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Canada Immigration Requirements: Know Your English Language Proficiency Test

English Language Proficiency Test

English Language Proficiency Test is a key requirement for your Canada immigration journey. 

To successfully navigate the process, you need to ace an approved English or French language test. However, with various options available, confusion can arise. 

This blog sheds light on everything you need to know about English language tests for Canadian immigration in India!

The Big Three: English Language Proficiency Test for Canada Immigration

Canada recognizes three major English language proficiency tests:

🔹 International English Language Testing System (IELTS): A globally recognized test offered in two options – Academic and General Training. 

For immigration, choose the General Training version. It assesses your English skills in all four aspects: Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking.

🔹 Pearson Test of English (PTE): As of January 30th, 2024, IRCC added PTE core as a new language proficiency test for all immigration pathways. 

PTE Core test is scored by both humans and AI to reduce the risk of bias. Test results can typically be obtained within two days. The PTE Core is divided into three parts:

🔴 Speaking and writing (50 minutes)

🔴 Reading (30 minutes)

🔴 Listening (30 minutes)

The PTE Core replaces the previous PTE Essential test, which was approved for Canadian immigration last year. Please note that Pearson offers multiple tests like PTE Academic. Aspirants must exercise enough caution to choose the right program.  

🔹 Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP): Developed specifically for Canadian immigration, CELPIP tests your proficiency in everyday situations relevant to Canadian life. You can choose between a computer-based or paper-based test.

Additionally, Canada accepts TEF Canada (French); and TCF Canada (French) for French proficiency. 

How to Choose the Right Language Proficiency Test?

Choose the Right Language Proficiency Test

While all three tests hold equal value, choosing the right one depends on your individual preferences and accessibility:

🔹 Availability: IELTS boasts the widest availability, with test centers across major Indian cities. CELPIP is currently available in select cities, while PTE offers testing in major centers.

🔹 Test Format: CELPIP and PTE are computer-based, while IELTS offers both paper-based and computer-based versions. Choose based on your comfort level with technology.

🔹 Cost: Fees vary slightly, so research each test provider’s website for updated costs.

Available Test Centers in India:

Here’s a quick breakdown of test center availability in India:

🔴 IELTS: Major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad, Cochin, and Chandigarh.

🔴 CELPIP: Bangalore, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, and Kochi.

🔴 PTE: Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Pune, Ahmedabad, Cochin, and Jaipur.

How Can Language Proficiency Help You Qualify For Canada PR?

English Proficiency Tests for Canada Immigration

Strong language proficiency in English or French plays a crucial role in increasing your chances of qualifying for Permanent Residency (PR) in Canada. Here’s how it helps:


▶ Nominations Draw for Canada PR:

🔹 Express Entry: Canada’s Express Entry system awards points for language proficiency. Up to 24 points can be gained for high proficiency in one language (English or French), with an additional 4 points for proficiency in the second language. Higher scores improve your overall ranking and invitation chances.

🔹 Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs): Many PNPs also utilize a point-based system where language skills contribute to your eligibility and ranking.

▶ Language-based targeted Draws:

🔹 IRCC also invites eligible profiles in the Express Entry pool based on subjective skills like occupation, education qualification, or language proficiency. 

🔹 As of February 01, we have seen seven Express Entry draws under the French language proficiency (2023-1). The draw size in the latest draw was 7,000 with a minimum qualifying score of just 365 points. 

🔹 We have also seen targeted Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) draws from Quebec, Alberta, and New Brunswick invites French-speaking applications for provincial nominations.

▶ Integration and Adaptability:

🔹 Employment: Proficiency in the local language significantly increases your employability and career prospects. Employers prioritize candidates with strong communication skills.

🔹 Social Integration: Participating in social activities, building relationships, and understanding local culture becomes easier with strong language skills, leading to a richer and more fulfilling Canadian experience.

Required Score for Qualification

Further, the minimum score required depends on the specific immigration program you’re applying for. Each program uses the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) to define language proficiency levels. Research the CLB requirement for your program and choose a test that can assess your skills accordingly.

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) assess language components in four broad areas: Speaking, Reading, Writing, and Listening. 

Express Entry Programs Canada Language Benchmark Band
Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP CLB 7 for all four 
Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) CLB level of 5 for speaking and listening, and at least a level 4 for reading and writing
Canadian Experience Class (CEC)  CLB level 7, or level 5 across all language abilities

Connect with our expert counselors at CanApprove and explore various immigration options to Canada. 


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