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Canada Immigration Language Tests Converter

Canada Immigration Language Tests Converter

Candidates applying for Permanent Residence to Canada and for Canadian Citizenship, are required to prove language skills by taking a language test approved by Canada immigration authority – Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship Canada (IRCC). 

Permanent Residence

There are two English language tests and two French language tests offered by third parties that are recognized by Canadian authorities: 

  • English: CELPIP General test and IELTS General Training
  • French: TEF Canada and TCF Canada

Other versions of these tests are not accepted for Express Entry.

Points are awarded for language proficiency when applying for permanent residence, under the Express Entry system or under provincial programs. The scores required depend on the different programs under which a candidate is applying.

To measure the language levels, the immigration authorities use the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) for English and the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) for French.

The language abilities tested are: 

  • speaking/expression orale
  • listening/comprehension de l’oral
  • reading/comprehension de l’écrit
  • writing/expression écrite

Below you will find charts which convert scores received under third party language examinations into the corresponding language level.

You must obtain a minimum level of CLB or NCLC 7 for your first official language in all four language abilities. To receive points for your second official language, you must meet the minimum level of CLB or NCLC 5 in all four language abilities.

The minimum threshold must be reached in each of the four abilities in order for the test to be accepted.

The Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) is an English language test that provides a measurement of a candidate’s English proficiency.

There are two versions of the test: the CELPIP-General test (assesses all four abilities) and the CELPIP-General LS test (assesses only the Listening and Speaking proficiency).

Only the CELPIP-General test is accepted for immigration purposes.

CELPIP level description:

CELPIP LevelCLB LevelCELPIP Level Description 
1212Advanced proficiency
1111Advanced proficiency
1010Highly effective proficiency
99Effective proficiency
88Good proficiency
77Adequate proficiency
66Developing proficiency
55Acquiring proficiency 

Points received under the Canada Federal Skilled Worker Program

First official language (24 points maximum)

CLB levelSpeakingListeningReadingWritingPoints per ability
777774
888885
999996
10 +101010106

Second official language (4 points if you meet the minimum threshold in all four language abilities)

CLB levelSpeakingListeningReadingWritingTotal points
5 +5-125-125-125-124

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is an English language test that uses a nine-band scale to measure a candidate’s English proficiency.

There are two versions of the test: the IELTS Academic (if you apply for higher education or professional registration) and the IELTS General training (if you apply for immigration).

Only the IELTS General Training is accepted for immigration purposes.

IELTS level description:

IELTS Band scoreIELTS Level Description 
9Expert user
8Very good user
7Good user
6Competent user
5Modest user
4Limited user 

Points received under the Canada Federal Skilled Worker Program

First official language (24 points maximum)

CLB levelSpeakingListeningReadingWritingPoints per ability
76.06.0-7.06.06.04
86.57.56.56.55
97.08.07.07.06
10 +7.5-9.08.5-9.07.5-9.07.5-9.06

Second official language (4 points if you meet the minimum threshold in all four language abilities)

CLB levelSpeakingListeningReadingWritingTotal points
5 +5.0 +5.0 +4.0 +5.0 +4

The Test d’évaluation de français pour le Canada (TEF Canada) is one of two tests approved for economic immigration by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. 

It is also one of the tests managed by Paris Ile-de-France CCI, but none of the other versions are not accepted for immigration to Canada.

Correspondences between the TEF Canada results, NCLC levels and the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL):

NCLC levelCEFRLTEF Canada results
ReadingListeningWritingSpeaking
11-12C2 Master or proficient level278-300334-360416-450416-450
10C1 advanced level263-277316-333393-415393-415
9C1 advanced level248-262298-315371-392371-392
8C1 advanced level233-247280-297349-370349-370
7B2 upper intermediate level207-232249-279310-348310-348
6B2 upper intermediate level181-206217-248271-309271-309
5B1 intermediate level151-180181-216226-270226-270

Points received under the Canada Federal Skilled Worker Program

First official language (24 points maximum)

NCLC levelSpeakingListeningReadingWritingPoints per ability
7310-348249-279207-232310-3484
8349-370280-297233-247349-3705
9 +371 +398 +348 +371 +6

Second official language (4 points if you meet the minimum threshold in all four language abilities)

NCLC levelSpeakingListeningReadingWritingTotal points
5 +226 +181 +151 +226 +4

The Test de connaissances du français pour le Canada (TCF Canada) is a French language test that meets the standards of IRCC. The test is managed by the Centre International d’Études Pédagogiques (CIEP) in France. 

Correspondences between the TCF Canada results, NCLC levels and the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL):

NCLC levelCEFRLTCF Canada results
ReadingListeningWritingSpeaking
10+C1 & C2 Master, proficient & advanced levels549-699549-69916-2016-20
9C1 advanced level524-548523-54814-1514-15
8B2 upper intermediate level499-523503-52212-1312-13
7B2 upper intermediate level453-498458-50210-1110-11
6B1 intermediate level406-452398-4577-8-97-8-9
5B1 intermediate level375-405369-39766

Points received under the Canada Federal Skilled Worker Program

First official language (24 points maximum)

NCLC levelSpeakingListeningReadingWritingPoints per ability
714-15523-548524-54814-154
812-13503-522499-52312-135
9 +10-11+458-502+453-498+10-11+6

Second official language (4 points if you meet the minimum threshold in all four language abilities)

NCLC levelSpeakingListeningReadingWritingTotal points
5 +6 +369+375+6 +4

You must obtain a minimum level of:

