Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) Guide And Cost | Canada Immigration 2023

Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report indicates how an individual's foreign credentials compare to those issued in Canada. ECA for Canada Immigration can be obtained through IQAS, WES, ICAS, ICES and CES bodies. The cost of obtaining an ECA report varies across these organizations.

Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) Canada

The ECA or Educational Credential Assessment is a type of document that validates the Canadian equivalent of a foreign degree, diploma, certificate, or other evidence of education certification. The Educational Credential Assessment report states if the educational credential of a person is equivalent to the standards in Canada and is enough for purposes behind the migration to the country. 

In case the ECA report shows that your foreign educational credential can be considered equivalent, you can then add this information to your Express Entry profile. 

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Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)

Applicants who want to become eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker Program should have an Educational Credential Assessment before they enter the Express Entry pool. The only exception is when their educational credential came from a Canadian organization. 

Applicants who want to become eligible for the Canadian Experience Program or Federal Skilled Trades Program don’t need to get an Educational Credential Assessment. However, an ECA will be required if they want to obtain focuses for remote instructive accreditation under CRS or Comprehensive Ranking System. A higher score in CRS will probably help increase your chances of being chosen from the Express Entry pool. 

An applicant’s spouse for any program under the framework of Express Entry must also get an ECA for foreign education in case the applicant wants to earn some points in CRS. An accompanying spouse is not mandated to get an ECA, but no points will be awarded if an ECA is not given. Applicants and their spouses, if applicable, should get an Educational Credential Assessment for all certifications for which they want to earn points. 

Which Credentials Need Assessment? 

An assessment will only be required for the highest educational level you attained. For instance, if you already earned your Master’s degree, an assessment will only be required for this degree. There is no need to assess your Bachelor’s degree. 

Why Getting an Assessment for two or Several Credentials is Necessary?

An assessment is required for each of your credentials if you want to gain points for two or more of them. To get complete points for over one credential, at least one of your credentials should be for a study of 3 years or more. Your points won’t be affected by order of completion of your credentials.  

When is it Necessary to Get an Assessment for Secondary Education?

In case your post-secondary credential fails to be considered as an equivalent to a credential in Canada, you can always get an assessment for your secondary education. It will let you acquire points for the completion of secondary school.

What Does Your ECA Report Mean? 

ECA report should show your foreign credential validity that is equivalent to a completed Canadian post-secondary or secondary school or high school credential. If it is equivalent, your profile for Express Entry should include the reference and result number. 

If your ECA report reveals that the credential you have doesn’t equate to a completed credential in Canada or your foreign educational institution is unrecognized, you won’t receive points for this. You also fail in meeting the Federal Skilled Workers Program’s educational requirement.

How Long Does It Take To Get ECA? - ECA Processing Time For Canada

The processing time for Educational Credential Assessment report is between 6 to 30 weeks depending on the approved body used. World Education Services (WES) have the shortest processing time of 6 weeks while International Credential Assessment Services (ICAS) have the highest period of 20 weeks.

What is ECA Validity Period?

The Educational Credential Assessment is valid for 5 years across all approved bodies. After this validity period, candidates would be required to renew their ECA report if necessary.

How to Obtain an Educational Credential Assessment - ECA

With an end goal of getting an Educational Credential Assessment report, you, as the applicant, and your accompanying spouse, if at all applicable, must submit the necessary documents to the organization that the IRCC or Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada assigns. This organization works with no constraints of the Canadian legislature. The necessary documents may include certificates and transcripts.  

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will only acknowledge ECAs from the following selected organizations/bodies:

1. IQAS or International Qualifications Assessment Service 

The International Qualifications Assessment Service is a government service based in Alberta. The Canadian legislature has assigned the administration to provide ECAs for immigration. The ECA the IQAS issues can be used for the Canadian Federal Skilled Worker Program. Those who have plans for migrating to Canada can apply through IQAS Website

IQAS Processing Time And Validity

The average processing time for IQAS ECA application is 8 weeks. Processing time commences payment and supporting documents have been submitted to the ECA body.

However, applicants who apply for assessment of more than one credential incur extra 4 weeks. That notwithstanding, these period are exclusive of delivery time by courier service.

IQAS ECA certificate is valid for a period of 5 years. Within this period, candidates can use the assessment result for Canada Immigration, Job application and other uses as applicable.

2. World Education Services or WES

The World Education Services provides ECA for educational credentials acquired outside Canada. Foreigners are expected by the IRCC to process their Educational Credential Assessment before they apply for immigration programs of all types. World Education Services provides an assessment of all aspiring immigrants and foreign students who want to seek additional education in the country. Follow this guide for WES ECA Evaluation Process.

WES Processing Time And Validity

WES processing time for IRCC applications is 30 business days (6 weeks). This is after payment and document submission have been completed.

More so, the assessment certificate is valid for 5 years from the date of issuance.

WES official website

3. International Credential Assessment Services of Canada or ICAS

The International Credential Assessment Services of Canada prepares Assessment Reports that show the education pursued outside of Canada as well as how this fair against the standards in Canada or Ontario. In ICAS, the accomplishments of the applicant during postsecondary and secondary education will be considered. 

  • A positive report from the ICAS Assess Report will only be formed provided that:
  • The applicant lives in Canada but pursued a part or all of his or her education overseas. 
  • The applicant is not a resident of Canada but opts to seek work or after education in the country. 
  • The applicant hopes to move or immigrate to Canada. 
  • The applicant pursued education from any Canadian province but needs credentials from Ontario for employment or education.
  • The applicant lives in Canada but wants to pursue an education in other countries. 

