Canadian Express Entry: Level of Education

Time to talk about getting your education assessed, here’s N to tell you guys about our experience since she spearheaded our ECA 🙂


One of the initial requirements for creating an Express Entry profile for Citizenship and Immigration Canada is an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA). This means that if you carry a foreign (non-Canadian) degree, you must have this assessed to see its “value” relative to a Canadian education. As discussed in one of our previous posts, the better or higher your educational attainment, the more points you get towards your overall Comprehensive Ranking System point score in Express Entry.

I think there are several organizations that can do this for you, but we went with World Education Services or WES, as we heard that they are the fastest in delivering results. It’s a pretty straightforward process – just visit their website  and you’ll see the steps are listed down for you. But to help you guys, I’ll try to break it down for you with actual figures and timelines.

Account Creation

First you have to create an account with WES, you can do that in their website.

You will also have to pay WES before you can start the assessment procedure (We talk about all the costs near the end of the post.)

Keep That Reference Number!

After completion of account and payment, you will receive a confirmation and will be given a reference number. Keep a record of your reference number as you will be using this in submitting your application and required documents.

Documents!

Next, you need to gather all the pertinent documents required from your country of education and send them to WES.

For the Philippines, the requirements are as follows:

If you have attained post-secondary education:

Higher Education

If you have attained secondary education:

Secondary Education

You will notice under “How to Send Documents” that some of the documents have to be submitted by the applicant (you), and some are to be sent to WES directly by your school/university. This can be a bit confusing, so make sure to carefully read the instructions on the website. We’ll try to spell it out below.

Documents to be submitted by the applicant (you):

Clear, legible copies of all your post-secondary diplomas/certificates. If these are not in written in English, make sure that you request from your school a certified English translation of all the diplomas. (Our diplomas from Ateneo were actually in Latin, so we had to request for an English translation and we attached this to the copy of our original diploma.)

Documents to be submitted by the institution attended (your college/university/high school):

Academic transcripts issued by the institution. Usually here in the Philippines, you would have to request for this and wait three working days before it can be made available. It might help to simply make a call to your school and request for the transcript over the phone then just drop by when it’s available.

Do not forget to download and complete the Academic Records Request form. Give this form to your school and they will have to include this form in the package that they will be sending to WES.

Send it to WES!

Here’s where you should send your documents to

World Education Services

2 Carlton Street, Suite 1400

Toronto, Ontario M5B 1J3

Canada

For the documents that you will be sending, attach a separate sheet of paper indicating your complete name and your WES reference number. Put this all in a brown document envelope and send it through a courier (not via regular mail) for faster delivery. We used FedEx and our documents reached the WES offices in about 3-4 days.

For the documents that your school will be sending, ask your school to send the documents (to the same abovementioned address) via courier as well to ensure a timely delivery. Just inform them that you will shoulder the added shipping costs. Some schools are already familiar in dealing with WES-related concerns, so we did not really have a problem making this request. They sent our documents via LBC Express the following day and provided us with the tracking number.

How Much Will it Cost Me?

Here is the breakdown of fees that we paid to WES for their services:

FSWP Credential Assessment Package – CAD$200

Delivery Option: International Courier Overnight – CAD$85 (This is a required option because you would have to have your results shipped back to your home address.)

Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) 13% – CAD$37.05

Total WES Fee = CAD$322.05 (Approximately PHP 11,300)

Add to that these costs for getting our documents and shipping them to WES:

Academic Transcript of Records (1 set) – PHP 165

English Translation of Diploma – PHP 85

LBC Express Shipping Fee – PHP 1,500

Total Documents and Shipping Fee : PHP 4,250

All in all, we spent approximately *drum roll please* PHP 15,000 (CAD$430) to get an ECA.

*Note that all of the prices above are per person and are as of July, 2015. Also, prices for obtaining and sending documents are from the Ateneo de Manila University, so the costs for these services from other universities may vary. WES fees may have also already changed since we applied for it.*

Timeline

It may take 10-20 working days for WES to be able to complete their assessment and send their results to your home address. Here is an overview of our timeline in completing the entire process:

July 10 – Sent our documents to WES (both us and our school)

July 13 – WES received our documents

July 17 – WES received the documents from our school

First week of August – Received the hard copy of results from WES.

It was great to see that both our four-year degrees from Ateneo received a four-year equivalency in Canada. We’re thinking this might help in looking for jobs once we’re there.

Here’s how a WES results form looks like:

WES


So there, kind of a tedious (not to mention, expensive!) process considering you would have to make a visit or two back to your university on a working day. It’s also pretty exciting to track your packages until you know it’s safe and sound in the WES offices all the way in Toronto and anxiously wait for the results to make its way back to you.

If there’s anything you want to ask, feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can! Alternatively, I’ve also set up a Twitter account @tropics2rockies, so we can also talk there. 🙂

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19 thoughts on “Canadian Express Entry: Level of Education

  1. Good read! I have just arrived here in Canada last December and is looking for something worthwhile to read. Luckily I came across this blog! I have undergone the same procedure at WES and i’d say it’s really straightforward. Anyway, good luck on your IELTS results and I hope everything goes well with your application, and of course, your wedding!

