Language proficiency is a crucial factor to move to Canada and in terms of their ability to find employment and successfully integrate into their new society. However, it is also important to master one of Canada’s two official languages ​​before immigrating to Canada, as this is an important selection factor for many categories of immigration. 

Each Canadian immigration application made under an economic immigration program is, in some way, unique. However, the majority of principal applicants have in common the experience of proving their language skills. IRCC says the ability to communicate in one or both of Canada’s official languages ​​is essential to finding employment and ensuring a smooth transition to Canadian life.

To check that the skilled immigrants coming to Canada have the minimum required language proficiency to be successful in the labour market, many Canadian immigration programs require applicants to prove their ability to communicate in English and/or French by submitting test results. standard language recognized by the Government of Canada.

Language proficiency is a determining factor not only in the success of a newcomer’s ability to find employment upon arrival in Canada but also in their overall professional success.

Assessing immigrants proficiency: Canadian Language Benchmark

Fluency in English and French, for immigration purposes, is assessed according to the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) system. This ranks the language skills for each of the four language skills, namely speaking, reading, writing, and listening. The CLBs range from 1 to 12, with levels 1 to 4 being considered a “basic” skill level, 5 to 8 considered “intermediate” and 9 to 12 considered “advanced”.

A person’s competence is determined using the results of a test issued by a designated organization. There are two designated organizations for English testing:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS),
  • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP)
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CELPIP tests can only be taken in Canada, while IELTS tests are held in various locations around the world, including Canada. For French tests, the only test accepted for federal economic immigration programs is the Test d’Evaluation de Français (TEF). The following paragraphs can help you understand the IELTS requirement for Canada.

Minimum IELTS score for Canada Express entry program

All applicants for an immigration program processed through CIC’s Express Entry immigration selection system must prove their language skills. Additional ranking points under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) may be awarded to eligible applicants who demonstrate language proficiency in English and French.

Applicants for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) must prove that they meet or exceed a minimum threshold in all four language skills. This threshold is set at CLB 7, defined as an “adequate-intermediate” skill.

Federal Skilled Trades Program (FTSP) applicants do not need the same level of language proficiency as PTFE applicants. However, they must submit language test results equivalent to or above the level of CLB 5 for speaking and listening, and CLB 4 for reading and writing.

Canadian Experience Class (CEC) has the language requirement, which provides a path to permanent residence in Canada for people with skilled work experience in Canada, depending on the candidate’s occupation classified in the National Occupational Classification (NOC). If the skilled work experience in Canada is in a CNP 0 or A occupation, the minimum level required is CLB 7. For CNP B occupations, the minimum level is CLB 5.

Canada’s PNP language requirements

In Canada, the federal government and the provinces and territories share jurisdiction over the selection of immigrants, with the provinces and territories having the capacity to select several newcomers based on the needs of the local labor market. These are the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP).

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Provinces and territories may propose a certain distribution of candidates for immigration processing through the Express Entry system. These are known as “improved” PNPs. Whatever additional criteria may be in place for a given PNP, applicants processed through Express Entry must also meet the language requirements of the Federal Economic Immigration Program (FSW, FST, or CEC) to which they are eligible.

Whether a language test is a requirement for a “core” PNP immigration flow processed outside of the Express Entry system depends on the province and the flow itself. 

What can make a difference in your Canada PR Visa application?

In addition to having minimum language requirements, several Canadian immigration programs reward applicants who demonstrate better skills.

In terms of eligibility, the FSW program awards up to 24 of the 67 points required to applicants who demonstrate a CLB level  9 or higher in English or French.

Express Entry has made language test scores more important than ever. In the context of CRS, fluency in the language is the most valuable human capital factor. First language proficiency in either of the languages English or French can award maximum points count up to 136 for a single candidate and another 100 points when considered in combination with other factors.

In the last Express Entry draw, the CRS score required to obtain an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence was 453. Improving a language score could be the difference between succeeding and failing to receive a. ITA, even for applicants who meet the minimum requirements for Canadian immigration.

Several provinces, such as Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Quebec, also have immigration programs that award points for different language levels.

For more information on Canada immigration, Register with The Best Immigration Consultant – Nationwide Visas.


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