IELTS For Canada Immigration: Is It The Right Test?
The two main exams for assessing English language proficiency are the IELTS test and the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). Both testing bodies provide an official certification that is widely recognized by universities, employers, and governments to assess your language skills across reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
Whereas the TOEFL is aimed at students applying to study in the US, the IELTS is specifically geared towards foreigners looking to live in the UK, work as a nurse, or study in Canada, the UK, and other Commonwealth countries (Australia and New Zealand, for example).
The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) offers two types of test: the IELTS Academic for university-level students, and the IELTS General Training, aimed towards immigrants more generally. If you’re seeking to acquire an English language certificate with the goal of citizenship in Canada, the General Training test is for you.
The IELTS is well established, being recognized by over 10,000 organizations all over the world as a reliable certification of a person’s English language abilities. All Canadian universities and colleges accept IELTS test scores, and it can be an essential part of the immigration process.
If you need to know how to send you IELTS score to US universities, we have written a reporting guide for you.
Proving your language skills for citizenship
Canada has two official languages – English and French – and the citizenship process, including the paperwork, test, and interview, can be completed in either language.
The Canadian citizenship process requires that you pass the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) with at least Level 4 in speaking and Level 4.5 in listening. The CLB is a scale that measures your language ability across 12 benchmarks, from basic to advanced.
What does it mean to have a CLB level of 4? A person with this level in English would be expected to be able to participate in everyday conversations, understand directions and instructions, and ask and answer common questions.
If you didn’t attend a post-secondary program in English or French, you will need to submit language test results as part of your application. For English speakers, the IELTS is the only international test accepted by the Canadian government and is therefore essential for your immigration to Canada.
Understanding IELTS and CLB Score Equivalency Tables
The IELTS does not offer a pass or fail, but rather offers a score on a scale from one to nine. When you take the test, you will receive a score that falls into one of the following bands:
|9||Expert User||Total mastery of the language. Understands perfectly and is at ease orally
|8||Very good user||Very good operational mastery of the language. Some occasional faults.
|7||Good user||Good general mastery of the language, despite some errors and misunderstandings
|6||Competent user||Competent mastery of the language in unfamiliar situations. Good mastery of everyday situations. Multiple errors and misunderstandings
|5||Modest User||Ability to understand the general meaning of a situation, despite numerous errors and misunderstandings
|4||Limited user||Ability to deal with a few daily situations. The candidate does not use complex language
|3||Extremely limited user||Can only deal with very familiar situations. Has difficulties communicating.
|2||Intermittent user||Has great difficulties communicating and being understood
|1||Non user||Does not know how to speak the language except for certain ideas
|0||Did not sit the exam||Did not sit the exam
You can use the following chart as a guide to understand how the CLB Level 4 (or higher) required for the Canadian citizenship maps onto these IELTS bands:
Your IELTS test certificate will include a specific score in each communication skill, which you must submit with your citizenship application documents. Remember to be well aware of your IELTS test validity before submitting your application.
We also have a conversion table and test comparison for the TOEFL score to IELTS.
IELTS Score For Canada PR: Express Entry Requirements
We will be discussing the requirements for the express entry.
What Is Express Entry?
The Express Entry System is one of the most popular systems and also the fastest way through which qualified and skilled immigrants can become permanent residents of Canada.
This system allows people to submit their profiles and be considered skilled immigrants. Candidates with the highest rankings are called to apply for permanent residency.
How does Express Entry work?
- Once you fill out and submit your profile for Express Entry, your application will be ranked according to a points system.
- If you are ranked among the highly skilled candidates, you will be invited to apply for permanent residency.
- Once you have applied, your PR application will be treated within the next six months.
What programs does this program cover?
There are three different programs in this system and to apply for them, you must use Express Entry. Here they are:
- Federal Skilled Worker Program
- Federal Skilled Trades Program
- Canadian Experience Class
Is The IELTS mandatory for the Express Entry?
