Is Duolingo Test Accepted for Canada PR or Study Permit

Duolingo for Canadian PR or Study PermitAhnaf is a young Bangladeshi student who intents to continue his studies in Canada. As part of the admission process, he took the Duolingo English test. However, Ahnaf is wondering if Duolingo is an acceptable test for a study permit or even a PR application in Canada.

Many Canadian immigration options require taking an official language test. Even if the program does not mandate a test, presenting good language test results could assist you with the process. However, IRCC only accepted the following tests before the coronavirus pandemic:

  • CELPIP: Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program  (Only CELPIP General! Don’t take General-LS)
  • IELTS: International English Language Testing System (Take the IELTS General test. Don’t take IELTS Academic)
  • TEF Canada: Test d’évaluation de français
  • TCF Canada: Test de connaissance du français

The first two tests evaluate your knowledge of English. Of course, the other two focus on the French language.

What is the Duolingo English Test?

Duolingo is an online English proficiency test. The focus of this test is more academic studies. Since the coronavirus pandemic, many IELTS and TOEFL test centres could not run the tests. Consequently, Duolingo became popular. According to the Duolingo website, about 150 Canadian institutions accept this test for admission purposes.

What is the IELTS equivalency of Duolingo?

Duolingo and IELTS look like two tests from two different planets. However, the Duolingo website offers the following comparison table between these tests.

Duolingo IELTS Academic
10 1.5
15 2
20-25 2.5
30-40 3
45-50 3.5
55-60 4
65-70 4.5
75-80 5
85-90 5.5
95-100 6
105-110 6.5
115-120 7
125-130 7.5
135-140 8
145-150 8.5
155-160 9


There is no official equivalency table available for IELTS General versus Duolingo.

Using Duolingo for Canadian PR (permanent resident) applications

Despite the obstacles toward taking an IELTS General or other acceptable tests, IRCC does not accept Duolingo or any other online language tests for Canadian PR. Thus, if a language test is mandatory for your method of immigration, you need to take any of those four tests I already introduced at the beginning of this article.

Using Duolingo for a Study Permit

Generally speaking, there are two options for a study permit application:

If you are applying under the SDS program, you have to take one of the approved tests only. Unfortunately, Duolingo is not an option.

Luckily, the regular stream does not mandate taking a language test. Therefore, you could use Duolingo for admission purposes. Of course, it won’t hurt if you present the test results to IRCC.

What does IRCC say about Duolingo

IRCC, in a recent tweet, announced they do not accept Duolingo.


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Al Parsai, MA, DTM, RCIC
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada

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Al Parsai

Al Parsai is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) in Toronto, Canada. He also teaches the official immigration consulting courses at Ashton College in Vancouver, Canada. Al who holds a Masters degree from Yorkville University is a member of ICCRC and CAPIC organizations. Al, the CEO of Parsai Immigration Services, has represented hundreds of applicants from more than 30 countries to the immigration authorities since January 2011.

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