8 FAQs about Educational Credential Assessments (ECAs) from WES applicants immigrating to Canada

8 FAQs about Educational Credential Assessments (ECAs) from WES applicants immigrating to Canada

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) requires applicants who are pursuing Canadian immigration pathways, the Express Entry pathway in particular, to submit an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA).

Every ECA submitted by a prospective Canadian immigrant is reviewed by IRCC to assess the equivalency of educational credentials (degrees, diplomas, certificates, and so on) earned in other countries, and to compare them to Canadian standards.

World Education Services (WES) is one of five organizations designated by IRCC to provide ECAs (not including ECAs for doctors and pharmacists) for degrees and diplomas earned abroad.

Note: WES does not evaluate occupational or trade qualifications. For more information about IRCC immigration programs, we advise applicants to visit IRCC’s website.

Here are answers to eight common questions WES applicants have asked about ECAs.

1) What does an ECA allow me to do in Canada? 

An ECA is required to apply to certain IRCC programs. With an ECA from WES, applicants can:

  • Meet IRCC immigration program Physicians and pharmacists should be aware of the requirements they need to immigrate to Canada. See our note for additional information.
  • Meet Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) requirements.
  • Qualify for IRCC’s Agri-Food Immigration Pilot Project.
  • Gain recognition for their education so they can pursue their other goals in Canada.
  • Store their report and verified academic documents in their WES Account for future use.

2) How long does it take to obtain an ECA from WES? 

WES has one of the shortest processing service standards of all ECA providers in Canada at just 35 days. Please note that this 35-day service standard begins after WES has received, reviewed, and approved all academic documents and received payment in full.

3) Can I have all my credentials evaluated and included in an ECA report? 

ECAs typically only evaluate an applicant’s highest earned international academic credential. An applicant who would like to have all their academic credentials evaluated can make such a request to WES after they submit their ECA application.

Although ECA applicants typically only need to submit their highest earned credential for evaluation, there are some exceptions to this requirement. More details regarding these exceptions and other new information about ECAs can be found in this blog post: New Requirements for Canada’s Educational Credential Assessment (ECA).

4) Can I add another recipient to my ECA application? 

Yes. WES applicants can make this request through their WES Account. Applicants can select Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) offices, certain immigration lawyers, or licensed immigration consultants as recipients of their ECA either during the initial credential evaluation application or later.

5) Can I send my ECA report to a U.S. recipient or institution? 

No. WES only sends an applicant’s ECA to IRCC, PNP offices across Canada, certain immigration law firms, and licensed immigration consultants.

6) Can I send my standard (non-ECA) evaluation report to IRCC? 

Yes. Applicants can make this request through their WES Account.

7) How can I renew my expired ECA report for IRCC? 

An initial ECA from WES is valid for five years from the date of issue. To extend the validity of a WES ECA, applicants can sign into their online WES account and order an additional copy of the ECA for IRCC. This will extend the validity of the applicant’s ECA for an additional five years.

8) Will I ever need to upgrade my ECA to a WES standard evaluation report? 

WES can help applicants immigrating to Canada upgrade their ECA when needed. ECAs clearly state that the report is to be used for immigration purposes only. However, there may come a time when employers, colleges, universities, and professional licensing bodies in Canada require information that is not included in an ECA.

A WES Course-by-Course (CxC) or Document-by-Document (DxD) evaluation report can fulfill this requirement. Read this blog post to learn more about CxC and DxD reports and how you can upgrade an ECA.