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 various other skilled labor streams.
It is necessary to complete a language test to demonstrate that you meet the language requirements of the skilled worker program for which you are applying. Each skilled worker program has its own test score requirements.
The Canadian Government uses the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) as a standardized approach to assessing your language skills. Some programs require a CLB level of 4, while other programs require a CLB level of 7.
The validity period of the language test score is two years. This means that no more than two years can elapse between completing the language test and submitting your Canadian immigration application. If more than two years have passed, you will need to retake your language test.
What language tests are accepted for immigration to Canada?
To meet the language requirement, you must take a language test approved by the Government of Canada. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) approves the following language tests for skilled worker applications:
IRCC announced that in late 2023, the Pearson Test of English (PTE) will join CELPIP and IELTS as one of three designated language tests.
CELPIP has four modules: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. It takes approximately three hours to complete, and you can complete the test in one sitting. Typically, the test costs $300, and you get your results 4-5 days after your test.
IELTS also consists of four modules: listening, reading, writing and speaking. It takes approximately 2 hours 45 minutes to complete. The speaking component can also be taken seven days before or after taking the other three components.
Typically, the cost of the test is 300$. If you take the test on a computer, you will get your result within 3-5 days. If you take the paper based test then the result is released after 13 days.
The 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, the TEF is mandatory to prove French language competence in the following cases:
- Immigrate to Canada and Become a Canadian Citizen
- To immigrate to the Canadian province of Quebec
- To study in France (TEF to study in France)
- To obtain citizenship in France (TEF for naturalization)
- to certify one’s French language competence 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 verbal sections: listening comprehension and oral expression. Depending on your situation, some sections may be optional. Each segment can vary between 15, 40 or 60 minutes.
Lastly, the cost of the TEF depends on the location where the test is being given.
The TCF is also used to assess French comprehension and expression skills in people who are not native French speakers. It can also be used for Quebec immigration purposes.
The TCF consists of three mandatory sections: reading comprehension, use of language structures, and listening comprehension. Supplementary or optional sections include spoken expression (in the form of interviews) and written expression. For Quebec immigration, applicants must take the listening and speaking modules. Writing and reading modules are not required, but additional points may be awarded for these modules.
The compulsory exam lasts for approximately 1 hour 30 minutes, while the optional exam lasts for approximately two hours. Similar to the TEF, the cost of the test depends on the location where the test is given.