Do I need a language test to immigrate to Canada?

Vimal Sivakumar
Published: May 29, 2024

Many of Canada’s economic immigration programs require candidates to complete a language test to be eligible to apply.

This article will provide an overview of important details about whether a reader may need a language test on their immigration journey to Canada. For example, the following will cover which programs require language tests and the types of language tests accepted by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Discover if You Are Eligible for Canadian Immigration

Which Canadian economic immigration programs require a language test?

According to IRCC, 12 economic immigration programs currently require candidates to take a language test to qualify*. They are:

*Each program may have different standards regarding the score that a candidate must obtain on their language test to qualify for that specific program

What are my next steps if I require a language test?

Candidates who are applying to an economic immigration program that requires a language test must:

  • Schedule their test with an approved agency
  • Pay the cost of the language test*

*The cost of a language test may vary depending on the agency that administers it

Which language tests are accepted by IRCC?

IRCC accepts five different language tests in total, three for English test takers and two for those taking a French language test. They are:

English

Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP)

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

Pearson Test of English (PTE) Core

  • Economic immigration candidates must take the PTE Core option

French

What do I do once I take the test and receive my results?

After a candidate takes the test, IRCC “will verify the test results with the testing organizations to prove [the candidate’s] language skills.”

At this time, a candidate’s next steps will depend on whether they are applying for a program managed under IRCC’s Express Entry system.

  • Express Entry applicants: Candidates who are applying through Express Entry must enter their results directly into the online profile they created with IRCC
  • All other candidates: All candidates applying to a non-Express Entry program that requires a language test must include a copy of their test results alongside the application they submit to IRCC

In both scenarios, test results used to apply for Canadian immigration are only considered valid if they are less than two years old when a candidate applies for permanent residence.

Note: Candidates with test results that expire soon should consider re-taking their test and updating their Express Entry profile with the new test results.

Discover if You Are Eligible for Canadian Immigration

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 media@canadavisa.com
Related articles
The top three universities in Canada according to the 2025 QS World University Rankings
Two friends smiling and celebrating their graduation wearing caps and gowns.
How some Express Entry candidates may benefit from category-based selection draws
Business people smiling and having a meeting in the office.
More Canadian immigrants are being hired for jobs that fit their qualifications
Over shoulder view of man at computer screen with multinational group of successful business people.
Frequently asked questions about summer jobs for international students in Canada
Young african american student girl using laptop sitting on the table at terrace.
Top Stories
Which jobs received the most LMIAs in 2023?
Canada’s immigration system proposes changes to the PGWP
The top three universities in Canada according to the 2025 QS World University Rankings
Join our free newsletter. Get Canada's top immigration stories delivered to your inbox.
Subscribe
More in Study
Canada’s immigration system proposes changes to the PGWP
A picture of a number of new graduates at the graduation ceremony
The top three universities in Canada according to the 2025 QS World University Rankings
Two friends smiling and celebrating their graduation wearing caps and gowns.
Frequently asked questions about summer jobs for international students in Canada
Young african american student girl using laptop sitting on the table at terrace.
What kind of school should I apply to as an international student in Canada?
Two men collaborating on a computer project.
Link copied to clipboard