A majority of Canada’s federal and provincial skilled worker immigration programs require you to undertake a language proficiency test. The language proficiency test requirement is one of the crucial documents required for Canada PR – and applies to the federal Express Entry system, the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), and other various skilled worker streams.
Completing a language test is mandatory to demonstrate that you meet the language requirements of the skilled worker program you are applying to. Each of Canada’s skilled worker programs has its own test score requirements.
In order to meet the eligibility criteria, you must appear for the language tests that are approved by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). IRCC approves the following language tests for skilled worker applications:
- CELPIP General Test
- IELTS General Training
IRCC also recently announced that beginning in late 2023, the Person Test of English (PTE) will join the CELPIP and IELTS as one of the three designated language tests for Canada Immigration.
- TEF Canada
- TCF Canada
Let us understand more about these designated language tests in detail.
Language Tests Approved For Canada Immigration
The Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) has four modules: Listening, Reading, Speaking, and Writing. The entire test takes about three hours – and can be completed in one sitting. Generally, the cost of the test is $ 300, and you can get your results within 4-5 days after appearing for the test.
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) also has four modules: Listening, Reading, Speaking, and Writing. The test takes around 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete. The Speaking module can also be taken up to seven days before or after taking the other three modules. Generally, the cost of the test is $300, and you can get your results within 3-5 days after appearing for the test. The minimum IELTS requirement for Canada PR depends on the program you’re applying under.
The Test D’évaluation De Français (TEF) is used to evaluate French language proficiency in people who are not native French speakers. This test can be used for Quebec Immigration purposes – and is the only French language test approved for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP). The test consists of three written sections: Reading Comprehension, Written Expression, Vocabulary, and sections. TEF also consists of two oral sections: Listening Comprehension and Oral Expression. The time to complete each section can vary between 15 minutes to 1 hour – and the cost of the TEF depends on the location where the test is being given.
The Test De Connaissance Du Français (TCF) is also an approved French language test used to evaluate proficiency in people who are not native French speakers. It can also be used for Quebec Immigration purposes. The TCF consists of three compulsory sections: Reading Comprehension, Use of Language Structures, and Listening Comprehension. The test takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete – and similar to TEF, the cost of the TCF depends on the location where the test is being given.
Minimum Language Score for Canada Immigration
The Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), uses the Canadian Level Benchmark (CLB) as a standardized tool to assess your language proficiency. Most Canadian economic immigration programs have minimum language requirements, but they are not all the same. Where some programs require a CLB 4 to qualify, other programs require a CLB 7. The validity of a language test score is generally for 2 years. If more than two years have passed, you will be required to retake the language test.
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