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:

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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.