The time you spent earning your education credentials in your home country should not go to waste when you enter Canada. That’s why Canada offers immigrants an Education Credential Assessment to see if they meet Canadian standards.
Why get an Education Credential Assessment
Getting an Education Credential Assessment (ECA) is an essential step for both immigration and education in Canada. Whether you’re coming to Canada as a Federal Skilled Worker or an international student, this assessment will help you in the process.
For immigration, having an education that is comparable with Canadian standards can help you earn immigration points. It can also assist you and employers in understanding what kind of jobs you can be hired for. Some jobs will even require the assessment as part of the job application, such as doctors and pharmacists.
As for education, it will help you save time and tuition. If you have credentials that are equivalent to some courses in Canada, the school can give you credit and you won’t have to repeat the same courses nor have to start from the beginning.
How to get an Educational Credential Assessment
Depending on if you’re applying for Express Entry or to be an international student, the organization that will run your assessment will be different. Either way, what you’ll need is an ECA.
There are organizations designated by the IRCC who are qualified to do ECAs on foreign credentials. There are corresponding points for each education equivalence. You are required to use one of the following organizations. If you use any other organization, it will have to be because it was specifically designed for your occupation. The accepted services are:
- Comparative Education Service – University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies
- International Credential Assessment Service of Canada
- World Education Services
- International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS)
- International Credential Evaluation Service
For International Students
If you are interested in becoming an international student in Canada you can use the same organizations that were listed above. However, you may not need to go through a designated service because most post-secondary institutions do it themselves. The credentials they’ll look at include your high school diploma and your English proficiency tests.
Typically, ECAs cost over $200. It can vary between organizations, but they’re not likely going to be a lower price than that. It’ll cost more if you are looking to practice medicine or pharmacy in Canada too.
On top of the costs, you’ll have to wait some time before you see the results of the assessment. You could be waiting weeks and even months, so do submit your credentials well before any set due date.
A Bad Result
If you get a bad result from the assessment, the worst that will happen is that you won’t get extra points for your immigration application. Your next course of action could be to apply as an international student instead. That way, you’ll get the required credentials to work in Canada.
Getting an ECA is all part of the immigration process. The sooner you get it, the sooner you can apply the points to your applications.
Sources: Credentials Assessed in Canada ECA for Express Entry