How Educational Credential Assessments Benefit Canadian Immigration?

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, (except Quebec and Nunavut), is permitted to nominate foreign workers for permanent residence under the PNP. Those chosen for provincial immigration are selected based on education, skills, and job experience.

PNP Outside of Express Entry

There are two methods for requesting PNP outside of Express Entry. One is base province nomination, a non-Express Entry application procedure. Here, applicants choose where they want to reside in Canada and submit an application for nomination to that province or territory. 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 province/territory.

PNP with Express Entry

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

  • Canadian Experience Class
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program
  • Federal Skilled Worker Program

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 schooling. An applicant may acquire an educational credential assessment (ECA) to provide information about their overseas education.

An ECA is a document that IRCC reviews to understand how internationally earned educational credentials, such as degrees and diplomas, compare to Canadian standards. An ECA makes a substantial difference in a candidate’s chances of attaining PR via Express Entry because it can add points to a candidate’s CRS score.

How ECAs are valuable for provincial nominee programs?

A candidate can specify any particular provinces or territories 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 the candidate 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 all scenarios, an ECA will raise a candidate’s CRS score and increase their attractiveness to provinces and territories, which will improve their prospects of receiving a PNP nomination.

Austin Campbell

Austin has been quite active in the immigration arena since 2010. He has authored over 250 immigration publications, given over 70 presentations, and organized numerous events featuring federal and provincial immigration ministers and leaders from other sectors. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto and Durham University.
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