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.
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.
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:
If you have attained 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
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.*
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:
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. 🙂