Do I Require A Language Test To Relocate To Canada?


Several of Canada’s economic relocation schemes, crucially, require applicants to demonstrate their language proficiency through exams. This article aims to equip readers with the necessary information about these language exams, which are an integral part of the immigration route to Canada. It will outline the specific programs that demand language exams and the types of exams accepted by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

The Canadian Economic Immigration Programs That Demand A Language Test

Based on Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), 12 economic relocation programs need applicants to take a language exam to be eligible. They include:

  • AgriFood pilot
  • Atlantic Immigration program
  • Caregivers
  • Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot
  • The three schemes supervised under the Express Entry request management system:
  1. The Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
  1. The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
  1. The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
  • Federal Internship for New Immigrants Program
  • Permanent residence routes for Hong Kong residents.
  • Start-up visa program
  • Rural and northern immigration pilot
  • Self-employed persons program

Note: Every program may have varied measures concerning the score that an applicant must get on their language exams to be eligible for that particular program.

Next Steps If You Need A Language Test

Applicants who are making an application to an economic immigration program that needs a language exam are required to:

  • Book their exams with an endorsed agency.
  • Reimburse the cost of the language exams.

Remember that the language exams may differ based on the agency that serves them.

Language Text Accepted By IRCC

Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) authorizes five language exams, three for English exam takers and two for French language exams. They include:


Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program: Economic Immigration applicants are required to take the CELPIP-General exams

International English Language Testing System (IELTS): Economic immigration applicants are required to take the IELTS-General training alternative

Pearson Test of English (PTE) Core: economic immigration applicants are required to take the PTE Core alternative.


  • Test d’evaluation de francais (TEF) Canada
  • Test de connaissance francais (TCF) Canada

What To Do After Taking The Test And Getting Your Results

After an applicant takes the exams, Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will confirm the results with the exam institutions to ascertain the applicant’s language proficiency.

During this time, an applicant’s next step will be based on whether they are making an application for a program supervised under IRCC’s Express Entry system.

  • Express Entry Candidates: Applicants who apply via Express Entry are required to enter their results directly into the online profile they generated with IRCC.
  • All Other Applicants: All applicants to a non-Express Entry program that requires a language exam must attach a copy of their exam results to the application they submit to IRCC. This straightforward process ensures that your language proficiency is accurately assessed and considered in your application.

In the two scenarios, exam results used to make an application for Canadian immigration are only regarded as authentic if they are less than 24 months old when an applicant makes an application for permanent residence.

Remember that applicants whose exam results will soon expire must consider taking another exam and updating their Express Entry profile with the new exam results.