This post deals with how we got through our educational credential assessment (ECA) and is a part of a series of posts called “Our Canada Immigration Journey“. We will be releasing a number of posts under this series in the next weeks.
We hope that this series will help guide you in your own journey of achieving that dream of living your life in Canada.
One of the first requirements that Canadian Immigration will ask from you is an assessment of your educational credentials. It must be from an organization that CIC recognize. Otherwise, they will not accept the assessment that you will submit to them
So, please don’t waste your money. Go with an approved and accredited organization to assess your credentials. You can find the complete list at the CIC website.
At present, you have a choice of the following organizations that can provide that service:
- Comparative Education Service: University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies
- International Credential Assessment Service of Canada
- World Education Services
- International Qualifications Assessment Service
- International Credential Evaluation Service
Most foreign education credential assessments are done by organizations listed above. However, if you are a medical specialist or a pharmacist, CIC instructs you to go with other organizations to do your assessment. Check out the CIC website for details.
ECA for Canada Immigration with WES
We chose World Education Services (WES) to do our assessment. We based our decision on the fact that most of the other applicants we know went with the same service provider and we did not hear any negative feedback about it.
I’ll try to detail the process we went through with WES in the following sections. It should roughly be the same with the other providers.
Create an online account
- Go to the WES website – https://www.wes.org/ca/eca/ – and click on “Apply for WES ECA“.
- In the next page, make sure to choose ‘ECA Application for IRCC‘.
Note: The other option is not applicable for you if you are planning to use your educational assessment for Canada immigration purposes.
- You will need to create an account and it will ask you for some personal information. Go ahead and create your account.
- Click on ‘Next’.
Note: Make sure that you double check on your personal information. This will be used by WES as basis for the rest of the steps and your application.
Enter your educational credentials
- In the next page, enter all credentials you want assessed. Enter everything including secondary school.
- Ensure that the name you are entering in this section matches exactly the name indicated in your credentials.
- Click on ‘Next’.
- PRO TIP: Request for a personal copy of your credentials ahead of time prior to doing this step. This is to ensure that the name you are indicating here matches what your institution has on record.
- Each individual must complete a separate WES application. Credentials added for other individuals, e.g. a spouse, will not be included in your WES evaluation report.
- Only completed degrees or diplomas can be evaluated for IRCC applications.
- WES does not evaluate occupational study, trade qualifications, short-term professional development programs, or work experience.
- If part of your study for this credential was from a Canadian Institution, please also indicate Canadian study on a separate entry.
- Lastly, please note that while WES does not evaluate Canadian credentials, they do need this information to complete your evaluation.
- In the next section, you will need to enter who will be the recipients of your assessment. It will have 2 pre-filled recipients. The first recipient is, of course, you as the applicant. Make sure that the mailing address is correct. The second recipient is IRCC (formerly CIC) since you are requesting this ECA for Canada Immigration reasons.
- Click on ‘Next’.
Note: IRCC (formerly CIC) is added as a mandatory recipient and cannot be deleted. If you plan to apply to a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) in Canada, please add the program as a recipient. You can also add PNP recipients later.
Review summary of assessment requested
- The site will present you with a summary of the assessment you are requesting for. Information shown here can’t be changed. Read and review it. The key piece of information in this section is that the fee for doing this evaluation is CAD$220.00. This is as of date of publishing of this article.
- Click on ‘Next’.
Note: This section will also highlight that the standard processing time to receive a completed WES evaluation report is 35 business days after receipt, review, and approval of all documents, and full payment. If there will be additional research, correspondence, or verification, the evaluation will take longer.
Indicate delivery options
- Here you will have options on how you want the final report to be sent to you. You can go with standard mail via Canada Post. It will cost you an additional CAD$7.00. Or, you can go with an International Courier that provides delivery tracking. This will cost you an additional CAD$85.00. The second option will get to you faster.
- The second recipient which is IRCC will receive the report electronically so nothing else to do there.
- Click on ‘Next’.
Review required documents checklist
- This section is where they will provide you with key information on how to submit your educational credentials. So you better read this section carefully and understand what they want you to do. Otherwise, at worst, it will introduce processing delays on your ECA for Canada Immigration.
