One of the requirements for Canadian Express Entry applicants is to submit an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA). This document is used to show that the qualification you received in school is valid and equivalent to a Canadian one.
There are certain organizations designated to assess credentials for immigrants with foreign certificates. You can only submit an ECA provided by these organizations. They are:
- World Education Services (WES)
- Comparative Education Service – University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies (CES)
- International Credential Assessment Service of Canada (ICAS)
- International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS)
- International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES)
- Medical Council of Canada (professional body for Doctors)
- Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (professional body for Pharmacists)
Which ECA provider should you choose?
The major difference between these ECA providers is their processing time and efficiency. WES is the most popular ECA provider because they are faster and more efficient than the others. IQAS is known to be terribly slow and inefficient, however they are preferred by foreign graduates of law because they award more points for professional degrees.
If you’re not a pharmacist or doctor and you don’t have a professional degree, WES is your best bet. If you have a professional degree (except medicine and pharmacy) and you want to get your ECA as quickly as possible, you should also use WES. Doctors must be evaluated by the Medical Council of Canada and Pharmacists by the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada.
To get an ECA from WES, or any other designated organization, you have to mail them official copies of your transcripts. The transcript must be sent by your school directly to the ECA provider by courier. WES charges 200 CAD for assessments and only requires your highest degree. This means if you have a Master’s degree, you’ll send only that for evaluation and not your Bachelor’s degree.