Language proficiency

Canadian immigration is a process that needs to fully check and verify if a candidate whose first language is not English is willing to communicate with the people of different languages and cultures. Almost every type of immigration to Canada requires the results of language tests that an applicant goes through before applying for immigration to check his ability to communicate well at the workplace and for the living. The type of the language test that you need to give and the score you need to attain depends totally on each specific program you are applying under.

Do these tests include IELTS, CELPIP, or TEF?

For Canadian immigration, a candidate had to present language test results from an authorized organization. There are two authorized test providers of English language i.e., 

  • The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and, 
  • The Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP). 

If you’re an applicant belonging from a French-speaking country, you can take up the language test in French from Test d’évaluation de français (TEF).

IRCC does not have any particularly preferred language test. So, the results from all above mentioned three tests are valued equally, a candidate can choose on their own whichever test is convenient. Nonetheless, which language test you appear for but the results are valid up to two years (24 months).

IELTS, CELPIP, and TEF all allocate a score for each of four language abilities: listening, reading, writing and speaking.

What Score Do I Need?

There’s no sure short and one single answer to this question because all the language tests are differently evaluating systems and all immigration programs have different criteria of scores acceptance. 

Most Canadian economic immigration programs have the same minimum language requirements, but they are still not the same. So the score you need to obtain for your specific program is completely independent and you need to check it for what they ask for as a minimum requirement. 

However, many programs are run through allocating points to various aspects of a candidate’s profile. The aspects analyzed are age, work experience, and educational qualification of an applicant, in addition to language proficiency as well. Depending on your profile, the language test score you need to meet the criteria could be different from the minimum requirement.

Canadian Language Benchmark

The language test results get converted into Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB), or Niveaux de competence linguistique canadiens (NCLC), which contain different levels. CLB levels starts from 4 (poor) to 10 (excellent). When Canadian immigration programs specify a language requirement, they typically refer to a CLB level.

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