Immigrating to Canada: The Language Test

What score do I need on the language test to be granted Express Entry to Canada?

Individuals seeking to immigrate to Canada as a skilled immigrant using the Express Entry option will be required to undergo one of the approved language skills tests. The language test can be high stakes for immigrants to Canada, as a low score could prohibit your entry depending on the visa you are applying for and where you plan to work or study in the country. Our Business and Family-Based Canadian Immigration Lawyers at NPZ Law Group offer an overview of your options for taking the language test and what you must score below. If you need assistance with scheduling the language test and preparing your visa application, contact our experienced Canadian immigration lawyers.

Who Must Take the Language Test?

Those seeking entrance to Canada through the Express Entry program must complete the language test. Express Entry is available for skilled workers seeking permanent residence. You will need a job offer to be considered for Express Entry and you will be considered based on your language proficiency, work experience, education, age, and more. Express Entry is completed online and if you are granted approval, the immigration process will become far quicker and smoother. 

Approved Language Tests

There are two different tests approved to determine your English language proficiency and one for French. The International English Language Testing Program (IELTS) is the world’s most popular English language test, with over three million tests completed annually. Candidates must take the General Training test, as the Academic option is not accepted. The test will rank your English proficiency on a scale from one to nine, looking at your Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing. The score you need will depend on the visa you seek, with most positions needing a score of four or above per area tested, others needing a seven and above for more skilled positions. 

Alternatively, candidates could take the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program.  This test will assess your ability to communicate on a daily basis. You must complete the CELPIP-General test, and like the IELTS, scores needed vary by visa sought. Lastly, the French language test is called the Test d’Evaluation de Français or TEF. It measures your French language skills and knowledge electronically. Express Entry applicants with questions concerning the language test or any other part of the process should contact our international immigration lawyers at NPZ Law Group. 

Please feel free to check out our Canadian Immigration Law Services at or you can call our offices at 201-670-0006 (ext. 107). We would be pleased to take a look at your academic and experiential credentials to assist you to “make a plan” to immigrate to Canada.