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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 Level CLB Level CELPIP Level Description 
12 12 Advanced proficiency
11 11 Advanced proficiency
10 10 Highly effective proficiency
9 9 Effective proficiency
8 8 Good proficiency
7 7 Adequate proficiency
6 6 Developing proficiency
5 5 Acquiring proficiency 

Points received under the Canada Federal Skilled Worker Program

First official language (24 points maximum)

CLB level Speaking Listening Reading Writing Points per ability
7 7 7 7 7 4
8 8 8 8 8 5
9 9 9 9 9 6
10 + 10 10 10 10 6

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

CLB level Speaking Listening Reading Writing Total points
5 + 5-12 5-12 5-12 5-12 4

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

Points received under the Canada Federal Skilled Worker Program

First official language (24 points maximum)

CLB level Speaking Listening Reading Writing Points per ability
7 6.0 6.0-7.0 6.0 6.0 4
8 6.5 7.5 6.5 6.5 5
9 7.0 8.0 7.0 7.0 6
10 + 7.5-9.0 8.5-9.0 7.5-9.0 7.5-9.0 6

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

CLB level Speaking Listening Reading Writing Total 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 level CEFRL TEF Canada results
Reading Listening Writing Speaking
11-12 C2 Master or proficient level 278-300 334-360 416-450 416-450
10 C1 advanced level 263-277 316-333 393-415 393-415
9 C1 advanced level 248-262 298-315 371-392 371-392
8 C1 advanced level 233-247 280-297 349-370 349-370
7 B2 upper intermediate level 207-232 249-279 310-348 310-348
6 B2 upper intermediate level 181-206 217-248 271-309 271-309
5 B1 intermediate level 151-180 181-216 226-270 226-270

Points received under the Canada Federal Skilled Worker Program

First official language (24 points maximum)

NCLC level Speaking Listening Reading Writing Points per ability
7 310-348 249-279 207-232 310-348 4
8 349-370 280-297 233-247 349-370 5
9 + 371 + 398 + 348 + 371 + 6

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

NCLC level Speaking Listening Reading Writing Total 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 level CEFRL TCF Canada results
Reading Listening Writing Speaking
10+ C1 & C2 Master, proficient & advanced levels 549-699 549-699 16-20 16-20
9 C1 advanced level 524-548 523-548 14-15 14-15
8 B2 upper intermediate level 499-523 503-522 12-13 12-13
7 B2 upper intermediate level 453-498 458-502 10-11 10-11
6 B1 intermediate level 406-452 398-457 7-8-9 7-8-9
5 B1 intermediate level 375-405 369-397 6 6

Points received under the Canada Federal Skilled Worker Program

First official language (24 points maximum)

NCLC level Speaking Listening Reading Writing Points per ability
7 14-15 523-548 524-548 14-15 4
8 12-13 503-522 499-523 12-13 5
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 level Speaking Listening Reading Writing Total 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 level Speaking Listening Reading Writing
4 4 4 4 4
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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