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Do I need a Skills Assessment if I am applying for Canadian immigration?

If you are planning on immigrating to Canada you will need to have a proper Skills Assessment done.  Canada employs a point-based immigration system – the more points you have the better your chances of being invited to apply for Canadian Permanent Residency.  One way of making sure you get those valuable points is by making sure your qualification is recognized and accredited in Canada.  The only way to do this is by having a formal Skill Assessment done.


Canada uses an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) to verify that your foreign degree, diploma, certificate (or other proof of your credential) is considered valid in Canada when you apply for Canadian Permanent residency

This process ensures that your qualification is equal to a similar Canadian qualification and is one of the requirements if you want to qualify for Canadian Permanent Residency.

You’ll need an Educational Credential Assessment if:

  • You do not have a Canadian degree or diploma
  • Want to be considered for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) under Express Entry
  • You are a principal applicant, and you got your education outside Canada
  • You want to receive Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points for your foreign education
  • For yourself as an Express Entry candidate
  • For your spouse or common-law partner coming with you to Canada.

Why an ECA report is important:

  • You will have proof that you completed foreign credential (degree, diploma or certificate) is equal to a completed Canadian secondary school (high school) or post-secondary credential
  • Only degrees, diplomas and certificates that have an ECA report will be considered in your Canadian Permanent Residency application

What’s really important about your ECA report:

  • It cannot be more than five years old
  • It must show your credential(s) is equal to a completed Canadian qualification
  • Your permanent residency application could fail if your ECA report is not attached.  If you are invited to apply for permanent residence and you do not include this assessment and proof of your foreign credential when you apply, your application is not complete and will not be accepted for processing.

Your migration agent will give you guidance on the assessment fees and licensing requirements.  You may also contact the regulatory body or check out their website for more information.


If you have a regulated profession in South Africa, such as medical professionals, tradesmen, teachers, lawyers, accountants etc., and you are planning on continuing your career in Canada you will most certainly be required to show proof of your Skill Assessment.

You should also be registered with the regulatory body for your job in the province or territory where you want to work.


Source: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

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Canada skills assessment eligibility