Planning to immigrate to Canada?

It has been established that knowledge of one of the official languages of Canada plays a major role in the economic and social success and integration of immigrants to Canada.

Therefore, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has made it mandatory that applicants to most immigration categories meet the minimum language requirements.  For this purpose, you are required to provide language test results from an agency designated by IRCC.  Language tests are also mandatory for applicants whose native language is English or French, as the test score results are the only way to allocate points to the applicant.

Your language test results must be less than two years old on the day they are received by IRCC and must be submitted together with your complete application for permanent residence. The language requirements will be different depending on which immigration program you apply for, as the language skills you’ll need will differ depending on whether you are hoping to immigrate to Canada as a family member, a business person, or a student.

There are three IRCC-approved language test facilitators: CELPIP, IELTS and TEF.


CELPIP — Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program — has test centers at multiple locations across Canada.  You must take the “CELPIP-General 2014” test to support your immigration application.


IELTS — International English Language Testing Systemhas test centers all over the globe. You must take the “General Training” test.



TEF  — Test d’évaluation de français— is only available in French.

You must submit results from these TEF tests as proof of your French language skills:

  1. compréhension de l’écrit
  2. compréhension de l’orale
  3. expression écrite
  4. expression orale

Applicants planning to study in Canada are also required to meet the language requirements to successfully study at Canadian educational institutions.

Applicants from countries where English is not the primary language of instruction are required to provide an English language proficiency examination test result.  As a rule, tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of the submission of your application.

A minimum overall band score of 6.5 is usually required for the academic (NOT general) IELTS test.  Some universities require an overall score of 7.0. Therefore, you will need to contact the educational institution of your choice in order to clarify the language requirements.