Potpourri of Stuff!
Educational Credential Assessment or ECA is one of the first and foremost step to be completed to be eligible to apply under the Canada’s Express Entry scheme. ECA is mandatory for all the primary applicants applying under Express Entry [who DO NOT hold a post-secondary Canadian degree]. ECA is highly recommended for the spouses of applicants to increase the Comprehensive Ranking System Score (CRS).
An ECA is done in order to evaluate the academic credentials of the applicant and see what the foreign degree is worth in Canada. There are several organizations designated by the CIC but the least expensive and widely recommended organization is World Education Services (WES), Canada. The scope of this post is to explain the steps in getting an ECA done from WES.
Please note that you DO NOT need an ECA for your 10th and 12th grade certificates. If you have a bachelors then get ECA done only for your bachelors (unless you have another diploma like a Post-Graduate Diploma of some sort; In this case, you might be eligible to get both of them evaluated and you will get more CRS points). For M.Sc applicants, it is mandatory to get your bachelors evaluated even if you have Masters but in no instance would you need an evaluation of your 10th and 12th grade mark sheets.
Getting your ECA done is a pretty simple and straightforward process. The only thing you have to do is get your documents right. WES is very strict in this regard and it is your responsibility to get all the required documents required properly.
Step 0: Use the preliminary assessment tool to find out what the outcome of the evaluation might be. This should be used only for reference and must not be taken as an official assessment of your credentials.
Step 1: Understand what documents you require. You can see what documents you require using the below link.
Every country has a different procedure. In some cases, there are different requirements for different universities belonging to the same country. There are different requirements for people who studied in an affiliated institution and in an autonomous institution. Please go through the above link to know more.
Step 2: Request your University to issue you the transcripts. Please check your university website/give them a call and understand how to request transcripts.
Step 3: Create an account in WES and make the payment. This is a very easy process, just follow the steps on the site. check out the below link.
You get a “ECA Package” that will provide:
1) A hard copy of your ECA report.
2) A soft copy that you can access online.
3) CIC will be able to check your ECA report online.
Please note that an ECA done for the purpose of Canada Immigration is valid for 5 years.
Send the documents to WES/have your institution send it to them. Use a reliable courier service. Information on how to send your documents can be found in the link provided in Step 1.
WES receives your documents and the status will change from “Waiting for required documents” to “Documents received – Review in Progress”.
After reviewing your documents, WES will either accept those documents and change the status to “Evaluation in Progress” or they will request you to send more documents (if need be). If the documents were not received by them in the format specified, they will reject your documents and you will have to start from Step 1 again. So, be careful while sending the documents. Try to get it right the first time.
After WES completes an evaluation (The standard processing time is 20 Business Days), they will send out an E-mail that says “Evaluation Completed” and dispatch the hard copy of your report to the address mentioned in your account. You will be able to view the report online. The below image shows how your online account would look once the Evaluation is completed.
At the end of the business day, you will be able to see the tracking number of your package in the “Report Shipping and Tracking” section of your WES account. Please note that the tracking facility is available only for those who choose “International Courier” as the delivery mode of the ECA report. Tracking is not available for Standard Mail. The “Report Shipping and Tracking section would look like as shown below after your hard copy has been dispatched.
The image below shows the route my report has traveled to reach me 😀 .
You will receive the hard copy of the report in under a week; depending on where you live, there might be delays.
A sample ECA report is provided below.
Let me share my experience in getting the ECA.
I made payment to WES on June 14. I got my 7 digit WES Reference Number. I applied for transcripts on 20th of June (My friend did this for me since I was not able to go to the University). He got the transcripts back from them on 1st of July and sent it to WES on 3rd. They received the documents on 9th of July – Status changed to “Documents received – Review in progress”. After a week, since there was no update whatsoever, I sent them a note using their online contact form asking them why there was no E-Mail/status update on my application and the status changed to ” Evaluation in progress ” on July 17 (The very next day). Then, on July 21, when I woke up, I had a mail in my inbox that said “Evaluation Completed”. I was able to view an online copy of my report and a tracking number was provided at the end of day. You can use this tracking number to locate your package and sign up for notifications. I had my credential evaluated in just 8 business days. Very prompt service and highly recommended.
It’s easy. You just need some research, that’s it. I highly recommend the “Canadavisa Immigration Forum” for ANY information on Canada Immigration. Please check out the link below. It’s truly the holy grail for current/potential immigrants.
Hope that helped! Great day!