PR from India or any other country, you must get an ECA. But if your education was completed in Canada, you don’t need any ECA. ECA is not just a requirement but also an opportunity to gain a higher Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. After language proficiency, the most CRS points you can gain through is by having higher educational credentials. 

For education, you can gain a maximum of 140 points if you are applying with a spouse/partner and 150 points if you are applying without a spouse/partner. CRS points are calculated out of an overall of 1,200 points. 

If you want to acquire a higher CRS score or any other kind of immigration point, you need to have a higher education. The higher the education level you have acquired, the more scores you will get. Hence, Educational Credential Assessment plays an important role in Canada PR application. 

ECA for Express Entry

Though an ECA report is not a requirement for all Express Entry programs, you still need to include the report in your Express Entry profile. Apart from including the report, you must also add the reference number of your ECA in the profile. 

Even though there are three programs under Express Entry, only one of them requires an ECA report. 

Further, to be eligible for FSWP, ensure to have at least 67 points out of 100. Once you become eligible for FSWP, your Express Entry profile will be added to the Express Entry pool. 

These immigration points are allotted to you based on the following criteria:

  • Language proficiency (max 28 points)
  • Education (max 25 points)
  • Work experience (max 15 points)
  • Age (max 12 points)
  • Adaptability (max 10 points)
  • Valid job offer (max 10 points)

The maximum points you can gain for education is 25. After language proficiency, this is the best chance for you to gain higher points and be eligible for the program. 

As for the other two Express Entry programs, even if you don’t have to get an ECA while immigrating through them, you still need the report to acquire higher immigration scores and increase your overall rank in the Express Entry pool. 

Designated Organizations for ECA

IRCC has designated some specific organizations from where you can get your ECA. They are:

  1. World Education Services (WES)
  2. International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS)
  3. International Credential Assessment Service of Canada (ICAS)
  4. International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES)
  5. Comparative Education Service (CES)

To get an ECA, you must first contact one of these designated organizations. Whichever organization you choose will let you know about further processes. Also, keep in mind that the processing time of your educational assessment and its cost will depend on the organization you choose. 

1. World Education Services (WES)

  • The World Education Services (WES) is a designated organization by IRCC, meaning WES can do your ECA. 
  • Your WES ECA will be valid for 5 years. 
  • WES processes most of the applications within 30 business days.
  • The Government of Ontario also recognizes WES ECA.

2. International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS)

  • IQAS is also a designated organization that can issue you an Educational Credential Assessment 
  • An IQAS ECA is valid for 5 years for Express Entry
  • The general processing time of an IQAS ECA is 8 weeks. However, if there is more than one credential to be assessed for the ECA, it might take another 4 weeks. 
  • The headquarters of IQAS is in Alberta.

3. International Credential Assessment Service of Canada (ICAS)

  • ICAS is not just recognized by the Government of Canada but also by the Government of Ontario
  • An ICAS ECA is valid for 5 years
  • An ECA by ICAS might get processed within 20 weeks 

4. International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES)

  • ICES is a designated organization by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
  • You can get an ICES ECA for Express Entry, Permanent Residency, and Agri-Food Pilot, and the majority of the PNPs
  • An ICES ECA gets processed in about 12 weeks

5. Comparative Education Service(CES)

  • A CES ECA can be used for Canadian immigration programs, such as Express Entry, PNP, Agri-Food Pilot, etc.
  • A CES ECA gets processed within 40 days
  • An ECA by CES is valid for 5 years

ECA Designated Professional Bodies

Apart from designated organizations for ECA, there are some designated bodies for professional occupations as well. These are:

  1. Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB) for Architects
  2. Medical Council of Canada for Physicians
  3. Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada for Pharmacists

Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB) for Architects

CACB is the latest addition in the approved designated organizations and professional bodies. Approved on 20 May 2024, the Canadian Architectural Certification Board will assist individuals with NOC code 21200 (Architects) to demonstrate their educational qualifications. 

From now on, if you are an architect and you need a license to practice your profession in Canada, get an ECA report from CACB. On the other hand, if your work does not require you to get a license, you can get ECA issued from any other designated organizations mentioned above. 

NOTE: In case you already have an ECA issued, IRCC may accept it until 31 October. 

ECA for Pharmacists & Physicians

If you are in a healthcare occupation, meaning your primary NOC code is one of the following, the designated organization will be different for you. 

  • NOC 31100 – Specialist in Clinical and Laboratory Medicine
  • NOC 31101 – Specialist in Surgery
  • NOC 31102 – General Practitioner of Family Physician
  • NOC 31120 – Pharmacists 

For those in NOC 31100, 31101, and 31102, the Medical Council of Canada will assess your ECA for your primary medical diploma. As for the Pharmacists (NOC 31120), the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada is the designated organization. 

Processing Time, Fee, and Validity for ECA

The processing times, fees, and validity of ECA’s issued by different designated organizations are as follows.

Designated OrganizationValidityFeeProcessing Time
World Education Services (WES)5 yearsCAN$248 
INR 15,200
30 business days
International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS)5 yearsCAN$200 
INR 12,300
8 weeks
International Credential Assessment Service of Canada (ICAS)5 yearsCAN$210
INR 12,900
20 weeks
International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES)5 yearsCAN$200 
INR 12,300
12 weeks
Comparative Education Service (CES)5 yearsCAN$210
INR 12,900
40 days

How does Talent Connected Worldwide help?

Talent Connected Worldwide (TCWW) knows which designated organization can provide you with an ECA easily. We have been in this industry for the past 15 years and have helped thousands and thousands of people reach Canada. 

We at TCWW take every step to keep our clients safe from fraud. We are CICC licensed, or Canadian government-recognized, to handle your visa applications. You can trust us with your credentials as we are legal. 

Register with us today so we can make your dreams come true.