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Language test requirements for Canadian immigration

Language test requirements for Canadian immigration

Canada is a preferred choice for immigrants to settle. In order to be eligible for the federal or provincial skilled worker immigration programs in Canada, you are going to need to demonstrate that you have the necessary language skills. 

The federal Express Entry system, the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), and Canada’s other numerous skilled worker streams are all subject to the language test requirement.

To prove that you meet the language criteria of the skilled worker program you are applying to, you must pass a language exam. The minimum test scores required vary depending on the skilled worker program.

The Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) is a standardised method used by the Canadian government to assess your language proficiency. While some programs only require a CLB level of 4, others want a CLB level of 7.

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The results of language tests are valid for two years. This means that there cannot be a delay of more than two years between passing a language exam and submitting your application for Canadian immigration. You must retake your language test if more than two years have passed.

Which language exams are accepted for admission to Canada?

You must pass a language test that has been authorised by the Canadian government in order to fulfil the language requirement. The following language examinations are accepted by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for applications for skilled workers:

For English:

  • CELPIP General Test
  • IELTS General Training

The Pearson Test of English (PTE), the CELPIP, and the IELTS will be three of the three authorised language examinations starting in late 2023, according to an announcement by the IRCC.

For French:

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

Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program, (CELPIP)

The four CELPIP modules are speaking, reading, writing, and listening. You can finish the test in one sitting, which takes roughly three hours. Typically, the test costs $300, and the results are available 4-5 days following the exam.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

The four IELTS modules are speaking, reading, writing, and listening. It takes roughly two hours and forty-five minutes to finish. You can take the speaking component up to seven days before or after the other three components.

Typically, the test will set you back $300. You will receive your test results in three to five days if you take the exam on a computer. Results for tests administered on paper are released 13 days after the test date.

TEF Canada (Test d’Évaluation de Français pour le Canada) 

Non-native speakers of French can be judged on their ability to understand and use the language effectively by taking the TEF. For immigration to Quebec, it is the only French language test recognised by the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP).

TEF is typically required to demonstrate proficiency in French in the following situations:

  • to immigrate to Canada and acquire citizenship there
  • To immigrate to Quebec, a province in Canada, as a destination for immigration
  • To pursue a course of study in France (TEF)
  • To become a French citizen (TEF for Naturalization)
  • to certify one’s proficiency in French for employment; and
  • to enrol in specific courses and pursue overseas studies

The test has three written portions: reading comprehension, writing expression, and vocabulary. Additionally, the exam has two oral components: oral expression and listening comprehension. Some sections can be optional for you, depending on your circumstances. Each segment may last 15, 40, or 60 minutes.

Finally, the TEF’s price varies depending on where the test is administered.

Test de connaissance du français pour le Canada (TCF Canada)

The TCF is also used to evaluate non-native speakers’ comprehension and expression abilities in French. It can also be applied to Quebec immigration.

The TCF is divided into three sections that are required to be completed: reading comprehension, language use, and listening comprehension. The verbal expression (in the form of an interview) and written expression are additional or optional sections. 

Those hoping to immigrate to Quebec must complete the speaking and listening tests. Even though taking English and reading classes are completely voluntary, doing so can get you extra credit.

The optional exams run about two hours, whilst the required exams last about one hour and thirty minutes. The fee for the test is based on the venue where it is administered, just like the TEF.

Summary:

  1. For Canada’s skilled worker immigration programs, a language exam is required.
  2. Language competency is measured using the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB).
  3. The following language tests are recognised: TEF Canada, TCF Canada, IELTS General Training, and CELPIP General Test.
  4. Language test results are valid for two years.
  5. The cost of the exam varies depending on the exam and the venue where it is given.
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