- The main document that they will require from you is your academic transcript issued by the institution you attended. This is from the educational credentials you indicated in the previous section.
- You have 2 options on how you can submit the document to WES – your institution can mail it to them on your behalf OR you can mail it yourself.
- In either of the 2 options, your institution must issue it in a signed and sealed envelope. If the documents that WES will receive are not signed and sealed in an envelope OR if the seal is broken, they will not accept the document and you will have to request it again.
- Furthermore, in either of the 2 options, WES requires that you indicate the ‘WES Reference Number‘ in the envelope when sending the document. So please ensure that you provide such instructions to your institution if you are opting for the institution to send it on your behalf.
- Click on ‘Next’.
- If you attended multiple institutions for one degree, only the last institution you attended sends your transcripts for that degree.
- For completed programs, the academic transcript must indicate the degree conferral date.
- If you have less than one year full-time post-secondary academic study, WES highly recommends that you also send secondary school documents.
- You will receive your WES Reference Number after payment in the section below.
- On a personal note, in addition to the academic transcript, I requested for a course description document providing details for each of the subjects I took as per my transcript. Also, I requested for a copy of my diplomas. Basically, everything that I can request from my institution. I just felt that this will provide WES with a much clearer picture of the Canadian equivalent of my degrees.
Review your application
- The site will present you here with a summary of all information that you have provided and the total fees for the services you requested.
- Review this section and ensure that you acknowledge some mandatory items at the bottom of the page.
- Click on ‘Next’.
Payment of Fees
- Prior to landing on the payment page, you will need to review and confirm that your name and date of birth is correct. This is crucial as WES will reflect this on the final evaluation report.
- There are 3 payment methods to choose from – credit card, cheque/money order or money transfer via Western Union.
- We chose to pay via credit card but either of the different options should be OK.
- Click on ‘Submit’ to proceed to their payment partner’s portal to complete payment.
- Upon successful payment, you will then proceed to a confirmation page. This contains further instructions on what you will need to do to move forward in your assessment.
- This confirmation page will also indicate your WES Reference Number. You will need this number when mailing your documents so jot it down for safekeeping.
- In addition, confirmation will also be sent to the email you used when creating your WES account.
Send your documents
- You already have your complete ECA application and confirmed payment by this stage. And you should already have your WES Reference Number that you will need to indicate when mailing your documents.
- Label your envelope as indicated below:
WES Reference No. _ _ _ _ _ _ _
World Education Services
Attention: Documentation Center
2 Carlton Street, Suite 1400
Toronto, Ontario M5B 1J3
- Make sure to include your WES reference number on all envelopes and correspondence. As such, WES will not be responsible for documents that arrive without a reference number. Otherwise, you might encounter processing delays as they try to sort it out.
- As per WES: Do not send original documents unless WES specifically requests it. All documentation the you will submit becomes the property of WES. WES will not return it.
- PRO TIP: If possible, when requesting for documents from your institution, request for 3 or more copies of each. Send one set to WES and keep 2 sets with you for future use and for your personal file.
- When it was time to send the documents, we sent it ourselves for a number of reasons. First, we can collect all documents first and send it in one package to WES. Second, we can use our choice of courier and opt for tracking. Lastly, it gives us assurance that it’s sent to the correct address with the correct WES Reference Number.
That’s it! Your educational assessment with WES is now in progress. A couple of weeks of waiting and your ECA for Canada Immigration will be done!
WES promises to complete your assessment within 35 days. Afterwards, you will get a notification via email that your assessment is complete. As such, you will be able to download a copy of the results via their portal and you will receive a hardcopy of the same document via snail mail after a couple of weeks.
From experience, they got my assessment completed in just 21 days. Therefore, I’m guessing those extra documents (diploma, course description) paid off in terms of facilitating it for us.
Once you have your results, you will have a clearer understanding of the Canadian equivalent of your degrees. As such, you can use this information to determine how many Education points you can credit to your Express Entry application with CIC.
Finally, be aware that your ECA report is valid only for 5 years. You might want to take note of that when trying to time your application.
This post deals with how we got through our educational credential assessment (ECA) and is a part of a series of posts called “Our Canada Immigration Journey“. Check often with us here in Roadtripping Juans for more on this series.