Minimum Language Requirements for Express Entry

Language Requirements for Express EntryGiulia is an Italian citizen. She holds a master’s degree in engineering. Despite several years of work experience and a successful career, Giulia has decided to immigrate to Canada. In fact, she has prepared some documents already. Giulia knows she needs to take a language test to apply under the Express Entry system. However, she doesn’t know what the minimum language requirements for Express Entry are.

The most popular immigration option to Canada is the Express Entry (EE) system. This option covers three significant categories of immigration to Canada, namely:

Each method expects applicants to meet specific requirements. If you are interested to know more about each option, click the links above. Subsequently, you will learn about each option. This article only focuses on minimum language requirements for each method.

Table of contents:

Acceptable Language Tests

You need to take at least one of the following tests for Express Entry, regardless of the immigration method.

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

You only need to take one of the tests per language. Thus, if you present multiple test results under the same language, the officer considers the latest test results. Unfortunately, they won’t combine the results. While taking the second language test is not mandatory, it could enhance your Express Entry points significantly.

Minimum Language Requirements for FSWP/FSWC

The following table shows the minimum scores you need for the Federal Skilled Worker Class. Of course, the more you receive, the better. However, if your score falls under the minimums even for one language ability, you may not apply under this option.

Test Language Speaking Listening Reading Writing
CELPIP English 7 7 7 7
IELTS General English 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0
TEF Canada French 310 249 207 310
TCF Canada French 10 458 453 10


Minimum Language Requirements for CEC

The minimum language requirements for CEC depends on the NOC level of the applicant’s job experience. For your information, NOC refers to the Canadian National Occupational Classification system. Simply put, NOC divides jobs into several Skill Types and Skill Levels, also known as NOC Matrix. If you want to know more about NOC, read the following article:

For this article, consider the following NOC levels:

  • Skill Type/Level 0 refers to managerial positions, such as chief executive officers, senior government managers, college presidents, club managers, and store managers.
  • Skill Level A covers jobs that generally call for a university degree, such as financial auditors, civil engineers, human resource professionals, and physicists.
  • Skill Level B refers to jobs that usually require a college diploma, such as admin assistants, event planners, insurance underwriters, plumbers, welders, and customs brokers.
  • Skill Level C usually calls for a combination of a high-school diploma and job-specific training, such as transformer winders, court clerks, collectors, payroll administrators, and postal workers.
  • Skill Level D refers to labour jobs that usually need on-the-job training, such as fish weighers, meat packagers, cloth carriers, and shipfitter helpers.

You may only apply for CEC under Skill Level 0, A, or B. However, language requirements are different.

Minimum Language Requirements for CEC, if Your Job is Skill Level 0 or A

You need to take an official language test (either English or French) and meet the minimum requirements below for NOC 0 or A.

Test Language Speaking Listening Reading Writing
CELPIP English 7 7 7 7
IELTS General English 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0
TEF Canada French 310 249 207 310
TCF Canada French 10 458 453 10


Minimum Language Requirements for CEC, if Your Job is Skill Level B

Test Language Speaking Listening Reading Writing
CELPIP English 5 5 5 5
IELTS General English 5.0 5.0 4.0 5.0
TEF Canada French 226 181 151 226
TCF Canada French 6 369 375 6


Minimum Language Requirements for FSTC/FSTP

The following table shows the minimum scores under each ability of the test for the FSTC applicants.

Test Language Speaking Listening Reading Writing
CELPIP English 5 5 4 4
IELTS General English 5.0 5.0 3.5 4.0
TEF Canada French 226 181 121 181
TCF Canada French 6 369 342 4


Remember, these figures could change at any time. Make sure to double-check them with other sources before making any decisions. Of course, knowledge of the English or French languages is one aspect of immigrating to Canada under the Express Entry system. It would be best if you met other criteria to apply.

You may consider reading the following articles as well:

Let us help!

If you need help, pick one of the following options or fill out the contact form below. We will get back to you as soon as possible:

    Full Name (required)

    Email Address (required)

    Have you entered your email address correctly?

    WhatsApp number (optional)


    Your Message

    Related Posts

    Canada to Expedite Temporary Resident Visas for Spousal Sponsorship Applicants

    May 28, 2023

    Work permit for the spouse or common-law partners in Canada

    May 28, 2023

    Decoding the dip in Canadian immigration in early 2023

    May 19, 2023
    Express Entry Canada Conducts PNP Specific Draw

    Express Entry: Canada Conducts PNP-Specific Draw

    May 11, 2023

    If you wish to visit or move to Canada, please fill out our free assessment form. We will review it for free, but we will contact you only if we find an opportunity for you. Alternatively, you may book a consultation session. Consultation sessions are not free, but you will receive formal advice from a licenced practitioner.

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

    Fill our Free Canada Immigration Assessment Form in your language!

    This article provides information of a general nature only. Considering the fluid nature of the immigration world, it may no longer be current. Of course, the item does not give legal advice. Therefore, do not rely on it as legal advice or immigration advice. Consequently, no one could hold us accountable for the content of these articles. Of course, if you have specific legal questions, you must consult a lawyer. Alternatively, if you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment.

    The characters and places in the articles:
    All the characters and locations in the articles are fictional, unless otherwise clearly stated. Therefore, any resemblance in names, dates, and places is coincidental.

    Important Notes:
    For our official addresses, trust this website only. We currently do not have offices outside Canada. Therefore, anyone who claims to be our agent is committing fraud. Also, note that we do not issue any work permits or study permits or similar documents. The government of Canada has the sole authority to issue such material.

    Click to read the disclaimer.

    Al Parsai

    This article has been expertly crafted by Al Parsai, a distinguished Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (L3 RCIC-IRB – Unrestricted Practice) hailing from vibrant Toronto, Canada. Al's academic achievements include an esteemed role as an adjunct professor at prestigious Queen's University Law School and Ashton College, as well as a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University. A respected member of CICC and CAPIC organizations, Al's insights are further enriched by his experience as the dynamic CEO of Parsai Immigration Services. Guiding thousands of applicants from over 55 countries through the immigration process since 2011, Al's articles offer a wealth of invaluable knowledge for readers.