The answer is yes! You will need to have a minimum language proficiency of CLB 7, which is a minimum of 6.0 for each section of the IELTS test, to be eligible to apply for permanent residency through Express Entry.
However, keep in mind that language proficiency requirements vary from one program to the next. Still, expect to be assessed in the 4 language skills: Listening, reading, writing, and speaking. The points you earn are awarded according to the Canadian Language Benchmark level (CLB).
Federal Skilled Worker Program Score Requirements
What is the Federal Skilled Worker program? This is a program for people who have been selected to immigrate to Canada because of their skills and work experience.
To be eligible to apply for this program, you will need to:
- Have a job offer; or
- Be eligible to work in Canada; or
- Show proof that you can support yourself financially when you are there.
And that’s in addition to at least 1 year of full-time skilled work experience, a post-secondary certificate, diploma, or degree, a plan to live outside The Quebec province, and the ability to meet the minimum language levels requirements in English or French.
Take a look at the table below for a detailed idea of the Federal Skilled Worker Program Score Requirements:
For those with English as your official language: no points are awarded if you get CLB 4 or lower. But you will gain 34 or 32 (if you are married), which is the maximum number of points in case you get CLB 10 and above.
|CLB Level||Points Per Subcategory||Listening||Reading||Speaking||Writing
|10 and above||6||8.5-9.0||8.5-9.0||7.5-9.0||7.5-9.0
But in case English is your second language, you will get 4 points in total if you meet the following per-section requirements:
|CLB Level||Total Points||Listening||Reading||Speaking||Writing
|5 and above||4||5.0-9.0||4.0-9.0||5.0-9.0||4.0-9.0
Federal Skilled Trades Program Score Requirements
The Federal Skilled Trades Program is meant for those skilled workers who want to obtain permanent residency based on being qualified in a skilled trade.
To be eligible for this program, you must meet the following minimum requirements:
- Have at least 2 years of full-time paid work experience in a skilled trade within the 5 years before you submit your application. *Note! Volunteer work or unpaid internships do not count.
- Meet the job requirements for that skilled trade
- Have a valid full-time job offer of employment for a total period of at least 1 year or a certificate of qualification in that skilled trade issued by a Canadian provincial, territorial or federal authority.
- And Most importantly, meet the required language levels for each language ability. This includes: writing, reading, listening, and speaking.
Check the following Table for language requirement details:
|10 and above||8.5-9.0||8.0-9.0||7.5-9.0||7.5-9.0
Canadian Experience Class Score Requirements
The Canadian Experience Class is designed for skilled workers who possess Canadian work experience and wish to become permanent residents of Canada.
Please, note that you are not eligible for the Canadian Experience Class if:
- You are a refugee claimant in Canada.
- You are working without a work permit.
- You have gained work experience without temporary resident status in Canada.
However, eligible applicants need to meet the program requirements and this also includes the language proficiency level:
For National Occupational Classification (NOC), The minimum language requirement for:
NOC A jobs: CLB 7.
NOC B job: CLB 5.
Here are the CLB levels that correspond to per-section IELTS scores:
|A||10 and above||8.5-9.0||8.0-9.0||7.5-9.0||7.5-9.0
Start Preparing For The IELTS Exam Online With GlobalExam
Getting the right IELTS results is important when it comes to supporting an official application, but luckily you can do all the necessary preparation for the exam online with GlobalExam. What’s more, we don’t simply provide excellent e-learning materials: GlobalExam prepares you specifically for the IELTS and shares with you all important information about the test such as the cost of taking IELTS and how to register.
Whether you’re starting out in English or simply polishing up your skills, there is a range of learning materials to help you progress to the next level on our e-learning platform.
In Training Mode, you can practice your communication skills with graded exercises. You can even work on your speaking skills by submitting recorded responses to questions against the clock and consulting model responses.
By upgrading to a Premium subscription, you can access learning features such as Custom Study Plans, tailored to prepare you for the IELTS test.
The IELTS is an essential piece of the puzzle for immigrating to Canada, so it’s time to get studying!