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    • Hi Marc!

      Thank you so much for your kind words and congratulations on getting to Canada!

      If you don’t mind us asking, we would like to know how long your whole process took before you got to Canada? We’ve been waiting for around half a year for our ITA 🙂

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      • We applied here as a family in the early 2013, it took us less than a year to obtain our PR status. At that time, my dad had already been working here and we were also sponsored by his employer. I believe that expedited the whole process. In your case, I think that excellent level of english and education as you have would increase your rank and hopefully speed up the process.

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  2. Hi, I wonder if this procedures guarantee my niece, who graduated in University of the Philippines and currently working in advertising company, to enter in Canada. As you provided an example, student from Ateneo, do they have a list of post secondaries which are eligible to apply or not?

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  3. Hi, I would like to ask if it will be the same assessment from other university that is not on the Top 3. Like from a so-so university. Do you think the results will be the same? Our university has 5 years of engineering study. Also, is it okay if I just collect the documents that the school will send to WES and just email it myself with the schools address?

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    • Hello! 🙂

      These assessments are really tricky. The best we can do is use their “Free Degree Equivalency Tool” found in there website. (https://www.wes.org/ca/preliminary/poe.asp)

      For engineers though, I think Canada doesn’t really recognize any kind of engineering degree outside of North America, so you would probably have to re-certify yourself in Canada regardless of what assessment your education gets.

      For the documents, I think you really have to submit them in separate envelopes, so yes, you technically submit them yourself. However, if your school has experience with things like this, it might be better to let the school do it since that’s how it’s normally done. Just be sure to ask for a tracking number so you can follow the package.

      Hope this helps, good luck! 🙂

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  4. Thank you so much, I just had my IELTS result this week. I think it’s good enough, I’ll just have to talk to my University about the documents. I haven’t created an EE profile because I’m still lacking the ECA. I’ve had my preliminary assessment here:

    http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/skilled/crs-tool.asp

    it doesn’t have any points for relatives and working experince. I’am an Electronics Engineering Graduate, I’m in IT, Software Engineer for 4 years. I have an Uncle in Ontario. Do you think it will still help me get a higher score?

    Liked by 1 person

    • You should definitely get your ECA as soon as possible since it would take some time for the documents to travel all the way to Canada then back here. Right now (if I remember correctly), EE allocates a certain number of points for work experience, but not for family members. CIC has said that the sweet spot for express entry scores is from 350 – 450 points, so if you can get within that range, then it should be good. However, it still remains to be seen when the point requirement will hit that sweet spot since the draws have only gone as low as 450 points twice.

      I actually envy you guys in the IT/Engineering field! From what I’ve read and heard, while it’s true that you would have to get certified again in Canada, your existing skills and training should make you highly employable in a lot of good jobs. 🙂

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  5. Hello once again… another painful thing to do – ECA :)))lol… I just wanted to ask does it really matter from which of those agencies listed on the Canada government website you get the assessment done? Many of our friends went for WES, however WES requests original documents to be sent, and I would not like to since if they are lost then it’s another huge problem to solve.

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    • Hi again Anna! 🙂

      Yes, ECA was definitely a hassle since we had to run around the city getting all our materials and making sure that they’re sealed and couriered safely to WES. Hmmmm… here in the Philippines, most people seem to also go for WES, so I really would not know about the other agencies. But, I’m pretty sure that if the agency is listed in Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s website, then there shouldn’t be a problem using that agency. Which agency is this if you don’t mind me asking? I only ask because I haven’t encountered an agency that doesn’t require the original document to be sent to them. 🙂

      Looks like an exciting 2016 ahead for you and your family! I hope that both of our families be blessed this year. 🙂

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      • Hey, thanks for such prompt replies!!! I am glad we have connected, I will add your blog in my reading list in blogger too.:) Well, the University of Toronto(http://learn.utoronto.ca/international-professionals/comparative-education-service-ces) doesn’t ask for original documents since they don’t return such correspondence. So they request colored copies, as well as, translation of the credentials in the language either than English (in my case). I guess too that as soon as the government itself authorized other agencies, then there should not be any problem. I suppose that WES is preferred due to the fast processing time… but we actually have time with us because of the different reasons, and most probably will be able to give application only after 6-7 months. What is the status of your application? Are you hoping to get ITA this year or next year? In which category did you apply? Well… me and my husband are very excited about the whole new for us journey we are going to take, and we hope for the best. Thanks, all the best to you and to receive good news from Canada very soon!!!

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        • Right now, we’re just in the pool, waiting for our ITA. We’re keeping our fingers crossed despite all the draws being 470 points and higher! Hoping for them to come back down soon. We also tried getting a Provincial Nomination going, but we still don’t know if it will bear any fruit. Our profile has been in the pool since August of last year, so we’re really need the ITA as soon as possible so that we can make the move before the year ends. 🙂

          Maybe we’ll see each other in Canada in the not so distant future? 😛

          Like

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