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Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) – A Pre-requisite to Attain Your Canadian Immigration Dream

Canada immigration demands the submission of a huge list of documents. One such document that is associated with most of the federal economic immigration streams is Educational Credential Assessment (ECA).

Let’s explore what is ECA and why it is required.

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What is ECA?

ECA is Nothing But a Report Created by Designated Authorities to Evaluate a Foreign Degree, Diploma, or Certificate on the Basis of Canadian Education Standards.

ECA is of many types hence the attainment of an appropriate  ECA is crucial to fulfilling your immigration purpose. The assessment report is mandatory to include in your Express Entry profile if you are applying under the Federal Skilled Worker Program. The report is not mandatory if you go for the Federal Skilled Trades Program or the Canadian Experience Class, however, the existence of ECA can help you to claim extra CRS points for the education factor.

Why you Need an ECA?

An ECA is required if you have completed your education outside Canada and Aspiring for a Canada PR. It helps in

  • assessing your eligibility for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (Express Entry).
  • gaining extra CRS Points for the education you have pursued outside Canada.
  • your ECA report can also help you to find a good employment opportunity.

When an ECA is Required?

Before the submission of your profile in the Express Entry pool.

Who can do Your ECA Assessment?

A professional organization appointed by IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada).

List of Designated Organizations to Get an ECA

  • World Education Services
  • Comparative Education Service – University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies
  • International Credential Evaluation Service
  • International Qualifications Assessment Service
  • International Credential Assessment Service of Canada
  • Medical Council of Canada (for doctors)
  • Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (for pharmacists)
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Applying for an ECA – Basic Steps and Required Documents

The application process and the list of required documents may slightly vary based on your selected designated organization to receive an ECA.

Also, the document requirement can deviate according to the country of your education.

Below is given a step-by-step procedure to obtain your ECA report from the International Credential Assessment Service of Canada (ICAS).

1. Check the list of Required Documents. For Indian Students, the List Generally Includes

  • Higher secondary mark sheet/intermediate certificate/pre-university certificate. Please note, the document should be transferred to ICAS by the examination board and not by the underlying school.
  • Graduation mark sheet/certificate of all years. Again the documents must be sent by the university and not by the affiliated college.

2. Fill the ICAS online application form

3. Once you finish the application, you are likely to get a confirmation email. Take the printout of the same. You will also find a Document Submission Form containing the list of documents you have to send to the ICAS. This includes degrees, diplomas, certificates, and so on. Check the list carefully to ensure accurate and complete document submission.

4. There will be an Official Records Request Form as well in the email. Print it and forward it to your educational institution

5. Send all the necessary documents and Document Submission Form to the ICAS office in Guelph, Ontario.

6. The Official Records Request Form has to be submitted to your educational institution. Make sure to send distinct forms for all qualifications and all institutions.

Understanding the ECA Report

Your ECA report must specify that the education you have pursued is valid and is equivalent to the finished secondary or post-secondary education level in Canada. If your ECA report fulfills the specified purpose, it can benefit you to get a Canadian PR.

In case your report doesn’t confirm the above-mentioned eligibility, you won’t be able to

  • apply for a Canadian PR under the Federal Skilled Worker Program.
  • attain any additional CRS points if you apply under alternative programs such as Canadian Experience Class and Federal Skilled Trades Program.

Please Note

your ECA report remains valid for a maximum duration of 5 years counted from the date of issue.

Applying for ECA – General Cost and Processing Time

The cost and the processing time to obtain an ECA can vary depending on the organization you choose. Generally, the cost ranges around CAD 200 plus the delivery charges.

What credentials Do you Need to Send if you Have Attended a School in India?

In most cases, the credentials pertaining to your highest level of education are required to be sent to get an ECA report. For instance, suppose you have completed a Master’s degree from an Indian school, you only require the evaluation of that degree to move forward. The evaluation of prior degrees (such as graduation or higher secondary) is not required. The assessment of other degrees may also be required but only under certain circumstances.

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End Note

Canada Immigration is a great decision that can bring you remarkable economic growth and amazing lifestyle changes. The most recommended and highly used gateway to acquire a Canada PR is the Express Entry and you must have an ECA to leverage the option.

I hope the information is valuable and will help you to drive yourself to the glorious land of Canada. For further assistance, you can Connect With our Canada Immigration Experts anytime.


Kapil Tikadiya

He has an excellent understanding of current immigration affairs, federal guidelines, and file processing with exceptional operational knowledge to research and analyse legal information to apply appropriate laws and procedures of the Canada Immigration. He carries sound knowledge of the immigrants' profile and potentiality with the in-depth knowledge of federal immigration regulations, family class immigration, visas, and permanent residency processing. His excellent communication, interpersonal skills, observation, and organizational skills are enhanced his ability to exercise sound judgment and discretion.

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