Applicants for citizenship between the ages of 14-64 must provide evidence of their knowledge of one of Canada’s official languages on the date their application is submitted. The minimum language abilities to be met are described in the regulations as the capacity to:
- Take part in short, every-day conversations;
- Understand simple instructions;
- Use basic grammar, simple structures and tenses in oral communication;
- Use vocabulary that is adequate for routine oral communication.
The applicant for Citizenship must have English or French speaking and listening abilities that meet the language requirements described above. Written proficiency is not necessary. Evidence of language proficiency must include one of the following:
- Results of a CIC approved language test;
- Diploma or transcripts showing secondary or post-secondary education in English or French;
- Results from a government funded language course showing CLB or NCLC 4 or higher;
Individuals who underwent language testing in the process of applying for permanent residence can use those results as evidence of proficiency, even if they have since expired. Language tests currently approved by CIC for citizenship application purposes are: International English Language Testing System (IELTS); Canadian English Language-Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP); Test d’Évaluation Française (TEF); Test d’Évaluation du Français Adapté au Québec (TEFAQ).