Language Requirements for Express Entry System

The level of language proficiency determines the points you get in the CRS system which in turn determines your eligibility for permanent residence in Canada. It is necessary to learn the requirements, be prepared well and have reliable testing methods, which is the key to success.

Language Requirements Express Entry

To be eligible for Express Entry, you must demonstrate proficiency in English or French, Canada’s official languages. Here’s a comprehensive guide to the language requirements for Express Entry.

Languages Accepted Under the Express Entry Program

  • English: The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is commonly used to assess English proficiency.
  • French: The Test d’évaluation de français (TEF) is used to assess French proficiency.

Acceptable Language Tests

Candidates must take at least one of the following tests for Express Entry, regardless of the immigration method.

  • CELPIP: Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (Only CELPIP General)
  • IELTS: International English Language Testing System (Only IELTS General)
  • PTE Core: Pearson Test of English
  • TEF Canada: Test d’évaluation de français
  • TCF Canada: Test de connaissance du français

Evaluation of the Language Test in Express Entry

The primary goal of language tests is to assess various skills to evaluate the applicant’s ability to communicate verbally and in writing in the chosen language. Within the evaluation of language proficiency tests, various types assess different aspects of a person’s language abilities. Let’s explore these types:

1. Listening

  • This listening competency evaluates the ability of a person to perceive spoken language, such as discussions, lectures and directions.
  • The test may apply formats such as listening to recorded audio and answering questions relevant to that material.

2. Reading

  • This reading competency covers the reading comprehension level by evaluating the student’s ability to understand such documents as articles, reports, and instructions.
  • Multiple-choice and short-answer questions usually follow the text established in the text.

3. Writing

  • The writing proficiency in the given criteria is not only the candidate’s aptitude for writing but also equally reflects his or her grades and the coherence of the response.
  • Tasks may be assigned in different ways. For instance, essays, letters, or reports on current affairs can be written, taking into account the time allocated.

4. Speaking

  • Oral skills correspond to the candidate’s capability to speak, use correct pronunciation, be fluent, have a good vocabulary, and be grammatically accurate.
  • Usually, the test format continues with you speaking to an examiner or making records of the same responses to given prompts.

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Language Benchmarks for Assessment

The Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) and the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC). These frameworks are used to assess language proficiency in English and French, respectively, for immigrants in Canada:

1. Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB)

The Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) measures how well people can speak and understand English if they want to live and work in Canada. It is used by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

It is a standardized tool that helps you compare your test results and determines whether you meet the minimum language requirement for your immigration application.

The Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) measure language proficiency in four language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

The proficiency is measured against 12 benchmarks. You will receive a benchmark for each language skill that shows how well you perform in that particular ability.

Let’s break down the minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) scores required for Express Entry across different programs. These scores determine your language proficiency in English or French:

2. NCLC (Niveaux de Compétence Linguistique Canadiens)

The Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) assesses abilities in French in the same way that CLB does for English.

Accepted Language Tests and Equivalency Charts

These tests are accepted under the Express Entry system to assess language proficiency in English and French. Here are the details:

Language TestEnglishFrench
IELTS: International English Language Testing SystemYou must take the IELTS General Training option.N/A
CELPIP: Canadian English Language Proficiency Index ProgramYou must take the CELPIP-General test.N/A
PTE Core: Pearson Test of EnglishYou must take the PTE Core option.N/A
TEF Canada: Test d’évaluation de françaisN/AYou must take the TEF Canada test.
TCF Canada: Test de connaissance du françaisN/AYou must take the TCF Canada test.

Language Test Equivalency Charts (English/French)

These are the equivalencies between the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLBs), Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC), and the results of language tests. These benchmarks are essential for assessing language proficiency in English and French for Canada’s immigration programs:

1. IELTS – General Training

CLB LevelReadingWritingListeningSpeaking
108.07.58.57.5
97.07.08.07.0
86.56.57.56.5
76.06.06.06.0
65.05.55.55.5
54.05.05.05.0
43.54.04.54.0

2. CELPIP – General Test

CLB LevelReadingWritingListeningSpeaking
1010101010
99999
88888
77777
66666
55555
44444

3. PTE Core

CLB LevelPTE Core ListeningPTE Core ReadingPTE Core SpeakingPTE Core Writing
1089–9088–9089–9090
982–8878–8784–8888–89
871–8169–7776–8379–87
760–7060–6868–7569–78
650–5951–5959–6760–68
539–4942–5051–5851–59
428–3833–4142–5041–50
318–2724–3234–4132–40

4. TEF Canada

CLB LevelReadingWritingListeningSpeaking
10263-300393-450316-360393-450
9248-262371-392298-315371-392
8233-247349-370280-297349-370
7207-232310-348249-279310-348
6181-206271-309217-248271-309
5151-180226-270181-216226-270
4121-150181-225145-180181-225

5. TCF Canada

CLB LevelReadingWritingListeningSpeaking
10 and above549-69916-20549-69916-20
9524-54814-15523-54814-15
8499-52312-13503-52212-13
7453-49810-11458-50210-11
6406-4527-9398-4577-9
5375-4056369-3976
4342-3744-5331-3684-5

Canada is a bilingual nation, so you are eligible to appear for both official English and French languages. You can increase your eligibility by submitting both official language scores.

Language Requirements for Skilled Workers in Express Entry

The minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) scores are required for Express Entry across different programs. These scores determine your language proficiency in English or French. Here’s a concise summary:

ProgramLanguage AbilityMinimum Level (English)Minimum Level (French)
Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW)First Official LanguageCLB 7NCLC 7
Second Official LanguageCLB 5NCLC 5
Canadian Experience Class (CEC)TEER 0 (previously NOC skill type 0)CLB 7NCLC 7
TEER 1 (previously NOC skill level A)CLB 7NCLC 7
TEER 2 (previously NOC skill level B)CLB 5NCLC 5
TEER 3 (previously NOC skill level B)CLB 5NCLC 5
Federal Skilled Trades ProgramEnglish: Speaking and ListeningCLB 5N/A
English: Reading and WritingCLB 4N/A
French: Speaking and ListeningN/ANCLC 5
French: Reading and WritingN/ANCLC 4

Along with Cash, some important documents candidates must carry with them are:

FAQs: Language Proficiency Tests for Express Entry

Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about language tests for Express Entry in Canada.

How are language proficiency scores used in Express Entry?

Language proficiency scores are added to the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), which ranks applicants in Express Entry. Higher CRS scores increase the chance of acquiring an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence.

Can I combine scores of different language tests?

Yes, you can combine scores of different tests (IELTS and TEF) if you have scored the minimum requirement for each test. It is important to note that adding multiple tests will increase your points in the Express Entry.

How long the results are valid?

These are typically valid for 2 years.

Can I reappear for a language test if I do not get the desired scores?

Yes, you can retake a test to improve your scores.

If you’re seeking guidance on Canada Express Entry, connect with our team of experts for their professional advice.

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