Language test equivalency charts
This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.
Equivalencies between the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLBs) (for English), the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (for French), and the results of language tests from designated testing organizations have been established and are summarized in the following tables.
|10 and above||549-699||16-20||549-699||16-20|
All candidates in the Express Entry pool are required to maintain a valid language test in their profile – so if your test expires (turns two years old) before you submit your final application for permanent residence, you’ll need to take another one. If your language test results expire while you’re still in the Express Entry pool, your profile will become ineligible, unless you submit new results.
Candidates and their spouse in the Express Entry pool can gain points under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) for their language level – in fact, improving your score on a language test is one of the best ways to improve your CRS score.
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS) General (do not take the IELTS Academic test, even if it sounds more impressive – it is not accepted)
- Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) General
Both tests are equally acceptable for your immigration application, but the IELTS test is more widely available and accepted worldwide.
- TEF Canada
- TCF Canada
These tests are also accepted as proof of language proficiency for Canada’s many Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), and if you are applying as a self-employed worker, or through the start-up visa program.
Preparing for your Canadian language test
In Canada’s competitive immigration systems, like Express Entry, often language test results can make the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful candidate. It has a big impact, so respect yourself by preparing.
There are various tools and sample tests online to help you, like this free 7-day English language course, or check out the IELTS website for practice questions.