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Language Test Requirements for Canadian Immigration: Everything You Need to Know

Are you planning to move to Canada and looking to apply for skilled worker immigration programs? Then you must know about the language test requirements for Canadian immigration. Successfully completing a language test is essential to showcase that you qualify for the language requirements of the skilled worker program. Here, we will highlight all the language test requirements for Canadian immigration and provide a detailed guide to everything one needs to know.

What are the Language Test Requirements For Canadian Immigration?
Canada’s federal and provincial skilled worker immigration programs require that you complete a language test. The language test requirement applies to the federal Express Entry system, the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), and Canada’s other various skilled worker streams.

Every skilled worker program offers its own test score requirements. Completing a language test is necessary to demonstrate that you meet the language requirements of the skilled worker program you are applying to.

The federal government of Canada uses the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) to evaluate language skills. Some programs require a CLB level of 4, while other programs require a minimum CLB level of 7.

What Language Tests are Approved For Canadian Immigration?
In order to meet the language requirement, one must take a language test approved by the Canadian government. IRCC approves the following language tests for skilled worker applications:

For English:

  • CELPIP General Test
  • IELTS General Training
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) (beginning in late 2023)

For French:

  • TEF Canada: Test d’évaluation de français
  • TCF Canada: Test de connaissance du français

What is the CELPIP Test?

The Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) is one of the language tests approved for Canadian immigration. It has four modules: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. It takes about three hours to complete, and you can complete the test in one sitting. Generally speaking, the test costs $300, and you get your results 4-5 days after your test.

What is the IELTS Test?
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is another language test approved for Canadian immigration. It also has four modules: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. It takes about 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete. The speaking component can also be taken up to seven days before or after taking the other three components.

Generally speaking, the cost of the test is $300. If you take the test on the computer, you will get your results within 3-5 days. If you take a paper-based test, results are issued 13 days later.

What is the TEF Test?
The Test d’évaluation de français (TEF) is used to assess French comprehension and expression skills in people who are not native French speakers. It can be used for Quebec Immigration purposes and is the only French language test accepted for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP).

In most cases, TEF is mandatory to prove French language ability in the following cases:

  • To Immigrate to Canada and become a Canadian citizen
  • To immigrate to the Canadian province of Quebec
  • To study in France (TEF for studies in France)
  • To obtain citizenship in France (TEF for Naturalization)
  • To certify one’s French language ability for work; and
  • To enroll in certain programs and study abroad as an international student

The test consists of three written sections: reading comprehension, written expression and vocabulary, and sections. The test also consists of two oral sections: listening comprehension and oral expression. Depending on your situation some sections may be optional. Each section can vary between 15, 40 or 60 minutes.


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