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The Importance of Educational Credential Assessment when Applying for the PNP

Applying for the PNP

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The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) has been considered one of Canada’s most prominent immigration paths since 2022. According to the 2023-2025 Canadian Immigration Levels Plan, the program’s triumph is set to continue.

The PNP empowers every province and territory except Quebec and Nunavut to elect foreign workers for permanent residence. These applicants are selected based on their potential to help address local labour deficiencies, thus aiding economic growth through their education, abilities, and professional history.

Non-Express Entry Application Process

There are two ways to apply for PNP. The first is the non-Express Entry application process, the provincial base nomination. 

This procedure requires candidates to choose their preferred residence in Canada and then apply for a nomination from that specific province or territory directly. After being nominated by the province or territory, applicants can apply for permanent residency in that region through Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Express Entry Application Process

The second option is to apply for PNP via Express Entry. Eligibility criteria must be fulfilled for at least one of the three programs managed under the Express Entry system, including the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP). 

A qualified candidate who creates an Express Entry profile will be evaluated for an invitation to apply based on their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score.

Certain factors influencing the CRS score, such as age, cannot be modified. However, education is one of the areas that can be influenced to obtain a better CRS score. Applicants can get an educational credential assessment (ECA) to provide insight into their international education.

An ECA is an official document that the IRCC uses to evaluate how internationally earned educational credentials, such as degrees and diplomas, compare to Canadian standards. 

An ECA greatly benefits a candidate’s chances of gaining permanent residency via Express Entry because it can add points to their CRS score. WES, an IRCC-designated provider, can provide an ECA.

The Value of an ECA for the Provincial Nominee Program

When a candidate creates an Express Entry profile, they can specify any specific provinces or territories they want to move to. By doing so, the chosen regional governments will be informed of the applicant’s interest in acquiring permanent residency in that province or territory.

Provinces and territories that operate a PNP will periodically review Express Entry profiles and offer nominations for potential immigration to that region.

In both scenarios, obtaining an ECA from WES will improve the candidate’s CRS score, making them more attractive to provinces and territories and increasing their chances of receiving a PNP nomination.

PNP Streams that Require an ECA

For some PNP streams, an ECA must be obtained to meet the minimum requirements. For instance, if a candidate’s academic credentials were all earned in another country, the candidate must obtain an ECA to meet the minimum entry criteria for an invitation to apply under the Federal Skilled Worker Program.


In conclusion, obtaining an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) from a designated provider such as World Education Services (WES) can greatly enhance a candidate’s chances of obtaining permanent residency through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and the Express Entry system. 

By understanding how their internationally earned educational credentials compare to Canadian standards, candidates can increase their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score and make themselves more attractive to provinces and territories seeking skilled workers to support their economic development. 

Whether applying through the non-Express Entry base provincial nomination or the Express Entry system, obtaining an ECA is a valuable investment that can open doors to new opportunities and a brighter future in Canada.


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