top of page

Canada Immigration - Education Credential Assessment

An Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) is an assessment of your degree, diploma, or certificate compared to Canadian standards of education.

Depending on the program you're applying for, you may need to submit specific documents when you apply for immigration to Canada. 

An Educational Credential Assessment, or ECA, is a typical document needed for the majority of federal economic immigration streams, including Express Entry.

quick facts

  • Processing time: 3-6 months.

  • Fee: Processing fee $300++ 

  • Original Transcripts Required: Yes

  • Program required for: FSW - Express Entry.

  • Minimum qualification required: Post Secondary.

What is an Educational Credentials Assessment?

Before you can submit to the pool if you qualify for Express Entry under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, you must first obtain an ECA. 

You don't need an ECA to submit to the pool if you qualify for the Federal Skilled Trades Program or the Canadian Experience Class, but you will need one if you want to claim any Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points for your education.


You don't need an ECA for any education you received in Canada because an ECA compares your education to its Canadian equivalent. 

Usually, if you have more than one post-secondary degree, only your highest degree needs to be evaluated. 

To earn as many CRS points as you can once you're in the pool, you might want to get all of your post secondary credentials evaluated. Your spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner who is travelling with you and has a post-secondary degree is also eligible to apply for an ECA. 

Although it is not necessary to submit to Express Entry, if your spouse or partner has an ECA, you might be able to claim more CRS points for their education. 

Who needs to get an Educational Credential Assessment? 

If you completed your education outside of Canada, you will need an evaluation to:

  • be eligible as a primary applicant for the Federal Skilled Workers Program (Express Entry), or

  • earn points for education received outside of Canada


If your spouse or common-law partner is accompanying you to Canada, you can also earn points for their education. You will need an ECA done for their educational credentials as well.

Educational credential assessment (ECA) for Express Entry: How to get one


You are required to obtain your evaluation from a professional body or an organization that has been approved by Immigration, Refugees, 

and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

They will compile a report for you that details the level of education that would be equivalent to what you have achieved in Canada. It's 

possible that processing times and costs will differ depending on the organization or professional body.

After you have decided on a designated organization or a professional body, you will receive instructions from them regarding how to 

submit your documents in order to get your evaluation.

You must use one of these designated organizations by IRCC:

We typically advise our clients to use World Education Services (WES) for their ECA because they have the fastest processing times, unless 

they are doctors or pharmacists. The Medical Council of Canada must review your primary medical diploma if you are a doctor. 

The Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada must issue you an ECA if you are a pharmacist and need a license to practice. 

Regardless of the organization you select, the evaluation process won't start until they have the required paperwork from you or your 


The accessing organization will require copies/originals of your diploma or degree as well as your official transcripts. In most cases these needs to be sent for an ECA evaluation directly through the educational institution.

Which credentials need to be assessed?

Typically, you only need an assessment for your highest level of education. For example, if you have a Master’s degree, you only need an assessment for that degree. You don’t need one for your Bachelor’s degree.

When to get an assessment for 2 or more credentials


To receive full credit for more than one credential, at least one of the credentials must represent an education that required three years or more to complete. There is no correlation between the sequence in which you finish your credentials and the points you receive. 

To get points for having 2 or more credentials, you need an assessment for each one.

How long does it take to obtain an Educational Credential Assessment Report?

The evaluation itself can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Starting your ECA is typically one of the first steps of your 

Express Entry immigration process because, if you're applying as a skilled worker, you must have one to be eligible to submit to the Express Entry pool.

What should be included on your Educational Credential Assessment Report?


Your report needs to demonstrate that the credential you earned outside of Canada is legitimate and is on par with one earned in Canada 

after completing secondary school (also known as high school). In the event that it does, you are required to include the result along with 

the reference number in your Express Entry profile.

In the event that your report reveals that your credential does not measure up to the standards of a completed Canadian credential or that 

the educational institution you attended abroad is not recognized:

  • you will not meet the education requirement under the Federal Skilled Workers Program, 

  • and you will receive no points for doing so.

How to submit your Educational Credential Assessment Report?

Your report must:

  • be issued for immigration purposes by an organization or professional body designated by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

  • be issued on or after the date IRCC designated the organization or professional body

  • not be more than 5 years old on the date you:

    • submit your Express Entry profile

    • apply for permanent residence


Do not ask the designated organization or the professional body to send your report to IRCC.

Once you get your report:

  1. The results, along with the reference number, must be entered into your Express Entry profile.

  2. Keep your original documents.

  3. Be prepared to upload copies of your report once you receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence.


What to do if you have 2 or more credentials?


To get full points for having more than 1 credential:

  • at least 1 of the credentials must be for a program of 3 or more years in length

  • you need a valid educational credential assessment (ECA) for each credential


The order that you complete your credentials in does not affect points.


How to enter more than 1 educational credential in your profile


You need to enter each credential and its corresponding report individually. You can not submit more than 1 educational credential in the same field.

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.

bottom of page