What Is An Educational Credential Assessment?

Written by Alifya Khambati

Having earned a Masters degree in Advertising, Alifya has had her fair share of opportunities in the commerce sector, only to figure out that writing is her calling. Giving wings to this passion, she pens content for UniScholarz.

July 1, 2022

Canada is a dream country for many. With bright opportunities in education and even brighter career prospects, people from across the globe look to call the country home. With a diverse pool of people hailing from varied nationalities, ethnicities and backgrounds, folk from anywhere can feel right at home in Canada. 

Home to several renowned universities, students from everywhere look to realise their higher education dreams as well as post-graduation career opportunities in Canada. But your main ticket to Canada is an educational credential assessment which checks whether the education you have received in your home country is equivalent to Canadian standards. While it might sound confusing on the surface, it is fairly easy to go about the process of obtaining an ECA which makes for smooth in-roads into Canada. In this article, we will discuss at length what an ECA is and what credentials are evaluated, what is its significance, its cost and how long it takes to get one. 

What Is Educational Credential Assessment

An ECA or educational credential assessment evaluates all your past academic degrees and certifications to check whether they meet Canadian education standards. A candidate is awarded points upon evaluation where higher points signify that a candidate’s qualifications are equivalent to those of the country’s standards. To go ahead with any education or career opportunity in Canada or even looking to obtain a permanent residency in the country, one has to mandatorily obtain an ECA. 

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is the body that conducts and regulates the operations of ECA. 

The educational credential assessment only evaluates a candidate’s latest or highest level of education. If one is in possession of a master’s degree, an assessment of only the postgraduate degree will be conducted and not any qualifications before that. In the case of your qualifications not meeting Canadian standards, an assessment of the required credentials helps increase your points and chances of eligibility. 

Application Procedure For Educational Credential Assessment

Before applying for an ECA, there is a procedure that needs to be followed whose points are discussed below. 

  • Primarily, a student needs to check whether their immigration eligibility for Canada is over 67 points. Only if it surpasses the required number of points is a student eligible to apply for an educational credential assessment
  • Post clarifying eligibility, a candidate will have to approach either a professional body or concerned organisation on the basis of their charges and the duration through which they can apply for an ECA.
  • What documents to submit where and other similar details will be relayed to the student. 
  • In the case of seeking an ECA for employment purposes, there are only selected organisations that can sort out ECAs for employment-seeking candidates. 
  • A candidate has to strictly keep in mind that all documents that are submitted for the purpose of an educational credential assessment are authentic and valid. The case of forging documents or producing fake paperwork will lead to immediate cancellation of the immigration procedure. 

How Much Does An ECA Cost?

The cost to obtain an educational credential assessment report depends on which organisation a student approaches to get the report. On average, an ECA costs about INR 12,000 or CAD 200 to which delivery charges are added. Other determinants of cost are location, delivery charges and even what occupation one chooses to pursue to an extent. For instance, the charges to obtain an ECA for people seeking employment in the medical field or people who are moving in with their family in tow will incur higher charges to get an ECA. 

How Long To Obtain An ECA?

The average duration of the educational credential assessment reaching your doorstep can be anywhere from three weeks to two months. But this also depends on the organisation a candidate is applying through. Certain bodies can even speed up the process and have the ECA to you within seven working days. On average, the IRCC takes up to 35 days to process a candidate’s application. An ECA is valid for 5 years from the date of issue. 

What After?

Upon receiving your educational credential assessment, you will be required to create a profile on Entry Express Pool. That is another procedure which will require filling out all the required paperwork as part of the process. In case of queries about the Canadian immigration procedure, it is best to reach out to a Canadian immigration consultant to help you out. 

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