Minimum Language Requirements for Express Entry
Giulia 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:
- The Federal Skilled Worker Class/Program (FSWC or FSWP),
- the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and
- the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).
Each method expects applicants to meet specific requirements. If you want to know more about each option, click the links above. Subsequently, you will learn about each option. This article only focuses on the minimum language requirements for each method.
Table of contents:
- Approved language tests
- FSWC – Federal Skilled Worker Class
- CEC – Canadian Work Experience Class
- FSTC – Federal Skilled Trades Class
- Let us help!
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, the officer considers the latest test results if you present multiple test results under the same language. Unfortunately, they won’t combine the results. While taking the second language test is not mandatory, it could significantly enhance your Express Entry points.
The following table shows the minimum scores you need for the Federal Skilled Worker Class. Of course, the more you receive, the better. However, you may not apply under this option if your score falls under the minimum even for one language ability.
The minimum language requirements for CEC depend 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:
|The NOC 2021 V1.0 Training, Education, Experience and Responsibility (TEER)||category|
|Management – TEER||0|
|Completion of a university degree (bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate);
Previous experience and expertise in subject matter knowledge from a related occupation found in TEER 2 (when applicable).
|Completion of a post-secondary education program of two to three years at a community college, institute of technology or CÉGEP;
Completion of an apprenticeship training program of two to five years;
Occupations with supervisory or significant safety (e.g. police officers and firefighters) responsibilities;
Several years of experience in a related occupation from TEER 3 (when applicable).
|Completion of a post-secondary education program of fewer than two years at a community college, institute of technology or CÉGEP;
Completion of an apprenticeship training program of less than two years;
More than six months of on-the-job training, training courses or specific work experience with some secondary school education;
Several years of experience in a related occupation from TEER 4 (when applicable).
|Completion of secondary school;
Several weeks of on-the-job training with some secondary school education; or
Experience in a related occupation from TEER 5 (when applicable).
|Short work demonstration and no formal educational requirements.||5|
You need to take an official language test (either English or French) and meet the minimum requirements below for NOC 0 or 1.
The following table shows the minimum scores under each ability of the test for the FSTC applicants.
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:
- CLB vs IELTS – Equivalency Table
- CLB vs TEF Canada – NCLC Equivalency Table
- CLB vs TCF Canada – NCLC Equivalency Table
Note: IRCC introduced category-based selection for Express Entry in May 2023. While members of the favoured categories have higher chances of receiving an Invitation to Apply, they must still meet the minimum requirements for Express Entry.
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:
- Fill out the assessment form: The assessment is free, but we only contact you if we find an opportunity for you.
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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.
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