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The Benefits of an Educational Credential Assessment when applying to the PNP

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) has been in existence since 2022, and is one of the most prominent immigration routes. According to the Immigration Levels Plan for Canada, this program is expected to be successful for some time to come.

Nominations for permanent residence from international workers are permitted in all provinces and territories, with the exception of Quebec and Nunavut. If you are seeking to immigrate to a specific province or territory, you should demonstrate how you can leverage your education, skills, and work experience to address local labor shortages.

Express Entry applications outside of the PNP

There are two ways in which a PNP application can be submitted. Initially, there is the primary provincial nomination process, which is not part of Express Entry. This process will include the applicant choosing the applicant’s residence province or territory in Canada and contacting them directly to apply for a nomination. The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) may accept applications for permanent residence from applicants nominated by a province or territory.

Applying for the PNP via Express Entry

A PNP application may also be submitted through Express Entry. You must meet the requirements for at least one Express Entry program to be eligible for the program.

  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
  • FSTP (Federally Skilled Trades Program)
  • FSWP (Federal Skilled Worker Program)

An invitation to apply for Express Entry will be issued to candidates who have created an Express Entry profile and have met the entry requirements as determined by their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).

CRS scores are determined by many factors, some of which are beyond our control. Age is one of the factors that determine CRS scores, which cannot be changed. In spite of this, there are some factors that can be influenced by a candidate, such as the level of education. A credential assessment (ECA) is designed to provide candidates with an opportunity to describe what they have learned abroad.

Documents such as ECAs are reviewed by IRCC for the purpose of determining how internationally earned educational credentials, such as degrees and diplomas, compare with Canadian standards. ECAs may enhance a candidate’s CRS score, improving their chances of becoming permanent residents through Express Entry. There are a number of providers designated by IRCC as authorized to issue ECAs, such as World Education Services (WES).

Note – IRCC has designated WES as one of five organizations that can provide ECAs in Canada (excluding physicians and pharmacists).

The Provincial Nominee Program and ECAs

During the creation of the Express Entry profile, the candidate has the option of choosing any province or territory. The candidate will demonstrate to the regional governments that he or she is interested in obtaining a permanent residency in that region.

There are a few provinces and territories that will occasionally request nominations for immigrants to move to their regions.

It is estimated that ECAs reduce Express Entry candidates’ CRS scores, which makes them more attractive to provinces and territories and increases their chances of receiving a nomination for Express Entry.

Streams with an ECA requirement in PNP

Some PNP streams require you to have an ECA as part of the minimum requirements. As an example, if the candidate has earned all of his or her academic credentials outside of the United States, he or she will be required to submit an ECA in order to meet the Federal Skilled Worker Program’s minimum entry requirements.

Note: Only candidates who are eligible for Express Entry under the Federal Skilled Worker Program are subject to this requirement. The Canadian Experience Class and the Federal Skilled Trades Program may also determine a candidate’s eligibility for Express Entry.