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Benefits of an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) when Applying to the PNP for Canadian Immigra


The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) has been one of Canada’s top immigration routes since 2022. According to Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan for 2023–2025, the program’s success is anticipated to continue.


Every province or territory, with the exception of Quebec and Nunavut, is permitted to nominate foreign workers for permanent residence under the PNP. Those chosen for immigration to a given province or territory are picked based on the applicant’s capacity to use their education, skills, and job experience to alleviate local labor shortages and boost economic development.


Submitting a PNP application outside of Express Entry


There are two methods for requesting PNP. One is base provincial nomination, a non-Express Entry application procedure. In this procedure, applicants choose where they want to reside in Canada and submit an application for nomination to that province or territory directly. After receiving a nomination from the province or territory, candidates can use Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to apply for permanent residency in that area.


Applying through Express Entry for the PNP


The alternative is to use Express Entry to submit a PNP application. Candidates must be qualified for at least one of the three Express Entry-managed programs.

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

  • Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)


Although the minimum entry requirements for each of these programs vary, once a candidate is eligible and creates an Express Entry profile, their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score will be taken into consideration for an invitation to apply.


Some elements that affect a CRS score are unchangeable. For instance, a CRS score takes into account a candidate’s age, which is unavoidably a factor. A candidate can, however, affect some factors that go towards a CRS score, like education. An applicant may acquire an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) to provide information about their international education.


A document called an ECA is what the IRCC examines to determine how degrees and diplomas earned abroad measure up to Canadian requirements. Because it can raise a candidate’s CRS score, an ECA significantly alters their chances of obtaining permanent residency through Express Entry. ECA’ are offered by IRCC-designated providers, such as World Education Services (WES), International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS), etc.


An ECA’s Significance to the Provincial Nominee Program


A candidate can specify any particular province or territory they are interested in relocating to when they build an Express Entry profile. By doing this, an applicant will convey to the selected regional governments that he or she is interested in settling permanently in that province or territory.


Periodically, provinces and territories with PNPs will evaluate Express Entry profiles and submit nominees for prospective immigration to those areas.


In both situations, an ECA from WES will increase a candidate’s CRS score and make them more desirable to provinces and territories, which will increase their chances of receiving a PNP nomination.


PNP routes that require an ECA


To comply with the minimum standards for some PNP streams, an ECA must be obtained. For instance, to meet the minimal entrance requirements for an invitation to apply under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, a candidate whose academic credentials were all gained abroad must obtain an ECA.


Note: Only applicants who qualify to be evaluated for Express Entry through the Federal Skilled Worker Program are subject to this requirement. The aforementioned criteria is irrelevant if the applicant can also be evaluated for Express Entry eligibility under the Federal Skilled Trades Program or Canadian Experience Class.

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