IELTS and CELPIP websites crash following announcement of new Canadian immigration programs

Shelby Thevenot
Published: April 16, 2021

Update: The websites are working again. This story has been updated here.

The original story continues below:

Prospective Canadian immigrants are not able to book language tests after the two English language test providers' websites went down due to a sudden influx of demand.

Both IELTS and CELPIP reported technical difficulties yesterday, April 15, the day after Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino announced that Canada would welcome upwards of 90,000 new immigrants through six new limited-time immigration programs. Three of the programs are available to English speakers.

Do you live in Canada? Apply for PR under these news pathways!

Language tests are a must for Canadian immigration applicants. Applicants for economic-class immigration programs typically need to demonstrate a certain language proficiency. Canada's immigration system only recognizes English language test results from the two providers.

CELPIP said the technical difficulties were due to an "unprecedented volume of demand for test registrations."

Betty Chan, Vice-President of Operations at Paragon, which provides the CELPIP, said the company expects to expand operations in the coming weeks to meet the new demand for language proficiency tests.

"We are eager to help this new group of workers on their journey to becoming permanent residents in Canada, and are working diligently to stabilize the website and simultaneously expand our test availability to accommodate this unprecedented volume of new test takers," Chan said in an email statement to CIC News.

In the meantime, Chan said test takers should monitor their social media outlets for up-to-date information.

IELTS wrote on the CanadaVisa Forum that their technical difficulties were also a result of a large volume of people trying to book a language test. They said users can check their webpage periodically to see if it is up and running again.

French language test providers do not appear to be experiencing the same technical issues.

New Canadian immigration programs

Canada's new immigration programs will start accepting applications on May 6. They are available to temporary workers in 40 healthcare occupations and 95 other essential occupations, as well as recent international student graduates in Canada. Applications will close once the programs meet their intake caps, or on November 5, whichever comes first.

Through the new programs, Canada plans to welcome:

The new programs are part of a federal-government strategy to admit 401,000 new immigrants in 2021. They target domestic candidates since Canada's current travel restrictions do not allow for many approved international candidates to board a flight. International candidates may also have more difficulty acquiring the necessary documents, due to coronavirus-related service disruptions.

Applicants to these new programs need to have a Canadian Language Benchmark of at least four or five, depending on the program, in order to be eligible.

Disclaimer: Although IELTS is a paid partner of CIC News, it did not sponsor the contents of this article.

Do you live in Canada? Apply for PR under these news pathways!

© CIC News All Rights Reserved. Visit to discover your Canadian immigration options.

Share this article
Share your voice
Did you find this article helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Did you find this article helpful?
Please provide a response
Thank you for your helpful feedback
Please contact us if you would like to share additional feedback, have a question, or would like Canadian immigration assistance.
  • Do you need Canadian immigration assistance? Contact the Contact Cohen Immigration Law firm by completing our form
  • Send us your feedback or your non-legal assistance questions by emailing us at
Related articles
Report: Canada is the 2nd happiest country among the G7
Happy multigenerational people having fun sitting on grass in a public park
How to become a permanent resident in Canada?
A teacher and her students preparing for the IELTS.
Where do most South Asians live in Canada?
A South Asian family in their living room
Study: Fewer recent immigrants are seeking Canadian citizenship
Young family with children having fun in nature on a picnic
Top Stories
How an ECA can help you immigrate to Canada
British Columbia and Prince Edward Island issue PNP nominations this week
Budget 2024: How Canada is continuing its commitment to safe and inclusive communities
Join our free newsletter. Get Canada's top immigration stories delivered to your inbox.
More in Canada
Budget 2024: How Canada is continuing its commitment to safe and inclusive communities
A Family out boating together having fun on vacation
Budget 2024: How will it impact Canadian immigration?
Canada has released Budget 2024.
Comparing rental costs across Canada
A for rent sign infront of a small house
What can newcomers expect from Budget 2024?
Budget 2024 will contain several new initiatives to help with housing affordability in Canada.
Link copied to clipboard