  • CLB or NCLC 5 in speaking and listening abilities, and 
  • CLB or NCLC 4 in reading and writing abilities.
CLB levelSpeakingListeningReadingWriting
44444
5 +5 +5 +5 +5 +

CLB level

Speaking

Listening

Reading

Writing

4

4.0-4.5

4.4

3.5

40.-4.5

5 +

5.0 +

5.0 +

4.0 +

5.0 +

NCLC level

Speaking

Listening

Reading

Writing

4

181-225

145-180

121-150

181-225

5 +

226 +

181 +

151 +

226 +

NCLC level

Speaking

Listening

Reading

Writing

4

4-5

331-368

331-368

4-5

5 +

6 +

369+

375+

6 +

The skills you need for this program will depend on the job classification under Canada’s National Occupational Classification (NOC):

  • For NOC 0 or A, you will need at least CLB / NCLC 7 or higher
  • For NOC B, you will need at least CLB / NCLC 5 or 6

NOC

CLB level

Speaking

Listening

Reading

Writing

B

5

5

5

5

5

B

6

6

6

6

6

0 & A

7 +

7 +

7 +

7 +

7 +

 

NOC

CLB level

Speaking

Listening

Reading

Writing

B

5

5.0

5.0

4.0-4.5

5.0

B

6

5.5

5.5

5.0-5.5

5.5

0 & A

7 +

6.0 +

6.0 +

6.0 +

6.0 +

 

NOC

NCLC level

Speaking

Listening

Reading

Writing

B

5

226-270

181-216

151-180

226-270

B

6

271-309

217-248

181-206

271-309

0 & A

7 +

310+

249+

201+

310+

 

NOC

NCLC level

Speaking

Listening

Reading

Writing

B

5

6

369-397

375-405

6

B

6

7-8-9

398-457

406-452

7-8-9

0 & A

7+

10+

458+

453+

10+

 

Canadian Citizenship

All applicants for Canadian citizenship aged 18-54 must submit proof that they have adequate knowledge of English or French. IRCC accepts several types of supporting evidence of language proficiency, including third-party language tests.

If you decide to submit a language test, the results must be equal to CLB / NCLC level 4 or higher in speaking and listening abilities.

The federal authorities also accept expired test results if they were done for immigration or citizenship purposes.

Accepted third-party tests include:

CELPIP General test and CELPIP General LS test

  • if you took the test after April 1st 2014, you must have a score of level 4 or higher in listening and speaking.
  • If you took the test before April 1st 2014, you must have a score of 2H or higher in listening and speaking.

IELTS General training

  • 4.0 or higher in speaking and 4.5 or higher in listening. 
  • If the test was done before November 28th 2008, a level 4 or higher in listening is accepted

TEF, TEFAQ (Test d’Évaluation du Français adapté au Québec) or TEF pour la naturalisation

  • If taken after July 1st 2012, your score must be Level B1 or higher in Compréhension de l’oral and Expression orale;
  • If taken before July 1st 2012, your score must be Level 3 or higher in Compréhension de l’oral and Expression orale. 
    • Note: if you took the TEF test before July 1st, 2012, you need a level 3 for expression orale only. This applies only to the TEF and not the TEFAQ or TEF pour la naturalisation.

The following tests are also accepted if they were submitted in the past for immigration purposes to Quebec (note: these tests align with the échelle québécoise and not officially with CLB/NCLC 4):

  • Diplôme approfondi de langue française (DALF) – All test results
  • Diplôme d’études en langue française (DELF) – Level B1 or higher
  • Test de connaissance du français (TCF) – Level B1 or higher
  • Test de connaissance du français pour le Québec (TCFQ) – Level B1 or higher

Canadian Citizenship

All applicants for Canadian citizenship aged 18-54 must submit proof that they have adequate knowledge of English or French. IRCC accepts several types of supporting evidence of language proficiency, including third-party language tests.

If you decide to submit a language test, the results must be equal to CLB / NCLC level 4 or higher in speaking and listening abilities.

The federal authorities also accept expired test results if they were done for immigration or citizenship purposes.

Accepted third-party tests include:

CELPIP General test and CELPIP General LS test

  • if you took the test after April 1st 2014, you must have a score of level 4 or higher in listening and speaking.
  • If you took the test before April 1st 2014, you must have a score of 2H or higher in listening and speaking.

IELTS General training

  • 4.0 or higher in speaking and 4.5 or higher in listening. 
  • If the test was done before November 28th 2008, a level 4 or higher in listening is accepted

TEF, TEFAQ (Test d’évaluation de français pour l'accès au Québec) or TEF pour la naturalisation

  • If taken after July 1st 2012, your score must be Level B1 or higher in Compréhension de l’oral and Expression orale;
  • If taken before July 1st 2012, your score must be Level 3 or higher in Compréhension de l’oral and Expression orale. 
    • Note: if you took the TEF test before July 1st, 2012, you need a level 3 for expression orale only. This applies only to the TEF and not the TEFAQ or TEF pour la naturalisation.

The following tests are also accepted if they were submitted in the past for immigration purposes to Quebec (note: these tests align with the échelle québécoise and not officially with CLB/NCLC 4):

  • Diplôme approfondi de langue française (DALF) – All test results
  • Diplôme d’études en langue française (DELF) – Level B1 or higher
  • Test de connaissance du français (TCF) – Level B1 or higher
  • Test de connaissance du français pour le Québec (TCFQ) – Level B1 or higher

Interested employers: Kindly contact us here to receive further information.

Interested candidates: Find out whether you qualify to Canada by completing our free on-line evaluation. We will provide you with our evaluation within 1-2 business days.

Read more news about Canada Immigration by clicking here.

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