The Foreign Credentials Referral Office (FCRO) is part of Citizenship and Immigration Canada. It provides information, path-finding and referral services on foreign credential recognition to help internationally trained workers succeed and put their skills to work in Canada more quickly.
Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)
Another important change that takes effect on May 4, 2013, is the introduction of the educational credential assessment (ECA). Prospective applicants may start the process of getting an ECA before May 4 if they are planning to submit a foreign educational credential. However, applicants should keep in mind the other program eligibility requirements listed above, i.e. whether they have a qualifying offer of arranged employment or are applying under the PhD stream or eligible occupations stream; and if they meet the minimum language threshold through a designated third-party test. Applicants who have Canadian educational credentials do not need to get an ECA, unless they are also submitting a foreign educational credential in support of their application.
The ECA process will help determine if the foreign educational credential is authentic and equivalent to a completed credential in Canada. For prospective applicants, the ECA can provide a realistic understanding of how their foreign educational credentials are likely to be recognized in Canada.
As of April 17, 2013, four organizations have been designated by the Minister to provide ECA reports for purposes of immigrating to Canada under the FSWP. Additional organizations may be designated by CIC in the future. The designated organizations are:
- Comparative Education Service: University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies;
- International Credential Assessment Service of Canada;
- World Education Services; and,
- Medical Council of Canada.
The Medical Council of Canada has been designated only for those principal applicants who intend to apply with specialist physician (2011 National Occupation Classification [NOC] code 3111) or general practitioner/family physician (2011 NOC code 3112) as their primary occupation in their FSWP application. Neither NOC code 3111 nor 3112 is on the eligible occupations list that takes effect on May 4, so this will only affect those applying under the PhD stream or with a qualifying job offer based on those NOC codes.
Applicants should contact the designated organizations directly for further information on their documentation requirements, processing times and fees.
CIC will only accept ECA reports issued after the date the organization was designated by CIC to provide ECA reports for immigration purposes (i.e. April 17, 2013). An ECA report will be valid for immigration purposes for 5 years from the date that it was issued by the designated organization.
IMPORTANT NOTE: CIC will update application kits and web materials before the new FSWP is launched on May 4, 2013. Prospective applicants who wish to get a head start on their application can proceed with the steps and information outlined above but should check the CIC website for new FSWP application forms.