Do I need an Educational Credential Assessment to apply under Express Entry?

To get points for your education under the Comprehensive Ranking System, you must either:

  • have been educated in Canada, or
  • have a valid Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) for immigration purposes for your completed foreign education.

Do I need an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) to apply as a federal skilled worker?

If you were educated outside Canada, you’ll need an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) for immigration purposes to immigrate as a federal skilled worker.

If you were educated in Canada, you don’t need an ECA.

How much does an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) cost, and how long does it take to get one?

To apply for immigration to Canada, you need to get an ECA for immigration purposes from a designated organization. Each designated organization sets its own cost for an ECA.

For most people, the cost is about CAN$200 plus the cost to have it delivered. Delivery costs depend on how you choose it to be sent, with courier delivery being the most expensive.

The fees for an ECA report and the length of time to get one vary and can change without notice.

If you’re a family or specialist physician, or a pharmacist, the cost will be higher. You will need to contact the professional body that regulates your occupation to find out how much it will cost.

The time to get your education assessed is different for each designated organization or professional body. It can take from a few weeks to a few months.

Does an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) mean that I can be licensed in a regulated profession?

No. Getting an ECA to meet the requirements of the Federal Skilled Worker Program does not mean that your work experience and professional credentials are automatically recognized in Canada. You must still go through the process of getting your license.

Each province or territory in Canada has the power to regulate and license professions. Licensing is generally done through provincial or territorial regulatory bodies.

If you plan to work in a regulated profession, you should contact the regulatory authority in the province where you plan to work to find out more about how to get a license.


Completing an Express Entry profile is the first step to immigrate to Canada permanently as a federal skilled worker. Completing an Express Entry profile does not guarantee that you will receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence. An Invitation to Apply for permanent residence will be based on your score and rank in the Express Entry pool using the Comprehensive Ranking System.

How long is an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report valid for?

IRCC will accept ECA reports for five years from the date they are issued, so long as they were issued on or after April 17, 2013.

If you got an ECA report before that date, you should contact the organization to see if they will re-issue it.

What credential should I get assessed for immigration purposes?

Usually, you should choose the highest level degree, diploma or certificate (or combination) that will award you the most points.

For example, you would get more points for an ECA report that shows you have a Canadian equivalent of a master’s degree than for one that shows you have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree.

But, if you have more than one degree or diploma (if the highest is at least at a bachelor’s level), you will get more points than a single bachelor’s degree.

For example, you hold:

  • a Bachelor’s degree and a diploma or certificate or
  • two Bachelor’s degrees

In this case, you need to get an ECA for each credential to get the maximum points.

How do I get education points for Express Entry if I have 2 or more degrees or diplomas?

To get full points for having more than 1 credential:

  • at least 1 of the credentials must be for a program of 3 or more years in length
  • you need a valid educational credential assessment (ECA) for each credential

Note: The order that you complete your credentials in does not affect points.

Fill in all fields in the Education history section in your profile. When you’re done, click Save and add. After you do:

  • the details you entered about your study period will be saved to the table below the Save and add button
  • the fields will go blank and you can add another study period
  • make sure to add all study periods you want IRCC to assess for points

Each educational credential needs its own row in the Education history table.