41. How does Express Entry use the information from language tests or an Education Credential Assessment (ECA)?
The Express Entry system uses the information in a number of different ways.
When you fill out your profile, the ECA is used (where applicable) to see if you meet the criteria to get into the Express Entry pool.
Before candidates can enter the Express Entry pool, all candidates’ profiles are awarded points through the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) based on their language scores and educational attainment from a Canadian institution or educational credential from a foreign institution that has been validated through an ECA report completed by an organization designated by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).
Note: If you are hoping to apply to the Federal Skilled Worker Program, you must have an ECA. If you are hoping to apply to the Federal Skilled Trades Program or Canadian Experience Class, an ECA is optional, but it may help you earn more points for education on the CRS and improve your chances of being drawn from the pool.
42. Do I need to get an Education Credential Assessment (ECA)?
An ECA is required for candidates in the Express Entry pool who wish to be considered for draws related to the Federal Skilled Worker Program, unless they were educated in Canada.
For candidates who are hoping to apply to the Federal Skilled Trades Program or Canadian Experience Class, an ECA is optional but may increase the points they receive on the CRS and improve their chances of being drawn from the pool.
43. Does an Education Credential Assessment (ECA) mean that an applicant’s professional credentials have been recognized to get a license in a regulated profession?
No. Getting an ECA for immigration does not mean that your work experience and professional credentials are automatically recognized in Canada to get a license in a regulated profession. If you work in a regulated profession, you must still go through the process of getting your license in the province or territory that you plan on settling in. Regulatory authorities determine an applicant’s readiness for licensure by assessing and recognizing “qualifications,” which may include an assessment of education, experience/competencies and language proficiency, in addition to other requirements. Applicants intending to work in a regulated profession should contact the regulatory authority in the province where they plan to live to find out more about how to obtain licensure.
44. What organizations can complete an Education Credential Assessment (ECA) or language test?
CIC has selected three organizations that can assess any foreign educational credential:
Comparative Education Service: University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies;
International Credential Assessment Service of Canada; and
World Education Services, Canada.
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 ECA for your primary medical diploma;
as a pharmacist (NOC 3131), the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada must do your ECA.
Note: ECAs done by the two professional bodies designated by CIC (Medical Council of Canada and Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada) are used by CIC for immigration purposes and are recognized by the profession’s regulatory authorities as one component of their overall licensure process. Please contact the regulatory authority in the province where you plan to live for more information on the licensure process.
For any other occupation, check the websites of the other CIC-designated organizations or contact them directly to find out which one best suits your needs. Consider the following:
Some designated organizations partner with certain regulatory bodies or large employers. That means that the ECA you obtain for your application to CIC might also help you later on.
Check with each designated organization to find out what other organizations recognize their assessments.
Learn more about Educational Credential Assessments.
45. How much does an Education Credential Assessment (ECA) cost?
The cost of an ECA and the length of time to get one vary. Find out more on the websites of the designated organizations.
46. When will I have to submit my language test results and/or Education Credential Assessment (ECA)?
When you create your Express Entry profile, you will have to include the test identifier and results score of your language test. If you completed your education outside Canada, you will also have to show what your (ECA) report lists as the equivalent Canadian education. You must also include the report’s reference number (sometimes known as the “CIC number”). We will verify the information you gave us with the testing/assessment organizations if you are invited to apply for permanent residence.
You should also update your profile any time you receive updated language test scores or ECA results.
Note: If you are hoping to apply to the Federal Skilled Worker Program, you must have an ECA that indicates that your foreign educational credentials are equivalent to a completed Canadian credential. If you are hoping to apply to the Federal Skilled Trades Program or Canadian Experience Class, an ECA is optional, but it may help you earn more points for the education component on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and improve your chances of being drawn from the pool
If you get an ITA, we may ask for more information about your results as we process your application for permanent residence.
Note: When you apply for permanent residence, your language tests and/or ECAs will be validated with the organization that issued them. If you give false information at any point in the process, you could be:
found inadmissible to Canada for misrepresentation; and
barred for five years from applying for permanent resident status.
47. How long are language test and Education Credential Assessment (ECA) results valid for?
Language test results are valid for 2 years. They must be valid at the time an application for permanent residence under Express Entry is submitted.
ECAs are valid for 5 years and must also be valid at the time an application for permanent residence under Express Entry is submitted.
48. I work in a regulated/licensed profession. Where can I get information on how to get licensed in Canada?
Each province and territory is responsible for licensing regulated professions and trades through regulatory bodies and apprenticeship authorities. However, there may be different requirements for licensing depending on where you live. Also, some professions are not regulated in every province.
Learn more about the credential recognition process.
Employers may choose to make a job offer to a prospective immigrant for a related occupation while they work toward getting licensed.
Note: If you work in a regulated profession, you must go through the process of getting your license in the province or territory that you plan on settling in. An Education Credential Assessment (ECA) or an Invitation to Apply (ITA) does not mean that your work experience and professional credentials are automatically recognized in Canada.
If you plan to work in an occupation that is regulated in Canada, you should contact the regulatory authority in the province or territory where you plan to live as soon as possible. They can give you information about the process for being licensed.
49. How will Express Entry improve the pathway for newcomers wanting to work in a regulated occupation?
As part of the reforms being made by the Government of Canada to its economic immigration system, improvements to foreign credential recognition (FCR) and the way credentials are recognized are being prioritized.
Increased collaboration with provinces and territories, regulatory authorities, and professional bodies is resulting in the development of steps to make their license and assessment tools accessible to potential immigrants before they come to Canada, giving immigrants a head start on the recognition of their qualifications.
Through an Education Credential Assessment (ECA), a potential Express Entry candidate’s foreign educational credentials are authenticated and assessed against Canadian standards. This allows applicants to have a better sense of how their education fits into the Canadian labour market and helps them make more informed choices about immigration and Canadian career paths. There are currently five organizations designated by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to deliver ECA services for immigration purposes, including two professional bodies (Medical Council of Canada and the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada). Work is being done to add more organizations and professional bodies to the list of those designated to provide ECA services.
Note: If you are hoping to apply to the Federal Skilled Worker Program, you must have an ECA that indicates that your foreign educational credentials are equivalent to a completed Canadian credential. If you are hoping to apply to the Federal Skilled Trades Program or Canadian Experience Class, an ECA is optional, but it may let you earn more points for the education component on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and improve your chances of being drawn from the pool.
All ECAs included in an Express Entry profile will be validated with the issuing organization when an application for permanent residence is submitted for processing.