So, you are looking for Canada immigration. To that end, you submit your profile and educational credentials along with it to IRCC to be added to the Express Entry pool. As part of the process, you should expect the evaluation of your submission in which ECA stands out as a major step.
ECA is the verification of your educational qualifications to see what level of Canadian education matches them so that you can be assessed fairly for opportunities in Canada. The educational qualifications could be a diploma, a certificate, or a degree.
While creating your Express Entry profile, you must include your ECA report and its reference number to make the profile valid. The ECA report could be very handy while you are looking for a job to work in Canada.
But why do you need such an assessment? Well, if you have completed your education in a country outside Canada, your assessment is required to:
- Make you eligible as the principal applicant for FSWP, or
- Help you score points for the education you had outside of Canada
Remember, ECA is not required if you are migrating to study in Canada to get a Canadian degree, certificate, or diploma.
Mostly, you will need an assessment only for the highest education you got.
Now that you know about ECA, the next question that should arise is where to get yourself assessed. Who will assess you?
You will be assessed by:
- Designated professional bodies
- Designated organizations
Designated professional bodies will assess you only if you are coming as a pharmacist or a physician. The assessment body will be designated for you by the IRCC. It’s their report that will determine which Canadian qualification your educational qualifications align with.
The cost of assessment and the processing times will vary according to the designated organization or professional body. Here’s a list of designated organizations you must use to get your assessment done:
If you are a Physician (NOC 3111 / NOC 3112), your ECA must be done by the Medical Council of Canada (designated on April 17, 2013). This assessment will be done for your main medical diploma (primary).
If you are a Pharmacist (NOC 3131) and need a practitioner’s license in Canada, your ECA will be done by the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (designated on January 6, 2014).
Now that you know much about how ECA matters to you, go ahead and do your own check as to where your educational qualification stands in comparison with Canadian standards.
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ECA – Educational Credentials Assessment
FSWP – Federal Skilled Workers Program
IRCC – Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
NOC – National Occupational Classification