Each year, thousands of immigrants are admitted into Canada as permanent residents.
In November 2023, Immigrants, Refugees Citizenship Canada (IRCC) released its Immigration Levels Plan 2024-2026, outlining the targeted number of permanent residents admitted under all eligible programs for the next three years. According to the most recent plan, Canada will aim to welcome nearly 1.5 million new permanent residents by 2026.
This is welcome news for those who have a goal of settling in Canada. It is important to understand, however, that obtaining permanent residence can be a competitive process. The good news is individuals can increase their chances of securing permanent residence by receiving an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA).
The Value of an ECA
An ECA is used to verify and assess an international academic credential such as a degree and diploma and provides its equivalent credential in Canada. The value in applying for and receiving an ECA lies in the impact it can have on an immigration candidate’s competitiveness when applying for permanent residence.
When a prospective immigrant applies for permanent residence under economic class immigration or Federal Skilled Worker through they are given a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score that is used to rank them against other candidates in the applicant pool. Each time IRCC conducts an Express Entry draw, eligible applicants with a CRS score above the cutoff score for that draw will receive an invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residence in Canada. This means that the CRS score plays a vital role in every candidate’s chance of receiving an ITA.
An ECA allows Express Entry candidates to claim otherwise unattainable CRS points for education completed both inside and outside of Canada. Depending on factors such as type of credential and whether the applicant is settling in Canada with a spouse, Express Entry candidates can earn up to 150 additional CRS points after having their highest completed international credential assessed with an ECA. Individuals who have international education must obtain an ECA in order to claim CRS points.
For this reason, obtaining an ECA from World Education Services (WES) can make a significant difference in a candidate’s chances of securing permanent residence.
How to apply for an ECA from WES
The following is a step-by-step guide.
- Create an account: The first step is to create an account with WES. During this step, you will select your application type, an ECA for IRCC. You will also be asked to provide and verify your email address before continuing your application. Once you have verified your email address, complete the requested personal information.
- Enter your highest earned credential: IRCC asks that applicants submit only their highest earned credential for an ECA. For example, if you have a master’s degree, you do not need to submit your bachelor’s degree to be evaluated unless it is specifically listed in your required documents. Enter your credential information, including the institution name, credential earned, and the years you studied.
- Provide your mailing address: By default, we will send a copy of your ECA to IRCC. You can also provide your mailing address to receive a copy.
- Review your required documents: The documents listed are required to complete your ECA. You will need to contact the academic institution that issued your credential and request that it submit your official academic transcript to WES.
- Confirm your application details: Before submitting your application, carefully review all of the information you have provided. Inaccurate information may delay the completion of your ECA.
- Make your payment: You may choose from a credit card, debit card, or Western Union online money transfer. Once you select your payment method, click on submit to be taken to the page of our secure payment processing partner.
- Save your WES reference number: Once you have submitted your payment, you will be directed to a confirmation page. Here you will receive a WES reference number, which we highly recommend keeping in a safe location. You will need to include this number in your correspondence with WES.
- Monitor My Account: You can sign in to My Account at any time to view updates and check progress on your application. If you have any questions about your ECA, you may contact our Customer Support team.
Why choose WES for your ECA
WES is one of just five IRCC-designated ECA providers in Canada and can complete your ECA in 30 business days once all documents have been submitted and the required fees have been paid.
WES also serves immigration candidates in both of Canada’s official languages. This includes a complete French language online application and a team of bilingual customer support representatives ready to help ECA applicants. Get started with your ECA from WES.