Starting in May 2013, all people applying under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) must get an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) of their completed foreign educational credentials.
If you are only submitting a Canadian educational credential, you do not need to do this.
An Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) is used to verify that your foreign degree, diploma, certificate (or other proof of your credential) is valid and equal to a completed credential in Canada.
You must have such an assessment if you:
- are a principal applicant, and
- got your education outside Canada.
Your education must be assessed against Canadian standards by one of the organizations designated by CIC (below).
When you apply as a federal skilled worker with a foreign educational credential, an original ECA report must:
- be included with your application along with proof of your foreign credential,
- be issued on or after the date the organization was designated by CIC,
- not be more than five years old on the date that CIC gets your application, and
- show your credential is equal to a completed Canadian one.
If you do not submit this assessment when you apply, your application is not complete. We will not process it and will send it back to you.
Note: the outcome stated in your ECA report must match one of the acceptable assessment outcomes for you to be eligible to apply. If your report does not match one, your application will be refused.
These assessments are to help make sure we choose immigrants with the best possible chances of success in Canada. But, being assessed does not guarantee you will be employed in your field or at a certain level. Employers are not bound by the assessment.
If you plan to work in an occupation that is regulated in Canada, you should contact the regulatory authority in the province where you plan to live. They can give you important information about getting your license, including any steps you can take before you leave your home country.
Designated organizations for Educational Credential Assessments
You can arrange to get your assessment from:
How to choose a designated organization:
- If you are applying:
- as a specialist physician (NOC 3111) or general practitioner/family physician (NOC 3112), the Medical Council of Canada must do an educational credential assessment only for your primary medical diploma,
- as a pharmacist (NOC 3131), the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada must do your educational credential assessment,
- under any of the other occupations, check the websites of the other CIC-designated organizations or contact them directly to find which one best suits your needs. Consider:
- Some designated organizations partner with certain regulatory bodies or large employers. That means that the educational credential assessment you obtain for your application to CIC might also help you later on.
- Check with each one to find out what other organizations recognize their assessments.
- Find out what documents you need.
- Find out how much it will cost. Costs may vary by organization.
- Find out how long an assessment will take.
How to get an Educational Credential Assessment:
Once you have chosen an organization:
- gather all the documents they need (make sure that you ask your school for multiple copies of your diplomas/degrees, transcripts, etc.),
- follow any instructions given to submit the documents,
- pay the fees.
Note: it is up to you which completed foreign credentials you choose to have assessed by a designated organization. For you to meet the minimum education requirement of the FSWP, the outcome stated in your ECA report must show that your foreign credential is equivalent to
- a completed Canadian secondary school credential, OR
- a completed Canadian post-secondary credential.
Depending on your case, you may want to submit both your secondary and any post-secondary credentials for assessment.
What your report means
The organization will give you an original report that will tell you:
- whether your credentials are valid, and
- if they are equal to a completed Canadian educational credential.
If your assessment report shows that your completed foreign credential is equal to a Canadian one, you can apply as a federal skilled worker. This means that the outcome stated in your ECA report must match one of the acceptable assessment outcomes for you to be eligible to apply. If your report does not match one, your application will be refused.
If your report shows that your credential is not equal to a completed Canadian one:
- You will not meet the education requirement under the FSWP.
- You can consider alternative careers in Canada. Use the Working in Canada Tool to see if there are other occupations you may be qualified for and for which you meet CIC requirements for immigration.
- Use the Come to Canada Wizard to see if you could apply under another program.
If you are getting an ECA report from a professional body, your ECA report must show that your foreign education credentials are equal to the Canadian credentials needed to practice that occupation in Canada.
Submitting your report
- Submit the original assessment with your application to the FSWP, along with copies of your diplomas/degrees, transcripts, etc.
- Keep a copy of the report for your records and future use.
- Do not request that your ECA report be sent to us directly by the assessment agency. You must include it with your complete FSW application.
- The 100-point FSWP selection grid assesses applicants against six main criteria. To pass, you need 67 points or more. We will award you a maximum of 25 points based on the level of your education compared to Canadian standards.
- You will only get points on the FSW selection grid for your highest completed Canadian educational credentials shown in the ECA report.
- CIC will verify any educational credential assessment submitted with a FSW application with the organization that produced the report.
- You may be able to use the ECA report for other purposes, such as to help you find a job in Canada.
How-to videoGet an Educational Credential Assessment
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