ICAS Processing Time And Validity

The average processing time for Canada Immigration assessment package is 20 weeks. This time is exclusive of payment period and time for document submission to the ICAS body.

The ICAS educational assessment result can be used to seek for jobs, educational purposes or to obtain licenses as applicable in Canada.

4. International Credential Evaluation Service or ICES

The CIC has assigned the ICES as a service for education credential evaluation for purposes of migration. Despite the fact that the International Credential Evaluation Service assesses different educations, it still doesn’t cover some education such as professional licensing, military training, non-recognized foundations, apprenticeships, and trade qualifications. 

Processing costs and times may differ depending on the specific professional body or organization. After you have chosen a professional body or designated organization, they will inform you how you can submit all your requirements to get the assessment. 

ICES Processing Time And Validity

ICES processing timeline for ECA evaluation under Immigration category is 12 weeks after full payment and submission of required document. However, Basic and Comprehensive reports under General Application takes 4 and 7 weeks respectively.

Again, processing time for ECA reports renewal is 2-3 weeks. More so, ordering a duplicate ECA report will take 7 - 10 business days.

This ICES ECA evaluation is valid for 5 years from the date of ECA completion.

ICES official website

5. Comparative Education Service or CES

Comparative Education Service is one of the bodies accredited by Canada Immigration body to offer educational evaluation for migration purposes. CES ECA is offered by Canada's top university - University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies (SCS). The CES service ECA report shows how candidate's international credentials compare to those issued in Canadian Schools.

CES Processing Time And Validity

If your institution delivers the credentials via secured digital platform, the processing time becomes 7 business days. Else, CES generic processing time for ECA immigration category is 10 weeks from the time all documents, including those from the credential institution arrives the CES office. 

However, documents that need confirmation from issuing authority, as well as those that require extensive research may take longer time.

ECA report when used for Immigration is valid for 5 years. Nonetheless, it remains valid indefinitely when used for general purpose such as employment, education or professional licensing.

For report renewal, general use evaluation, and report upgrade, the processing time is 6 weeks, 3 weeks and 4 weeks respectively.

CES official Website

6. Medical Council of Canada or MCC

It is common for applicants who finished medical studies to get an assessment of their educational credential from MCC or the Medical Council of Canada. Applicants need to have their diploma source or medical degree checked. Once the medical diploma or degree has been proven, the applicant can then request for his or her ECA report. 

MCC official website

How Much Does an ECA Cost For Canada?

ECA cost for Canada immigration ranges from $200 to $240, exclusive of courier fees for report delivery. Also, ECA courier delivery cost is between $11 - $37 for Canadian address and $35 - $89 for deliveries outside Canada.

Cost of obtaining an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) for Canada varies across different organisations that offer the service. Below are ECA services available for Canada Immigration and their costs.

1. ECA Cost For IQAS

The International Qualifications Assessment Service charge for their ECA services per applicant as follows;

  • Application Fee: $200
  • Courier Charge: $15 for Deliveries within Canada, $75 for International address.

It is worthy to note that IQAS offer no extra charges for more than one credential assessment. However, an extra delivery time of four (4) weeks would be incurred. 

Different applicants must apply separately. This implies that an applicant must not request for credential assessment on behalf of another.

These application and courier fees are non refundable.

2. ECA Cost For WES

World Educational Service ECA report costs the following in Canadian Dollars (C$);

  • Application Fee: C$240
  • Courier Charge: C$11 for standard delivery (without tracking), C$89 for Courier delivery (with tracking), C$26 for next-day courier delivery (for Canadian address only). 

3. ECA Cost For ICAS

International Credential Assessment Services (ICAS) charge for Canadian Immigration Assessment package as follows;

  • Package Fee: $210
  • Courier Charge: $35 for Canadian and US address, $85 for international address.
The ICAS ECA report comes with 2 original copies. However, if you wish to receive an extra original assessment reports, it will cost you and additional $30 each.

4. ECA Cost For ICES

The International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES) charges applicants the following;
  • Standard service charge: C$200
  • Courier delivery charge: C$26 for deliveries within Canada. C$75 for international deliveries.

The ICES standard service comes with 2 original copies of ECA report. Nevertheless, applicants who wish to request for extra copies will have to pay a cost of C$20 each.

Also, ICES assessment certificate is valid for 5 years. Renewal fee is C$50.

Again, applicants who already have a general evaluation report with ICES will have to pay a sum of C$150 to update their report to ECA as required by Canada Express Entry.

5. ECA Cost For CES

Comparative Education Service charge for their ECA service as follows;

  • Application Fee: $210
  • Courier Charge: $37 for Canadian delivery, $83 for addresses outside of Canada.

An optional electronic copy will attract a charge of $20. More so, two (2) original ECA reports are delivered to the applicants address. However, a request for extra copies will amount to $29 cost each.

Comparison of ECA Cost And Processing Time for Canada Immigration

Note: These costs are exclusive of courier charges

S/N ECA Body Processing Time (Est.) Cost (C$)
1 IQAS 8 Weeks 200
2 WES 6 Weeks 240
3 ICAS 20 weeks 210
4 ICES 12 weeks 200
5 CES 10 weeks 210

Also, you may wish to checkout important tips for obtaining IELTS for Canada Immigration.

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