ECA: a Degree of Freedom

In order to create our Express Entry profile, we needed to get our diplomas validated by an institution approved by the Canadian Immigration and Citizenship. Information about Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) can be seen here.

There were five designated institutions that could do our ECA. We chose World Education Services (WES) mainly because of their time limit (20 business days). Moreover, all Brazilian posts we’ve read summarized successful experiences with WES.

The first step is to gather all documents. Required documents depend on the country and on the educational level. For Brazil, applicants have to send two envelopes: one with copies of diploma, transcripts, and certified translations; and a stamped, signed and sealed envelope from the university with an official transcript and an Academic Records Request Form.

During this process, we discovered that Universidade de São Paulo already offers undergrad transcripts in English, and some faculties from USP offer grad transcripts in English, too. Excellent, we could save some money in translation!

In our case, we did two ECAs. Principal Applicant had a bachelor’s, a master’s and a doctoral degree. Spouse had a bachelor and a master’s degree. We were pretty sure about the equivalency of our undergrad and master’s courses, but we had doubts about the doctorate since we hadn’t find other people from Brazil that did the equivalency.

We sent all documents on April 10th and our envelopes arrived there two days later. On May 2nd (11 business days), Principal Applicant received ECA. All courses were considered equivalent, including Ph.D. The spouse’s ECA took longer and was completed only on May 24th (28 business days). We have no idea about what caused the delay, but, in the end, all courses were considered equivalent.

We chose the courier delivery, which is United Parcel Service of America (UPS). They had a problem at the frontier because Brazilian Customs required the applicant’s Tax Identification Number (CPF) to release the document. UPS had to contact us and it caused another delay. Principal Applicant’s ECA arrived on May 17th and Spouse’s on May 30th.

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