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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

CIC has selected three organizations that can assess any foreign educational credential:

  • Comparative Education Service: University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies;
  • International Credential Assessment Service of Canada; and
  • World Education Services, Canada.

If you are applying:

  • as a specialist physician (NOC 3111) or general practitioner/family physician (NOC 3112), the Medical Council of Canada must do an ECA for your primary medical diploma;
  • as a pharmacist (NOC 3131), the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada must do your ECA.

Note: ECAs done by the two professional bodies designated by CIC (Medical Council of Canada and Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada) are used by CIC for immigration purposes and are recognized by the profession’s regulatory authorities as one component of their overall licensure process. Please contact the regulatory authority in the province where you plan to live for more information on the licensure process.

For any other occupation, check the websites of the other CIC-designated organizations or contact them directly to find out which one best suits your needs. Consider the following:

  • Some designated organizations partner with certain regulatory bodies or large employers. That means that the ECA you obtain for your application to CIC might also help you later on.
  • Check with each designated organization to find out what other organizations recognize their assessments.

Learn more about Educational Credential Assessments.
You must prove your language skills by taking a language test approved by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).
You can take any of these approved language tests:

CELPIP: Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program
CELPIP has three different tests. You must take the “CELPIP-General 2014” test to support your immigration application.
If you took the test before April 1, 2014, you would have had to take the “CELPIP-General (CELPIP-G)” test.

Note: As of April 1, 2014, you must take the “CELPIP-General 2014” test. The CELPIP-General 2014 scoring grid is different from the CELPIP-G test (see below).

IELTS: International English Language Testing System.
IELTS has two options for the reading and writing tests: “General Training” and “Academic.” You must take the “General Training” option.

TEF: Test d'evaluation de français
You must submit results from these TEF tests as proof of your French language skills:

  1. comprehension de l'ecrit
  2. comprehension de l'orale
  3. expression ecrite
  4. expression orale
No. Getting an ECA for immigration does not mean that your work experience and professional credentials are automatically recognized in Canada to get a license in a regulated profession. If you work in a regulated profession, you must still go through the process of getting your license in the province or territory that you plan on settling in. Regulatory authorities determine an applicant’s readiness for licensure by assessing and recognizing “qualifications,” which may include an assessment of education, experience/competencies and language proficiency, in addition to other requirements. Applicants intending to work in a regulated profession should contact the regulatory authority in the province where they plan to live to find out more about how to obtain licensure.

An ECA is required for candidates in the Express Entry pool who wish to be considered for rounds of invitations related to the Federal Skilled Worker Program, unless they were educated in Canada.
For candidates who are hoping to apply to the Federal Skilled Trades Program or Canadian Experience Class, an ECA is optional but may increase the points they receive on the CRS and improve their chances of being invited to apply.
The Express Entry system uses the information in a number of different ways.
When you fill out your profile, the ECA is used (where applicable) to see if you meet the criteria to get into the Express Entry pool.
Before candidates can enter the Express Entry pool, all candidates’ profiles are awarded points through the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) based on their language scores and educational attainment from a Canadian institution or educational credential from a foreign institution that has been validated through an ECA report completed by an organization designated by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).
The six months begins once Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) confirms that a person has submitted a complete electronic application for permanent residence through the online system. It ends when a final decision is made.
In some cases, processing can be delayed, such as when an applicant needs extra time to complete their medical assessments.
The six month processing time does not include time outside the control of CIC, for example, the time it takes for an employer to obtain an LMIA, or a potential candidate to receive a provincial/territorial nomination or to arrive in Canada and land as a permanent resident.
Under Express Entry, we will only accept applications from people we have invited to come to Canada. This will prevent the growth of backlogs by ensuring that only the candidates who are most likely to succeed economically – not simply the first to submit their application – are able to apply to immigrate to Canada.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) plans to process the majority of complete electronic applications (those that include all the required supporting documents) within six months or less.
Together, these will do away with multi-year waits for a final decision on permanent residence and result in faster processing times.
Candidates who get an ITA will have 60 days to submit a complete electronic application for permanent residence. Extensions will not be granted.

A qualifying job offer from an employer in Canada is a significant asset but not a requirement. Candidates can also obtain enough points to receive an ITA based on how high their score is on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) or if they get a provincial or territorial nomination. Provinces and territories will be able to recruit candidates from the Express Entry pool through their PNPs to meet local labour market needs.

 Candidates in the pool will be issued an ITA for permanent residence when they:
  • have a job offer supported by an Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from an employer in Canada; or
  • have a nomination from a province or territory that has an immigration nominee program; or
  • are one of the highest-ranked candidates who qualify for one of the three federal programs under Express Entry
The CRS is the new system we will use to assess and score Express Entry candidates. It has been created based on extensive research on the best predictors of economic success for newcomers to Canada.
The CRS will include factors such as:
  • skills; 
  • work experience;
  • language ability;
  • education; and 
  • other factors that we know help immigrants prosper once in Canada.

Using the information provided in the candidate’s profile, the CRS will set the candidate’s score and rank within the Express Entry pool at any given time. Note that a candidate’s rank will change regularly, while their score will only change when they update their profile information.
Candidates with the highest scores in the pool will be issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA). Candidates will be awarded points for:

  • a job offer;
  • a provincial/territorial nomination; and 
  • skills and experience factors that contribute to success in Canada.
It is possible for you to get into the pool and be eligible for more than one immigration program. In that case, your profile would be tagged by the system to make sure it is considered for any relevant round of invitations. If you get an Invitation to Apply (ITA), the system will tell you which immigration program you are being invited to apply to.

If you meet the criteria of one of the economic immigration programs subject to Express Entry, you will be accepted into the Express Entry pool. A job offer supported by an Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from an employer in Canada is a significant asset, but not a requirement

Express Entry profiles are valid for one year from the date a candidate submits a profile to CIC. If a candidate does not get an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence after one year and they still want to come to Canada as a skilled immigrant, they will need to complete and submit a new profile. If they meet the minimum entry criteria, they will receive a new Express Entry Profile Number.

There is no fee to submit an Express Entry profile. Language tests and Educational Credential Assessments (if you want to be eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker Program, or if you completed your education outside Canada and want to get points toward your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score) are completed by third party organizations for a fee.
If you are invited to apply for permanent residence and submit an application, you will have to pay the current application processing fee. If you then decide to become a permanent resident, you will also have to pay the Right of Permanent Residence Fee for yourself and any dependants or family members if applicable.
First, you will express your interest in immigrating to Canada by creating an online Express Entry profile. You will give us information about your skills, work experience, language ability, education, and other details that contribute to success in Canada.
If you meet the criteria, you will be put into the Express Entry pool, which is a group of people that we can invite candidates from to fill immigration spaces.
At the launch of Express Entry, you will need to create a Job Seeker Account with Job Bank if you do not already have a Canadian job offer or a provincial/territorial nomination. This will give you the opportunity to view jobs available with Canadian employers. It is important for Express Entry candidates to promote themselves to potential employers/recruiters and use private sector job boards and other resources to learn about jobs available in Canada

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